Breakfast Djinni (in a jar)

I picked up a breakfast conjuration from Lifehacker and ran with it for this week.  My regular breakfast wish is something quick, healthy, and able to keep me from overindulging for my mid-morning snack.  And so, this morning I rubbed the magic breakfast lamp and *poof* I had breakfast in a reasonable amount of time without it being a shake. [1]

The premise is simple:  prepare some kind of cooked oats on the weekend, put them in jars, reheat each morning for breakfast.  The nice thing is that it really is that simple.

I cooked about 1c of steel cut oats in 3c of water to get something firm but not chewy and also something that would take well to reheating with a little water added.  I’ve learned that oats do not reheat well without some kind of hydration.  This means when following this plan, making something slightly under-cooked is required because it is going to slightly cook when reheated in the microwave.

Oh no!  Use of black magic!

Before you point back to a previous post, remember that this is reheating.  You can’t reheat without cooking something a little bit more, especially in the microwave, so I dare say reheat and cook in the same context here.

I portioned the cooked amount of oats into 5 jars, tossed a dash of cinnamon in each, sealed them, and got them into the fridge.  It is best to do this while the oats are hot as this will help seal the jar as they cool.  In theory, this should help them keep better over the week, especially if you aren’t using small jars and end up with a fair amount of air in the jar.  Ideally, appropriate sized jars would be used to minimize the amount of air within.

I also prepared a jar of mixed fruit and put that in the fridge.  I used frozen fruit [2] and dried cranberries in about equal ratio.  This consisted of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and the dried cranberries.

This morning I added about a tablespoon of water to the jar and heated it for about 22 seconds in the microwave.  Heating slowly helps ensure the jar doesn’t explode from any heat change.  It should’t as canning jars are meant to handle high heat, but don’t tempt the Black Magic Box.  I then stirred the oats and heated for another 44 seconds.  I was aiming for warm not hot so I could eat these immediately.  I then added a few table spoons of fruit, a teaspoon of molasses, and a bit of soy milk to make this mixable and quickly consumable.

The outcome was quite good, and the upside of using a larger jar was that I could continue to summon this strange Djinni in this bottle without dirtying anything else.  Tomorrow I plan to add soy yogurt instead because it is good to get the little Health Gremlins in yogurt on a daily basis.

Another variation I will try is to reduce the amount of steel cut oats and use a balance of rolled oats — mostly because steel cut oats are crazy expensive, and party because variety is good.

[1] I have recently hit a wall with this vegan diet I am temporarily on.  This includes a slight aversion to intense soy.  There are studies that indicate too much soy for Westerners isn’t a good thing as it hasn’t been a part of our dietary culture and our metabolism isn’t properly geared towards it.

[2] Quality frozen fruit can be second best to fresh fruit because it was frozen at its peak freshness.  Don’t shun it because it came from the freezer, but certainly shun Ye Generice Brande — goodness knows the quality and origin of that!

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5 thoughts on “Breakfast Djinni (in a jar)

  1. Are you buying your steel cut oats in the bulk bins? Less processing should make them cheaper, not more expensive. The radical increase in nutrition makes them worth the cost, imho.

    It seems to me that the real key to eating little to no animal products is learning to make soy a “special occasion” (by which I just mean rare) thing, not a as-often-as-I-used-to-have-meat thing. I discovered over the past year that I really don’t do well with TVP. Tofu is no problem, whole edamame are fine, but TVP just doesn’t work with my GI.

    • At this point, I haven’t been buying the oats in the bulk bins; it has been in tins. I will be looking for bins o’ oats next. Unfortunately, our most local health food store closed, so now to find something similar.

      My key problem with soy is my morning shake. Soy milk, yogurt, protein… just too much for me to handle. I didn’t hit this this wall when it was dairy. I have been drinking various yogurt shakes for breakfast for years.

      Tofu I have to have rarely anyway. I got violently ill after eating tofu once and it is the only thing I haven’t been able to get past that association with.

      • You may want to look into almond “milk”, although that doesn’t solve the yogurt portion for the shakes. For those I’d probably go with coconut milk, myself, both for liquid, flavor, and thickness and skip the yogurt (and then eat kimchee for probiotics). But, I’m not a big shake person, in general.

        • I keep meaning to pick up some almond milk and try it. My concern with coconut milk on a daily basis is that it is really high in fat — bad fat. Neither my cholesterol nor my waist needs that. (It was excellent in my tomato soup though. Thanks for suggesting that!)

          I tried soy yogurt in my oatmeal this morning and it worked well. I think I struck a good balance between the ingredients. The only things missing that I would otherwise get in my shake are turmeric and ginger. I’m sure I can find ways to work those in otherwise.

          Yogurt works well for me for the probiotics. Kimchee on a regular basis is a bit much for my guts. In the least, the spices aggravate my reflux if I have it too often. However, I do likes me kimchee. When we have it around, I can barely keep my hands out of the container.

          • I started making my own [kimchee], which allows me to control the level of spices to make it not quite so brutal on the internals. More of a spicy pickled cabbage, I guess. But still has the wee beasties.

            Given that neither of us are trying to be actual vegans, I’d say a long term solution might be almond milk and low fat dairy yogurt.

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