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Quick Breakfast ...In a Mug or Travel Cup!

April 18, 2014
Nancy Berkoff

Breakfast in a mug can be just one part of your morning meal, sipped leisurely during an early morning class or meeting; or it can be a gulp-able meal unto itself, taken on the dash.

If you truly don't have "time to chew" in the morning, the blender is the answer. Build a meal-in-a-cup the night before. Load the blender or food processor with fruit, tofu, soy yogurt, applesauce, or juice. Refrigerate your ingredients in the blender canister overnight. Then, just blend and go in the morning.

Licuados, a delicious Central American beverage, can be made ahead of time and enjoyed in the morning. Licuados traditionally contain milk and sugar or honey and fresh fruit. Instead, try rice, almond, or vanilla soy milk combined with fruit and orange juice concentrate or maple syrup to make your own vegan version. Banana and papaya are popular flavors, as are mango, pineapple, melon, prickly pear (cactus fruit), carrot, and even Mexican chocolate and cinnamon. Think about creating a mariposa (butterfly) licuado that is light as a feather with melon, pineapple, and mango. Purchase frozen chunked fruit or seasonal fresh fruit to blend for your own licuados.

If you have a bit more time, stock your refrigerator or pantry with fresh whole fruit, bagged nuts or seeds, bagged cold cereal or granola, or dried fruit; you can leave the house with a smoothie in one hand and a healthy chew-able in the other.

For a change of pace, and a fast breakfast, prepare steel-cut oatmeal in your rice cooker, using a three to one ratio (3 parts water to 1 part oats) the night before. When the oats are cooked, portion into transportable covered dishes. Top with raisins, nuts, wheat germ, or sliced peaches, or whatever favorite topping you love, and place in the refrigerator. In the morning, you can microwave for a minute or two, mix, and you have a hot meal! This also works well with brown rice, barley, and quinoa.

What to Stock for a Fast Morning Smoothie:

Fresh Produce: bananas, grapes, carrots, celery; any seasonal fruit will work.

Refrigerated Stuff: soy, almond, coconut, rice, or hemp vegan milk of your choice; soy yogurt; soy sour cream; and soft silken tofu.

Frozen Ingredients: strawberries, blueberries, mango chunks; juice concentrates; frozen soy, coconut or rice ice cream of your choice.

Pantry: applesauce, wheat germ, nutritional yeast, dried fruit, cocoa powder, maple syrup, soy or rice milk, juice.

Combination Suggestions:

Creamy Smooth: ½ cup fruit-flavored soy yogurt, ½ cup vegan milk, ½ banana, 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast, 1 teaspoon thawed orange juice concentrate

Harvest Apple: ½ cup tofu or plain vegan yogurt, ¼ cup applesauce, 1 tablespoon thawed apple juice concentrate, ¼ cup vegan milk, sprinkle of cinnamon

Potassium Plus: carrot juice, ¼ cup orange juice, ½ banana

Sunny: ½ cup orange juice, 2 ounces pineapple juice, ½ banana or 2 ounces of tofu or vegan yogurt, 3 ounces strawberries, 1 tablespoon wheat germ

Ginger-Peachy: ½ cup sliced peaches, ¼ cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons carrot juice, dash of maple syrup, dash of ginger

Apples Plus: apple cider blended with applesauce, apple juice concentrate, raisins, cinnamon

Banana Split: hot or cold milk blended with banana, berries, pineapple, cocoa powder (or chocolate syrup)

What the Bunny Knows: carrot juice blended with banana, celery, wheat germ, orange juice concentrate

What are your favorite on-the-go breakfasts? Share with us in the comments!