Growing up, we had pretty strict menus in the fall and winter months–potato soup every Saturday for lunch, bean soup every Saturday night, fried chicken every Sunday for dinner, and oatmeal every.single.morning. And we weren’t allowed to leave anything on our plate, either. Now, I understand and can appreciate it–all the way up to the oatmeal every.single.morning.
I love my Mom and don’t want to say anything bad about her cooking because in every other way she was a fabulous cook. BUT! She could.not.make.oatmeal.
Imagine a glummy glop of something being in your bowl every single morning from the beginning of September through the end of April. I would load it with brown sugar and a little milk (the less milk, the less that had to be eaten), hold my breath and inhale.
I still have that vision every time I think of eating a bowl of oatmeal. But I’m getting over it. I was forced to try a packet of instant oatmeal recently and I have to say, it was pretty darned good!
But, of course, I could not see myself paying almost $3 for 10 packets of instant oatmeal. And I really couldn’t see myself cooking a pan of oatmeal on the stove for just myself either–John doesn’t like oatmeal and we can’t get him to try it.
I searched the web to figure out what are in those little packets that make them so edible (besides the flavoring). Half of the oatmeal is ground to add thickening and half is left as whole oats for the texture.
There are many recipes on the internet making instant oatmeal, but this is the version I’ve come up with that:
2) is plain enough that I can add other things if I want, and
3) is flavored enough that I can eat it as is.
How to make Instant Oatmeal Packets: Printable
Mix 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon allspice together in a bowl.
Grind 2 cups quick oats. I used my spice grinder in 1/2 cup intervals.
Mix the 2 cups ground oats and 2 cups quick whole oats in with the brown sugar mixture.
Doesn’t that look like the packet stuff?
This makes 16 packets worth of oatmeal for around $1.60 (about a 1/3 of the price out of the store). You can store this in individual baggies (1/3 cup mix per bag) or in a quart jar.
To make a bowl of oatmeal:
Use 1/3 cup instant oatmeal with 1/2 – 2/3 cup hot milk or water. This, of course, is your preference, depending on how you like it. I like mine with milk and a little on the thicker side.
Add in some dried or fresh apples or bananas if you’d like. Or some raisins! Or some jam! Now, it’s all up to you what flavor oatmeal you have.
Why use quick oats instead of old-fashioned oats?
They are the same thing, quick oats just cook quicker. You could use old-fashioned oats and let them sit in the hot milk/water for a few minutes, I suppose, but I haven’t tried that. From Quaker Oats: Quaker® Old Fashioned Oats are whole oats that are rolled to flatten them. They contain all parts of the oat grain including the bran, endosperm and germ portion. Quick Quaker® Oats are made the same way but are simply cut into slightly smaller pieces so they cook faster.
I gathered the ingredients from the other flavored instant oatmeal varieties for you if you’d like to experiment
Peaches & Cream: CREAMING AGENT (MALTODEXTRIN, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL**, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, WHEY, SODIUM CASEINATE, SUGAR, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, SALT, SOY LECITHIN, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR), FLAVORED AND COLORED FRUIT PIECES (DEHYDRATED APPLES [TREATED WITH SODIUM SULFITE TO PROMOTE COLOR RETENTION], ARTIFICIAL PEACH FLAVOR — Just use real milk and peaches!
Strawberries & Cream: FLAVORED AND COLORED FRUIT PIECES (DEHYDRATED APPLES [TREATED WITH SODIUM SULFITE TO PROMOTE COLOR RETENTION], ARTIFICIAL STRAWBERRY FLAVOR, CITRIC ACID, RED 40), CREAMING AGENT (MALTODEXTRIN, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL**, WHEY, SODIUM CASEINATE) — Just use real milk and strawberries!
Raisins & Spice: RAISINS, SPICES — Just add raisins to the recipe above!
Maple & Brown Sugar: NATURAL FLAVOR, CARAMEL COLOR — Just add maple extract to the recipe above instead of vanilla!
Cinnamon & Spice: CINNAMON AND OTHER SPICES — Just use the recipe above!
Apples & Cinnamon: DEHYDRATED APPLES (TREATED WITH SODIUM SULFITE TO PROMOTE COLOR RETENTION), NATURAL FLAVOR, CINNAMON — Just add apples to the recipe above!
Cindy blogs at Our Life Simplified.
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