You know what they say: “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But for most of us, it also happens to be the most rushed. Instant oatmeal packets make for such a quick and convenient option on a typical busy morning, but if it’s an option that you rely on more days than not, it can quickly add up in dollars (and in sugar).
We’ve found that the perfect solution is to go ahead and make your own! It’s more economical, you get to control the ingredients and the amount of sugar, and it’s just as quick when it comes to the morning time rush. All it takes is a little prep work combining ingredients before you start your week.
We like to go ahead and put our DIY packets together on a Sunday and make a few different topping options so that there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes for the week. It doesn’t take long at all and it’s easy to make a wide variety. For this round, we’ve gone with brown sugar and cinnamon, apple spice, apple cranberry, and fruit and nut. You can, of course, create whatever combinations sound good to you and your family. That’s the beauty of this — it’s totally customizable.
While this isn’t in any way complicated or time-consuming, there are a couple of tips you want to follow to closely replicate the traditional instant oatmeal packet experience. One is to make sure you buy the canister of ‘Quick 1-Minute Oats’ and not the ‘traditional’ variety, and the other is to blend a portion of the oats into a powder. (A food processor works fine too.) This step is what gives the oatmeal its thick and creamy consistency in so little time, so don’t skip it!
You mix together the blended oats, the regular oats, and a little bit of salt and brown sugar, and then divide the mixture out into half-cup portions. You can use mason jars or tupperware, but we like snack-sized zip-top bags.
Then, you gather your topping ingredients and divvy them up as you see fit; just make sure that they’re all shelf-stable options. (And a good thing to note – if you’re trying to recreate one of the creamy flavor options, a little powdered milk or unflavored coffee creamer does the job perfectly. See the notes under ‘Preparation’ for our topping suggestions.)
When you’re ready to eat, you just dump your ‘packet’ into a mug or bowl, add 3/4 cup of water, and microwave for a minute or two. And that’s it! You’ve got an easy, pre-portioned, healthy breakfast at a moments notice.
Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets
30 minutes to prepare serves 24
- 1 (42 oz) canister quick-cooking oats
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Snack-sized zip-top bags
- Dried apples
- Dried cranberries
- Sliced almonds
- Measure out 3 cups of oats and blend them in a blender until powdery. Combine in a large bowl with remaining oats from canister. Add 1 cup of the brown sugar, the salt, and stir until well combined.
- Divide oat mixture into zip-top bags in 1/2 cup portions. Add toppings to each bag as desired and seal bags.
- To cook, empty one bag of oatmeal into a mug or bowl, and add 3/4 cup water. Microwave for 1-2 minutes on high. Enjoy!
- Notes - The toppings measurements we used per packet were as follows:
- Brown sugar and cinnamon - 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Apple Spice - 2 tablespoons dried apples, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Apple Cranberry - 1 tablespoon dried apples, 1 tablespoon dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
- Fruit and Nut - 1 tablespoon dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon raisins, 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
Adapted from Amy Loves Her Life.