Easy, nutritious breakfast to go

Quick vegan breakfast
Here’s a selection of breakfasts that can be taken to go.

I’ll be starting a new job soon, which means we’ll all have a new routine when school starts again. And no matter what that means, mine never has room for breakfast. Even if I did schedule myself some extra time to sit down, I’d rather drink my coffee and get going than sit down and eat breakfast. So I’ve come up with a breakfast that I can take with me and enjoy at my leisure (or destination).

We all know that breakfast is an important meal to eat if we want to be healthy. If you’re trying to watch your weight or eat more whole foods, these breakfast ideas will help kick start your day. They’re make-ahead, the ingredients are inexpensive and you can tweak them to your preferences.

The kids were thrilled when they saw my mason jars out – it has been a while since I’ve made this for them. I’ve included three options: hot oatmeal to go, overnight oats and chia seed pudding.

Hot oatmeal to go

This one takes no planning at all and on a cold winter’s day, there’s nothing better. All you require is a mason jar and oatmeal and you can adapt this recipe to suit the contents of your cupboards. (I’ve been known to take an extra 30 seconds on my way out the door to throw this breakfast together for myself.)

Use the 250 ml mason jar for an adult-sized breakfast. If you’re making some for the kids, use the tiny jars. The recipe below is for the adult-sized portion.

Hot oatmeal to go
Don’t overpay at the coffee shop, taking oatmeal to go is easy and you can guarantee the nuts aren’t stale!

Fill the jar just less than halfway with oatmeal – you can use instant, medium or large cut oats. I use the large ones because I prefer that texture but if you want the Starbucks’ style, use the instant oats. Add the ingredients below to your mason jar:

  • 2 tsp sweetener of choice (or to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp dried fruit
  • 1 Tbsp nuts or seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, matcha tea, etc.

Put the lid on and give it a good shake. When you want to eat, fill the mason jar with boiling water, put the lid back on and shake it around a bit. Set it down for a few minutes with the lid on to allow the hot water to cook the oatmeal. Mmmm! It goes well with that cup of coffee you finally get to sit down and drink!

Overnight oats

If you haven’t tried overnight oats, you’re really missing out! This is such an easy and creamy breakfast and you can change it up every day so you never get tired of it. Once again, everything can be changed according to your preferences. I prefer to use small frozen berries in my overnight oats. The small pieces means more fruit in every bite and doesn’t take up as much space in my mason jar. Jam works well too!

Overnight oats
Dress up your oatmeal however you’d like it. Just don’t forget to pack your spoon!
  • 1 Tbsp vegan yogurt (coconut is our favourite kind)
  • 1/2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp frozen fruit or jam (pomegranate seeds, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
  • 1/3 cup oats (instant, medium or large cut oats all work well)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon or other spice
  • 3/4 cup of soy milk or other vegan milk
  • sweetener (optional)

Combine the ingredients in the jar, put the lid on and shake it well. Make sure the chia seeds are mixed in – use a spoon to stir if you have to. Check if you need to add some sweetener – it will depend on whether your milk and yogurt is sweetened or not. Leave them in the fridge overnight.

Chia seed pudding

Have you ever gone to pack your kids’ lunches when you realize you are out of snacks? Don’t panic. Chia seed pudding is almost as easy to pack as store-bought and the kids will love it! It also works well for a super creamy breakfast. I made these in the tiny jars for the kids.

Vegan pudding
Chia seed pudding is delicious and full of protein to power you through the morning.
  • 1 small jar that won’t spill
  • 1 Tbsp vegan yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fruit or jam (frozen berries work well)
  • 1/4 cup vanilla soy milk or other vegan milk
  • sweetener (if you’ve used unsweetened milk, yogurt and fruit)

Put all the ingredients in the jar and stir it well or shake it until well combined. Put it in the fridge and it will be thick and delicious by morning.

If you take a few minutes to shake up some breakfast before bed, it’s really easy to eat on the cheap even on the go. Since I make my own jam, I like to use a spoonful of jam in my oatmeal and chia seed puddings but you can use anything you have on hand such as banana, apple sauce, fresh fruit chopped into small pieces or anything you like. Enjoy!

Gingerbread with dried fruit

Christmas gingerbread
Gingerbread straight from the oven.

I often make muffins or a sweet bread on weekends to have on hand for making lunches throughout the week. They’re a healthier option than the store bought ones, which are often not vegan or if they are, they’re expensive. Making snacks at home is easy, cheap and allows for customization.

Since it’s December, I made a loaf of gingerbread and filled it with dried fruit. The result is moist, delicious and perfect for this time of year. When I cut it open, I grabbed a couple pieces for lunches because the rest almost disappeared in one sitting!

Gingerbread

Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed! For the fruit combination, I used what what I had in the cupboard. You can use whatever combination you have on hand: apples and raisins would work well.

A word about the chia seeds: this is what I used in place of an egg. You can use ground flax seeds or another method if you’d like but the chia seeds work well and aren’t noticeable in the finished bread. Other options would be a mashed banana or applesauce with baking powder – I’m sure they would be delicious substitutions.

Gingerbread with cranberries, apricots and currants.

Gingerbread with dried fruit

  • 1 Tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (can use all-purpose flour or a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil (or other neutral vegetable oil)
  • 3 Tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 cup soymilk (or other vegan milk)
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup dried currants

Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the chia seeds and water and stir well. Put them aside to thicken.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, oil, molasses and soymilk. Mix well. Add the chia seed mixture and stir.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add the dried fruit and mix.

Pour the mixture into a lightly greased bread pan and bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool slightly before removing it from the pan.

Enjoy!

Vegan gingerbread slices
The gingerbread is studded with cranberries, apricots and currants.