Our mornings can be crazy, hungry little kids ready to start the day before I am, and getting food on the table while they are under my feet can be challenging. I want them to start the day off with a full tummy of nutrition (tired parents too), and a bowl of oatmeal is one of our family staples. It’s often served with a smoothie and never without a coffee. There are many ways to buy and make oatmeal…the packets, the cups, boiling quaker oats, etc., I occasionally make steel cut oats in my crock pot when I happen to be up tending to a baby at 4am. BUT, the easiest, healthiest and most delicious version I’ve settled on is to make my own homemade instant oatmeal. This will replace whatever it is they put in the flavored packets, its healthier, cheaper and just as simple.
This recipe (although after you make it a few times you won’t need a recipe) is adapted from a cookbook I found in an adorable little shop in Massachusetts. The initial work takes less than an hour and will give you many mornings of stress free meals to feed the adults, the kids and it happens to be my 14month old’s favorite.
The recipe follows, but here is the basic idea:
Buy a big bag of regular oats from the bulk bin (from here I take out 5 cups to make granola), pour the oats on a sheet pan and bake it. In a food processor, add a handful of nuts and seeds for extra protein and a dash of cinnamon and grind, then add a few handfuls of the baked oats and pulse to get a powdery yet still chunky consistency. Add back to the sheet tray of baked oats and mix it all up, cool and store in jars. Mornings are the easy part, add a few scoops of oatmeal to a bowl with some milk and microwave! Top it with yogurt, granola and berries or whatever you like.
Homemade Instant Oatmeal…not from a packet
- 8 c oats exact amount doesn't matter
- 1 c nuts any, almonds, walnuts, etc.
- 2 T flax or chia seeds
- 1 t cinnamon
- Bake oats at 325 for 25 minutes on 2 large sheet pans, then let cool slightly.
- Pulse nuts, seeds and cinnamon in food processor until nuts are ground. Add a few scoops of the cooked oats, (about 3 cups) and pulse 10 or 15 times until oats are partially ground.
- Mix food processed nuts and oats back in with the oats on the sheet pan.
- Cool and store in jars.
- To use, add 1/2 c oats to a bowl with 1/2 cup milk or water and microwave 1-2 minutes (adjust amounts if you like your oatmeal runny or thick), top with granola, a scoop of yogurt, berries and honey