Homemade Instant Oatmeal

5:43 AM

I have never been a hot cereal person. I claim to like "practically every food on the planet" but if I hit a breakfast bar in a hotel I will scoop myself oatmeal 0% of the time. In fact, as part of my job at the hospital I make the final call on patient's meal trays that seem to be incomplete or have issues and whenever I see one with the issue "doesn't contain a hot cereal" I want to say-- Approved! Save this poor person the torture of hot cereal! (Fear not, I don't force the patients to bend to my likings.)

I will admit, it gives me some nutritionist guilt everytime I see a "healthiest foods ever list" and oatmeal makes the breakfast category everytime. Plus it's a hard challenge to leave a bowl of cold granola in front of a toddler and hope your floor won't be a train wreck in 10 minutes. 

So recently when my friend Bethany offered me a late night homemade porridge at her house I said yes. I watched her scoop some secret mix from a storage container and then add boiled water. 

It was delicious. 

Not the failed-attempt, way-too-healthy oatmeal I had myself in the past with good intentions. But not the mystery-ingredient-laden sugar junk that's sold in grocery stores. It was simply filling and yummy. 

So I suppose you could say I've been converted to an oatmeal-making, oatmeal-liking mama, and for that reason I will share the recipe. It's been tweaked slightly. 

In a large storage container mix:

3 cups oats (instant is the least healthy but most convenient-- if you want to simply add hot water and eat you'll need this kind but you can always choose fibrous add-ins to make up for it; p.s. Try to find gluten free oats if you need those)
1/2 cup raw sugar -- you can use sucanat, turbinado, even regular brown sugar, add more or less to taste 
1 tablespoon cinnamon -- you could try different spices too
1 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup flax seed -- for even more health benefits add chia or hemp seeds or wheat germ
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup crushed cashews
Optional mix ins: other dried or dehydrated fruit like mango or blueberries, shredded coconut, candied ginger, peanut butter powder, cocoa powder, maple sugar, slivered almonds...
The list goes on. 

This dry mix should last for a long time! To make a bowl just scoop out 1/3 cup and pour about 1/3 cup boiled water over, then stir.  Use more water for runnier oatmeal. You can also add your choice of dairy at the end (or some people add dry milk powder right to their mix). This mix would be portioned out into individual servings in ziplock bags so it's a true on-the-go or in-a-packed-lunch treat. 

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