When it comes to eating breakfast out of a mason jar, I am hesitant to admit a certain blonde celebrity inspired my deep admiration for the art. It was her simple recipe that made me realize just how easy breakfast can be when all you have to do is pluck a jar filled with delicious food straight out of the fridge and have at it. The best part? You don't have to eat it right away since the container is sealed. Tie a spoon around the neck and then pack it up for a morning picnic, stuff it in your backpack for that break-of-dawn hike, or take a jar of goodness to work. Options prove endless, the contents adaptable to each member of the household's taste, and it's fun to dig into breakfast in an unconventional way. To get you started, try these five mason jar breakfast marvels.
Chia seed pudding
Chia seeds are the new flax seed, the new pomegranate juice, and the new goji berry. But one thing that makes this ingredient stand out: They gel up to make a scrumptious and healthy breakfast pudding. It was this dish that first got me thinking about making food in jars, thanks to a great recipe in the cookbook, It's All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow. Yes, that Gwyneth. Luckily I got beyond this little tidbit and dove right in, altering and making her chia seed pudding my own.
To start, take 1/4 cup of chia seeds (bought in any health store or even a big-box joint like Costco) and mix it with as much freshly grated ginger as you like, a teaspoon of sugar or honey, a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom, six tablespoons of creamy coconut milk, and 3/4 cup of coconut or regular water. Mix it all up and let it sit in the fridge for one hour and up to three days. Once it’s ready to eat, fill the rest of the jar with fresh fruit such as blueberries, sliced peach, or strawberries and, that's it. A healthy, portable breakfast is served.
Not surprising, a beautiful parfait works superbly in a mason jar. Layer yogurt, honey, nuts, berries and you’ve got a sealed jar of morning joy. Plus, you can really see what your are getting with each spoonful.
This high-fiber whole grain has a pleasing crunch that proves divine in the morning. It fills you up and provides a nutritious backdrop for eggs, roasted vegetables, tofu, breakfast sausage, and more. To make it in a jar, add 1/2 cup of the bulgur wheat to 3/4 cups of your choice of milk and let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. If sugary morning meals are your thing, consider using rice milk for and added sweetness, and topping off your jar o' wheat with sugared strawberries, canned fruit, a little jam, and ripe banana.
Okay, before you roll your eyes at this passé trend, keep in mind just how effortless making these babies in a jar really is. Plus, you can just hand them to your kids as they go off to school, stash a container of the stuff in your partner’s gym bag or just revel in the quick, no-fuss breakfast while curled up on the couch. Toppings and additions appear endless, from peanut butter to fresh fruits to chocolate.
Eggy casserole—sort of
Technically this isn't a casserole, though from the outside it sure looks like one. While the other jar breakfasts involve letting your creation sit in the refrigerator, this one should be whipped up in a pan and served pretty quickly. But that doesn't mean you can't take it to go—in fact how else can you have a complete American-style egg breakfast without making a mess? All you need to do is layer the vessel with scrambled eggs (with or without cheese), crumbled bacon, maybe some avocado and optional hash browns or home fries. Then, a dash of hot sauce and it's done.