So I know it’s summer, and it’s hot as all get out right now, but school is fast approaching (or has already arrived for some of you) and it’s always nice to have something fast and easy ready for breakfast. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now, and it’s so quick and easy. I actually prefer it to the instant oatmeal packets you can buy at the store. “But Casey, it only takes like 5 minutes to cook oatmeal on the stove. Why go through the extra steps of making individually portioned packets?” Oh, hush. It may only take 5 minutes for oatmeal to cook, but you still have to assemble your ingredients (if you’re not putting anything in your oatmeal shame on you), and then you have to clean a pot.
I’m a fan of these things because they’re portable (all you need is a microwavable bowl or mug and a spoon), they’re quick, and they’re delicious. You can customize them to no end. They can have more or less sugar (whatever your preference is), and you can add in extra bits of whatever (flax, chia seeds, wheat germ, protein powder, etc) to make it even healthier if you’re so inclined.
I recommend setting up an assembly line to make things faster. This is something that kids can help with too! And if they help make it, they might actually eat it.
Instant Oatmeal Packets
- 1/2 cup instant oats
- 2 -4 tsp “healthy stuff” (chia seeds, flax seeds, etc)
- 2 tsp dried milk (this is optional, but delicious)
- 1 -3 tsp dried sweetener (brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla sugar, maple sugar, etc)
- a pinch of salt
- add-ins of choice (around 3 tbsp total is usually reasonable)
So what kinds of add-ins should you use? I’m a big fan of fruit and nut combinations, but I’ve also used chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, etc – just use a pinch, or it’s too overpowering) and coconut. If you use fruit, make sure it’s DRIED fruit of some kind. Make sure everything is chopped up into bite-sized pieces. Nobody wants to crunch down on a whole almond in their oatmeal (unless you do – you do you I guess).
My favorite combinations:
- cranberry almond
- chocolate walnut (chocolate chips)
- cinnamon apple
- coconut almond
- caramel apple (butterscotch chips are the “caramel” here)
- cinnamon raisin
Everything fits nicely in one of those snack-sized plastic bags. Or, if you’re opposed to plastic, you can make your own packets out of wax paper or parchment paper. Fold a piece of parchment in half, and then fold up the edges a couple of times to make a pocket (staple it to make sure it stays folded up). After you’ve filled the pocket, fold the top down a couple of times and secure it with another staple. Easy peasy.
To cook it, just add some water or milk (around 1/2 – 2/3 cup, but I don’t usually measure it) and microwave for 1-2 minutes. Delicious.