There are probably many, many recipes to make homemade instant oatmeal available around the web. However, since school is now in session for most people, I thought that I would share my rendition of this morning staple.
Pound for pound, instant oatmeal is one of the most expensive foods at the grocery store. It really is simple and easy to make your own, and it tastes so much better than the commercial stuff.
Many recipes call for packaging the oatmeal in individual zip-top bags, and one can certainly do that. You all know how much I like the little snack size bags for freezing things. In this case, I do not bother to do that, but make my instant oatmeal in bulk and just measure out the 1/2 c. that is needed each time I make it.
I do not add sugar to my bulk mix, preferring to add it when the oatmeal is made up. That way I can use white, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, jam or other sweetener as I choose. This also allows the oatmeal to be "customized" for various members of the family. I always use milk or half-and-half when I make up my oatmeal because I like the flavor better.
There are so many things that can be added to the instant oatmeal which can be mixed and matched, one could easily have a different dish every day for several months.
I like to use both old-fashioned and quick oats when I make this. I think that using the old-fashioned oats and grinding them up gives the oatmeal a much better flavor.
Instant Oatmeal in Bulk
5 c. old-fashioned oats
5 c. quick oats
2 c. dry powdered milk
Put the old-fashioned oats in a food processor and grind until it is like very coarse meal. This can be done a cup or so at a time in a mini processor if necessary. Combine the ground oats with the quick oats and dry milk. Mix together very well. Store in an air-tight container for 6 weeks. To use, place 1/2 c. oatmeal in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and mix. Pour 3/4 c. boiling water over the oatmeal. Stir in any add-in and let stand for 2 minutes.
Or pour 1 c. cold water over oatmeal. Microwave for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Stir in any add-ins and let stand 2-3 minutes to thicken and cool slightly.
Use more or less water for a thinner or thicker oatmeal. If desired, milk can be used instead of water for flavor and to up the nutrient value.
Add-Ins for Instant Oatmeal
Here is a partial list of things that can be added to a single serving of the oatmeal. Use about 2 T. of each per serving, cutting back a bit if using a combination of add-ins.
Chopped fresh fruit or berries-apples, peaches, apricots, nectarines, bananas, pineapple,strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries. applesauce.
Chopped dried fruit or raisins-apricots, cranberries, dates, pineapple, apples, cherries, mangoes, bananas.
Nuts-chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, filberts, peanuts, macadamia, cashews. (All preferably toasted.)
Peanut Butter-smooth or chunky
Sweeteners-sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, molasses, jam, jelly or fruit butters.
Spices-cinnamon, nutmeg, apple pie spice, pumpkin pie spice.
Cookies/candy-mini marshmallows, chocolate, butterscotch, white chocolate, peanut butter chips, decorative cake/cookie sprinkles, crushed cookies, crushed Butterfinger candy.
Wheat Germ, any type.
A little pat of butter.
Some Combinations to Try:
Cranberry/Almond: 2 T. dried cranberries, 2 T. sliced almonds, 2 t. brown sugar, 1/4 t. cinnamon
Maple Pecan: 2 T. chopped pecans, 1/4 t. cinnamon, and 1-2 T. maple syrup
Cinnamon Bun: 1 T. brown sugar and 1/4 t. cinnamon
Banana Walnut: 1 T. chopped walnuts, 1/2 to 1 banana sliced over the top or 2 T. chopped dried banana.
Confetti: Stir in 1 t. cake/cookie sprinkles
S’Mores: Stir in 6 to 8 mini marshmallows and 1 T. mini chocolate chips.
Butterfinger: Stir in 1 crushed mini Butterfinger bar.
Brown Sugar/Cinnamon: Stir in 1 T. brown sugar and 1/4 t. cinnamon.
Health Nut: Stir in 2 T. wheat germ and 2 T. any nut.
Tropical: Stir in 2 T. chopped dried pineapple or mango, 1 T. chopped macadamia nuts, and 1 T. coconut.
Peanut Butter and Jelly: Stir in 1-2 T. peanut butter and 1-2 T. any jam or jelly.
Spiced: Stir in 1 t. brown sugar, 1/4 t. cinnamon and scant 1/8 to. nutmeg
This certainly is just a start to all the combinations one could stir into their oatmeal. Under the “Don’t knock it, until you’ve tried it”category, I personally like a tablespoon of crisp bacon bits and a half of a hard-cooked egg, chopped, stirred into my oatmeal from time to time.
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