Sunday, January 24, 2010

Homemade Instant Oatmeal Packets

I leave for work a little after 6:00am, and by the time my break rolls around at 9:30 I'm ready for a breakfasty snack. Fruit is good, but having access to hot water made me think of instant oatmeal, the kind that comes in little packets flavored with yummy maple and brown sugar.

The problem is, most prepackaged instant oatmeal is full of junk, and I HATE oatmeal with salt in it. (My mom never put salt in our oatmeal; the first time I had salty oatmeal at a restaurant I gagged.)

So, I decided to try making my own instant oatmeal packets!

I started with this basic recipe (leaving out the salt), pulsing some of the instant oats into a coarse flour and mixing 2 tablespoons oat flour with 1/4 cup instant oats. I added different dried fruits and flavorings to taste:
  • 1 TB raisins, 1 TB brown sugar, 1/8 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 TB chopped walnuts

  • one package (1/2 cup) freeze dried strawberries & bananas

  • 1 TB date sugar, 2 TB freeze dried apples, 1/8 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 TB chopped pecans

  • 2 TB dried blueberries, 1 tsp. sugar, 1/8 tsp. orange zest, and 1/4 tsp. vanilla powder (found in the bulk spices section at my local health food store)

  • and (my favorite!) 1 TB finely shredded coconut and 2 TB chopped dried pineapple

I have many more ideas: dried cherries, coconut, and chocolate chips; dehydrated pears with sugar and a pinch of mace or cardamom; dried peaches with sugar and powdered soy milkor powdered rice milk. I could even buy maple sugarand make maple-brown sugar oatmeal.

At work I can put the instant oatmeal in my little mug, add about 2/3 cup hot water, and let it sit for 2 minutes. A perfect mid-morning snack!