I’m finally back from my annual Christmas pilgrimage to Florida. Indianapolis welcomed us home with several inches of snow. Upon exiting the airport, my son acted just like a Floridian getting all excited about the tiny drifts of snow along the edge of the parking garage. It was very amusing! I, on the other hand, could not get to the car- and its heated seats- fast enough.
During these cold winter months, a warm breakfast makes all the difference to me as I get ready to face the elements for which my childhood in Florida never prepared me. One of the quickest routes to a hot morning meal is a single serve packet of oatmeal. I have consumed them for years, never questioning my choice.
Until recently, when I was challenged to make them myself. It was one of those a-ha/duh moments for me! Similar to other homemade foods (think microwave popcorn in brown paper bags), making your own packets of oatmeal is both money and nutrition savvy. Thus my motivation for sharing the idea with you.
Here’s how it’s done (thanks to this blog):
1. Start with a container of quick oats and snack size resealable bags. Scoop 1/3 cup into each bag. My 18 ounce container of oatmeal made 18 packets.
Note: One third cup is pretty much what you get in the prepackaged bags and is usually just the right amount for me. But the beauty of doing it yourself is that you can adjust the serving size. If you’re making these for small kids, then 1/4 cup might be enough. Or if someone in your family has a more hearty appetite, you may want a half cup of oatmeal per bag.
2. Select a flavor. Brown sugar is an obvious choice, but I also enjoy fruit flavors. To accomplish this, I purchased dried fruit in the baby food section of my grocery store and it worked beautifully! Here are the flavors I’ve tried so far:
Maple and Brown Sugar- add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. After cooking, add dash of maple syrup.
Apple Cinnamon- add 1 tablespoon of dried apples and 3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon sugar.
Strawberries and Cream- add 1 tablespoon of dried strawberries (blueberries, peaches, etc work too!), 1 teaspoon of powdered milk, and 1 teaspoon of sugar or sugar substitute.
3. Label and date your bags so you know what you’ve got a month from now.
4. When you’re ready to eat the oatmeal, cook just as you would a store-bought packet of oatmeal- with water or milk. I prefer to cook with just enough water to cover the oatmeal and then add milk after it’s cooked, but that’s just me!
I’d love to hear what flavor combos you come up with, so please comment below!