Mason Jar Oatmeal, To-Go!

I know mason jars have been around forever, lining our grandparents pantries with everything from jelly to pickled watermelon (yea, that's a thing!), and for good reason: they're practical, simple, and let's face it - pretty darn cute all in a row. It's no wonder they've resurfaced in recent years as a popular Pinterest topic for wedding decor, creative domestic storage, gift-giving containers, and more. All that aside, I still surprised myself when I came up with this mason-jar usage the other day. Sure, it's nothing new and a quick google search will show my idea is not original, but my discovery came out of simple necessity one busy weekday morning.

I love breakfast. Lingering over a warm bowl of oatmeal is my idea of a good morning (or waffles, eggs, yogurt and granola ... yum). But on a hurried weekday morning, I rarely have time to do much more than gobble it down in shifts while running around the house fixing my hair, packing a lunch, sifting through the clean clothes for a lost sock ... you know how it goes. One morning I had my oatmeal all cooked and waiting in the microwave when the clock hit that point where I have to get out of the house, or else--  so I grabbed the nearest container, transfered my oatmeal, tossed it in my bag, and head to work. To my surprise, that little mason jar kept the oats nice and warm (since it's glass), and the milk I added at the end had time to absorb, creating the perfect oatmeal consistency. And bonus: no worry about leakage since the jars are known for their seal! Now I'm making my mason jars to-go five times a week and love having time to enjoy my breakfast while I sift through emails at work. Sometimes I'll even pack a small jar of OJ as well - you can trick yourself (and coworkers) into believing you're drinking freshly squeezed juice!

Here's my step-by-step process to creating the perfect oatmeal to-go:

Half a cup of oats
Add a little less than one cup of water, and toss in a few raisins/craisins if you'd like (they turn nice and plump when cooked).  Diced apple slices are also tasty.
Cook for 2.5 minutes in the microwave. I stir in a little bit of brown sugar.

Transfer cooked oatmeal into mason jar and add some nuts
Add a glug of milk
Screw on the cap and you're ready to go!
By the time you get to work, the milk will be mostly absorbed, but you can stir it around a bit for a nice creamy consistency.

You can also try steel cut oats (longer cooking time) or any other hot cereal. I like steel cut with cinnamon, honey and yogurt.
Note: Washes easily in the dishwasher and you don't have to worry about BPA from eating out of plastic. On cold days I sometimes hear the top of the mason jar pop as I drive to work - the temperature change must cause a natural seal. 

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