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Hacks To Improve Your College Cafeteria Experience

Hacks To Improve Your College Cafeteria Experience

Looking for college cafeteria hacks to improve your dining experience? These simple tips and tricks will change the boring meals served every day into a fun and creative activity!

Breakfast

Since there is often foods out at breakfast that are not available at any other time, here is a list of the top college cafeteria hacks only available in the morning!

Breakfast hash is one of my personal favourite options in the morning. Start with a base of hash browns, melt some cheese on top, (the more the better!), and then stack high with your choice of vegetables, meat, and condiments. For an added element, start with a tortilla base to make a breakfast burrito! 

Yogurt parfaits are another easy way to take full advantage of the breakfast layout. Start with a bowl of yogurt, then add in granola, fresh fruit, honey, brown sugar, nuts, and anything else you like! 

A brunch favorite at Northland College is to make your own stuffed waffle, filled with as many things as possible before cooking, and then adding more! This is a great option whether you’re looking for something fruity, sweet, or completely unique! While I personally enjoy a honey and chocolate chip waffle with fruit on top, some people get much more creative with theirs. There is endless potential here, so don’t be afraid to dream big! All-in-one breakfasts are possible this way by adding cheese and bacon to the mix and topping the finished product with fruit.

You can also easily transform a slice of toast into a filling snack. While bread is the traditional choice, feel free to toast an English muffin, bagel, or whatever you wish for the base. Next, pick one or two spreads to put on top. Sun butter, Nutella, peanut butter, and honey are all common choices. Finally, add your favourite fruits to the top and enjoy!

Hacks To Improve Your College Cafeteria Experience

Snacks

Utilizing the microwave is a huge part of many college cafeteria hacks. Easily make delicious twice-baked potatoes in just minutes with this method! Take a baked potato, slice it open and top with cheese and butter or mayonnaise to make it creamy. Microwave for up to two minutes, then take out and top with bacon or small slices or vegetables and enjoy!

If you are able to take food from the cafeteria, collect handfuls of varying snacks to create your own trail mix. Granola, sesame sticks, nuts, and dried fruit can often be found at the salad bar. Chocolate, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips may be available with the ice cream or other desserts. Since trail mix is so customizable, feel free to add anything you’d like and try out different mixes! If you plan to eat it later that day, try including fresh fruit or cheese.

If you don’t own one yourself, ask around to see if anyone has a fruit dehydrator. You will likely find someone willing to share. In this case, simply grab a piece of fruit on your way out each day and use the dehydrator to create a non-perishable and delicious homemade snack!

Snacks Utilizing the microwave is a huge part of many college cafeteria hacks. Easily make delicious twice-baked potatoes in just minutes with this method! Take a baked potato, slice it open and top with cheese and butter or mayonnaise to make it creamy. Microwave for up to two minutes, then take out and top with bacon or small slices or vegetables and enjoy! If you are able to take food from the cafeteria, collect handfuls of varying snacks to create your own trail mix. Granola, sesame sticks, nuts, and dried fruit can often be found at the salad bar. Chocolate, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips may be available with the ice cream or other desserts. Since trail mix is so customizable, feel free to add anything you’d like and try out different mixes! If you plan to eat it later that day, try including fresh fruit or cheese. If you don’t own one yourself, ask around to see if anyone has a fruit dehydrator. You will likely find someone willing to share. In this case, simply grab a piece of fruit on your way out each day and use the dehydrator to create a non-perishable and delicious homemade snack!

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Switch Up Your Sandwich 

Try great college cafeteria hacks to help turn the normal sandwich options offered into a delicious meal. This is an option at pretty much every college since there will always be a sandwich or burger type option. If there is something pre-made you want to improve, don’t be afraid to throw out the bread and anything else you might not like. While you should avoid being wasteful, making your dining experience enjoyable is worth the slight excess. 

Swap out boring white bread or a bun for something more exciting. Try grabbing a tortilla, toasting a bagel, or even making a lettuce wrap! Replacing a bun with a bagel is not only easy, but also more filling! Tortillas leave a lot more space for toppings if you are looking for a veggie-heavy wrap. 

If you are looking for a meat-free option, try making your own egg salad sandwich. Put mayonnaise on your bread, slice up hard-boiled eggs from the salad section and add to the sandwich with black pepper and any other toppings you wish.

Snacks Utilizing the microwave is a huge part of many college cafeteria hacks. Easily make delicious twice-baked potatoes in just minutes with this method! Take a baked potato, slice it open and top with cheese and butter or mayonnaise to make it creamy. Microwave for up to two minutes, then take out and top with bacon or small slices or vegetables and enjoy! If you are able to take food from the cafeteria, collect handfuls of varying snacks to create your own trail mix. Granola, sesame sticks, nuts, and dried fruit can often be found at the salad bar. Chocolate, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips may be available with the ice cream or other desserts. Since trail mix is so customizable, feel free to add anything you’d like and try out different mixes! If you plan to eat it later that day, try including fresh fruit or cheese. If you don’t own one yourself, ask around to see if anyone has a fruit dehydrator. You will likely find someone willing to share. In this case, simply grab a piece of fruit on your way out each day and use the dehydrator to create a non-perishable and delicious homemade snack!

Main Dishes

Make your own burrito bowls easily by utilizing the salad section. Place a tortilla in a bowl, add a layer of lettuce and cheese, and cover it with any vegetables and sauces you can find. If there is chicken or beef available, add that as well! You may have to get a burger or chicken sandwich and slice the meat yourself.

Improve almost any meal by using the microwave and adding toppings. Add cheese to the top of cold pasta before microwaving. Use any bread base such as tortilla chips, English muffins, or waffles to create endless possibilities. Use the pattie from two burgers and add bacon to make a double cheeseburger.

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Snacks Utilizing the microwave is a huge part of many college cafeteria hacks. Easily make delicious twice-baked potatoes in just minutes with this method! Take a baked potato, slice it open and top with cheese and butter or mayonnaise to make it creamy. Microwave for up to two minutes, then take out and top with bacon or small slices or vegetables and enjoy! If you are able to take food from the cafeteria, collect handfuls of varying snacks to create your own trail mix. Granola, sesame sticks, nuts, and dried fruit can often be found at the salad bar. Chocolate, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips may be available with the ice cream or other desserts. Since trail mix is so customizable, feel free to add anything you’d like and try out different mixes! If you plan to eat it later that day, try including fresh fruit or cheese. If you don’t own one yourself, ask around to see if anyone has a fruit dehydrator. You will likely find someone willing to share. In this case, simply grab a piece of fruit on your way out each day and use the dehydrator to create a non-perishable and delicious homemade snack!

Drinks

For a simple and classic treat, simply add vanilla ice cream to a cup and put root beer from the soda fountain on top. Change it up by using chocolate ice cream instead or adding caramel sauce. You can also experiment by making ice cream floats with other flavors of soda.

For more advanced college cafeteria hacks, try making a blended shake! Start with a base of your choice of ice cream, add any other ingredients you’d like, pour milk on top and mix vigorously. A butter knife works best for this as it will reach all the way down with plenty of room to blend. Add fresh fruit, finely crushed cookies and nuts, or flavoured sauces.

Snacks Utilizing the microwave is a huge part of many college cafeteria hacks. Easily make delicious twice-baked potatoes in just minutes with this method! Take a baked potato, slice it open and top with cheese and butter or mayonnaise to make it creamy. Microwave for up to two minutes, then take out and top with bacon or small slices or vegetables and enjoy! If you are able to take food from the cafeteria, collect handfuls of varying snacks to create your own trail mix. Granola, sesame sticks, nuts, and dried fruit can often be found at the salad bar. Chocolate, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips may be available with the ice cream or other desserts. Since trail mix is so customizable, feel free to add anything you’d like and try out different mixes! If you plan to eat it later that day, try including fresh fruit or cheese. If you don’t own one yourself, ask around to see if anyone has a fruit dehydrator. You will likely find someone willing to share. In this case, simply grab a piece of fruit on your way out each day and use the dehydrator to create a non-perishable and delicious homemade snack!

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Desserts

I was always looking for college cafeteria hacks to improve my desert experience. One of the best things I’ve found is to simply heat up the daily special dessert in the microwave and then add a scoop of ice cream! While simple, it adds a lot. Most colleges have at least one rotating desert so there are different options each day. While a cold cookie, pie, brownie, or cake is fine, it becomes much better through this simple change. The contrast of hot and cold is nice, the ice cream adds an additional element, and any other toppings you wish to add will stick better.

Ice cream cookies are easy to take on the go if you’re in a rush and require little work to make. For an added spin, put chocolate or caramel sauce on the sandwich side of your cookie before adding the ice cream.

To make a mini apple pie, microwave sliced apples with butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and honey as you like. Mix with granola and enjoy!

Snacks Utilizing the microwave is a huge part of many college cafeteria hacks. Easily make delicious twice-baked potatoes in just minutes with this method! Take a baked potato, slice it open and top with cheese and butter or mayonnaise to make it creamy. Microwave for up to two minutes, then take out and top with bacon or small slices or vegetables and enjoy! If you are able to take food from the cafeteria, collect handfuls of varying snacks to create your own trail mix. Granola, sesame sticks, nuts, and dried fruit can often be found at the salad bar. Chocolate, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips may be available with the ice cream or other desserts. Since trail mix is so customizable, feel free to add anything you’d like and try out different mixes! If you plan to eat it later that day, try including fresh fruit or cheese. If you don’t own one yourself, ask around to see if anyone has a fruit dehydrator. You will likely find someone willing to share. In this case, simply grab a piece of fruit on your way out each day and use the dehydrator to create a non-perishable and delicious homemade snack!

I hope these college cafeteria hacks help you get the most out of your dinner each night! Tell me what your top food hacks are in the comments below.

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