Perfect your own oatmeal packets recipe
Before I went on vacation, I stopped at the grocery to pick up breakfast items. While I was shocked at the two dollar price tag for a single serving of oatmeal, the convenience of needing only hot water to prepare it was enticing for this hotel dweller who doesn't like to get dressed before breakfast.
But now that I'm home, goodness, two dollars for one serving of oatmeal?!? So, here is the prototype I used to come up with a better solution, Quaker Real Medleys. There are a few varieties and while the result was relatively tasty, I found it to be soupy when cooked according to instructions.
So I pulled apart the extra package I brought home and weighed and measured and such and it turns out the formula is pretty simple - which is awesome for the memory-challenged such as myself. Just remember 2/3 cup wet & 2/3 cup dry. Easy peasy.
Pre-make your oatmeal mixes
This formula makes one serving. Adjust accordingly for how many mixes you'll need.
1/3 cup old fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking, not steel cut)
1/3 cup add-ins (This is where your creativity and taste buds shine. In this batch, I added dates, walnuts, brown sugar and chia seeds. Other ideas: honey, raisins, cranberries, apples, pecans, ground flax seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, really anything you'd find in a trail mix can go in there. And don't forget the spices! Cinnamon, cloves, pumpkin pie spice...the variations are endless.)
Place your dry ingredients in a heat safe container. I like these smaller Ball jars because I can mix up a week's worth of individual servings and then add liquid later to cook - all in the same jar. And they are cute to boot so I don't mind storing them on the counter where I can't forget about them. They are also tall enough to prevent boiling over and easy to clean. But any heat safe container with a lid will do. Don't forget to leave head room or you may end up with a messy microwave.
How to prepare
2/3 cup liquid (Again, this is to your preference: water, milk, soy milk, coconut milk, etc. In this batch, I added 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk.)
Microwave for one minute and 30 seconds. Or you can add boiling liquid and cover for a few minutes. I've used both methods with similar results.
Okay, anyone can tell you how to make these packets. But here is the secret weapon that makes this formula foolproof...chia seeds.
As previously mentioned, I don't like soupy oatmeal and with recipes as willy nilly as this one, some of your fav combinations very well may end up on the wet side. But don't despair. If that happens, add half teaspoon of chia seeds, stir and wait thirty seconds to evaluate if you need a bit more. Other than rockin' health benefits, chia seeds will soak up any excess liquid making it impossible for pre-coffee me to screw this up in the morning. They soften immediately and manage to retain moisture without soupiness. Plus they don't really add any flavor at all. They are just little nutrient-filled problem solvers.
There you have it, a healthy, easy and nutritious breakfast you and your wallet can feel good about.
Sorry Quaker, I don't mean to diss on your Medleys and I did use Quaker Rolled Oats. ;)