Prep these 5 jars on Sunday for a week of delicious, portable oatmeal. 
Credit: Getty: Lew Robertson

I'm not really a fan of refrigerated overnight oats. They're a little too mushy for my taste, plus I typically want something warm and comforting first thing in the a.m. For a while, I was making hot oatmeal every morning. You know the drill—microwave oats, drizzle in some honey for sweetness, and top it with whatever I had on hand. It worked temporarily, but I wanted something quick and portable to eat at my desk. I craved something easy enough to grab on my way out the door, but healthy enough to feel good about. 

That's when I realized I could prepare oats for the entire week, while avoiding the cold, mushy texture I disliked. Build these five jars on a Sunday night, and they'll last you throughout the work week stored in a cool, dry place (you can also store them in your fridge). Start with a nut butter base, top with rolled oats, followed by dried fruit and nuts, and close tightly until you're ready to eat.

Credit: Arielle Weg

You'll need: 

  • 5 16-ounce canning jars (wide mouth works best, but any will do) 
  • 2.5 cups rolled oats, divided
  • 5 tablespoons nut butter
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar, divided 
  • 5/8 teaspoon cinnamon, divided (1/8 teaspoon for each serving)
  • Dried fruit and nuts (pick your favorite variety)

In a small bowl, combine the nut butter and coconut oil into a smooth paste. Divide mixture evenly among five jars. Fill each jar with 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon. Top each jar with about a tablespoon of any variety of nuts and a tablespoon of your favorite dried fruit. 

The five I made for this week were raisin with pecan, apricot with pecan, date with brazil nut, walnut with pineapple and papaya, and almond with prunes. Other delicious mix-ins could be dried figs, cranberries, blueberries, coconut, and pear. Be sure to look for unsalted nuts and dried fruit without any added sugar. This will help keep your oatmeal more nutritious, and help balance the flavors.

In the morning you'll simply need to add about 3/4 cup of hot water to the jar, close the lid, and it's ready to eat in about 5 minutes. I usually pour the hot water, cover the jar, toss it in my bag, and enjoy about 15 minutes later when I get to my desk. If you find that your oatmeal is too watery, you can microwave the jar without the lid in 30 second intervals, and If it's too dry, you can add more hot water. Be sure to stir it well before consuming, and incorporate all the nut butter into the oats. Now go forth and have a week of delicious, easy breakfasts.