Monday, March 14, 2016

Homemade Instant Oatmeal with Flavor Combination Ideas

Since last week was Breakfast at School week, there was a lot of focus on having breakfast at school and the different ways that it can happen. None of my children have breakfast in the classroom (which I think is Amazing!) but most of them do have breakfast at school. 

My kids have had breakfast at school for almost as long as they have been going to school. It started out as something "cool" they wanted to try, then long morning bus rides and tummies that woke up way later than the time to leave for school.. They are all veterans of eating breakfast at school. 

If you children have this opportunity as well, talk to them about it. I know that I have been really surprised by the things that my kids choose to eat when they are on their own. 

My 13 year old eats oatmeal almost every day at school. My 7 year old told me he only likes to eat oatmeal on days there is syrup so he can put that in his oatmeal. 

I like to feed the little ones oatmeal in the mornings - because it is faster than pancakes or even eggs and it sticks with them until at least mid-morning. I don't know if you feel this way, but I get so annoyed when they eat a huge bowl of cold cereal and then an hour later are hungry again.

If you have kids who like oatmeal, these little instant packs might be an awesome idea to make and keep on hand. I like them because I can make big ones (for teenagers) and really little ones for little appetites. I can also make them with raisins (or without) and since I am making them at home, I control exactly how much sugar goes into them (and into my kids) 


10 cups quick oats  ( I use 5 cups quick cooking and 5 cups regular - I prefer the texture that way)
1 teaspoon salt
1-1½ cups brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
1 cup powdered milk
2 teaspoons cinnamon
21-24 snack-size zip bags (Or less if you are putting 2-3 servings in a larger bag - teen size)


Put 8 cups of the oats into a large bowl.

Place the remaining 2 cups of oats into a blender. Blend until almost powdery, then pour into the large bowl.

Add the salt, brown sugar, powdered milk, and cinnamon into a seperate bowl.

Mix well until the milk and sugar mix is combined, then add it to the oats.

Measure ½ cup of the oatmeal mixture into each snack-size plastic baggie and seal.

To use DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets:
Pour the packet into a bowl, and add the desired hot water. (or add cold water and microwave for 1 minute) Stir and serve.

Once you make the basic oatmeal recipe - you add-ins can be as endless as your imagination. I have kids who love to add a whole bunch of stuff - Alice just like to imagine there is something in her oatmeal - so I put sprinkles in the bag.

Some of the flavor combinations that you might want to try -

Strawberries and Cream:
2 tablespoons freeze-dried or dried strawberries
2 teaspoons powdered milk

Blueberry Almond:
2 tablespoons freeze-dried or dried blueberries
1 tablespoon sliced almonds

Maple Pecan:
1 tablespoon chopped pecans
2 teaspoons maple sugar

Ginger Apple:
2 tablespoons freeze-dried apples
2 teaspoons diced crystallized ginger

Apricot Hazelnut:
2 tablespoons diced dried apricots
1 tablespoon chopped hazelnuts

Banana Walnut:
2 tablespoons dried bananas
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
Pinch of nutmeg

Cranberry Pistachio:
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 tablespoon chopped raw or roasted pistachios

Caramel Cashew:
1 tablespoon chopped dates
1 tablespoon cashew pieces

Oatmeal is a great blank canvas to test all kinds of flavors, fruits and nuts - even seeds!  If you prefer, instead of putting the oatmeal into baggies, you could put it into a small mason jar and take it to work with you. Or keep a packet in your desk for when you don't have time to eat at home, or when you are suddenly hungry at 10am.

and as an added bonus - you can pile all your home made packets back up and put them in your oatmeal canister!