Instant Oatmeal (Just Like the Packets)

Oct
16

Post by community member:

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:

1) isn’t a gummy mess,
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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Comments

  1. patbecky89 says:

    Thank you for posting this!!! I to was an oatmeal kid!!!I am going to make this today!!!

  2. Mary says:

    Thanks Cindy, I’m going to try that. I was also “forced” to eat hot cereal as a kid (malto-meal) and I have never been able to stand oatmeal. BUT, it is a great breakfast that leaves you not hungry forever. I have been trying to get used to it and this recipe, I’m sure, will help.
    P.S. I got one of those dough whisks and love it.

  3. Dede ~ wvhomecanner says:

    add raisins and some walnuts and some bits of apple, maple syrup and you have what McD’s is selling for %1.99!

  4. lisabetholson says:

    Cindy P you are a wonder, it is a good thing for all of us that you are so frugal.
    I just don’t even bother with the little packets, with 3 adults in the house I use the big can of breakfast everything.
    I should send this to my sister, she got hooked on breakfast because I eat it every morning. She would love to make these for her children for Christmas gifts, honestly!

  5. Euni Moore says:

    Our minds must have been on the same track; I just did this yesterday with quick oats, dried apples, brown sugar and apple powder (made from the peelings when the apples were dehydrated. Did not grind half the oats, but will do that today. Thanks for your penny saving, nutritious posts.

  6. Leah says:

    That looks so good Cin. I had a box of the individual oatmeal packets someone gave me. So I measured the amt in the package 1/3 cup. I bought a LG container instant oatmeal and just used the same microwave instructions on the box. Just be sure to use a deep enough bowl! I usually add a pat of butter and 1/2 packet of splenda,I like mine plain tho.

  7. Cassie says:

    Wonderful! What happens if I don’t grind half the oats? I don’t have anything suitable for grinding (my blender isn’t that great and I don’t have anything else.

  8. Darlene says:

    I have been doing this for years:
    Quick oats boiling water
    Put oats in bowl your favorite amount.
    Pour boiling water over and stir til dry oats are wet. Let sit for a few minutes not too long. Add milk and sugar either kind
    Dig in.
    I got tired of buying the packets too.

  9. Kerrie says:

    ooooh, I LOVED that stuff when I was a kid…I’m gonna try it. Thanks!

  10. 22angel says:

    My Mom was similar….but ours was Cream of Wheat :). And my sister & I both still eat, although we can’t get “lumpies” like Mom had lol. I think it was because she didn’t really measure beforehand, she just poured lol. I think I might try making this & leave it in a canister so I can have something besides (unsatisfying) cereal for breakfast in the mornings. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Linda Goble says:

    I just made this and tried it. It is so good. I do think I might leave out the cloves next time. Don’t know if my grandson would like that in it. I also used my food processor to ground oatmeal up I put everything in but the 4 cups of other oatmeal and mix it that way. How do you come up with all these recipes? I made oatmeal and pancakes to freeze for my grandson’s breakfast on school mornings.
    Thanks Cindy

  12. bonita says:

    CindyP: your mom and mine had the same oatmeal recipe. I hated it. , especially the lumps. However, I learned to eat it…if I didn’t eat it hot at breakfast I would have it cold for supper, and every future meal until I ate it.(I think that was a reaction to, “There are children starving in China.” To which I replied, “Then let’s package this up and send it to them!” [not a wise move.])
    It’s a wonder I can stand the stuff at all. I did just buy a giant on-sale box of quick oats and was sort of thinking of how to turn it into instant oatmeal. Thanks for doing all the work…

  13. CindyP says:

    Thank you, everyone! I come up with these recipes because I may be a food scientist and just never knew it 🙂 I was in the wrong career! I love to pull apart store-bought things and make them workable…with the convenience, but homemade. Companies have spent lots of time and money to determine these “quick” foods will be wanted and used…and I have family that really buy into the quick and easy, no matter the ingredients or the cost. I love showing them it’s not about the money that’s spent to have something good. It takes just a short amount of time to make it homemade and quick.

    That’s what’s so great about a homemade mix…you can make it however you want! Leave out the spices you don’t like or add in more things that you do. I need the spices, etc, or I’m not going to get beyond the “oatmeal” from the 70’s and 80’s.

    @Cassie I think because of my past history with oatmeal, leaving it all oats and not grinding 1/2 of it would be a texture issue with me…there’s just too much whole oats. (all in the head)

    AND Mom may have been able to redeem herself if she’d used quick oats. She always used old-fashioned. I don’t even know if there was quick oats on the shelves 35 years ago. ??

  14. llark5 says:

    My dd headed off to the Alaska bush today & I sent these with her. We do not like very sweet food, so I doubled the oatmeal amounts after sampling. Thank you, my Gluten free girl can have a hot breakfast in very cold weather.

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