Thursday, August 25, 2011

Instant Oatmeal Mix

Instant oatmeal.  The breakfast we all love to hate.  I love that its quick, easy and inexpensive.  I hate that it tastes artificial and is full of ingredients I try not to feed my kiddos.  I was intrigued when I saw this homemade version and thought it would be fun to try.  It actually turned out to be really good.  The best thing about it is that it can be customized to anyone's tastes.  I'll be that even oatmeal haters can find a combination they like.

This recipe is open to a ton of variations.  If you don't use dried fruit, you can use fresh or frozen fruit of your choice.  I like using frozen fruit because it cools the oatmeal as you stir it in.  Here are some more mix in variations.

Nuts- Pecans, almonds, cashews, etc.

Jams and preserves- Just add a spoonful or two.

Syrup or sugar- Maple syrup or a berry flavored syrup would be yummy.

Yogurt- A flavored yogurt will add flavor as well as a creamy texture.

Pudding mix- A little dried pudding mix can be added to change up the flavor.  Mix in a tablespoon or so with your favorite fruit.  Butterscotch with dried apples, white chocolate and dried cranberries, etc.

Nut butters- Try Nutella or peanut butter and fresh bananas.

Instant Oatmeal Mix
Makes 14 half cup servings

6 cups quick cooking oats
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup dried fruit or nuts (Optional.  You can use dried cranberries, raisins, dried apple, dried mango, etc.)

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Store in a cool dry place for up to 1 month.

To prepare oatmeal:

Place 1/2 cup of mix in a microwave safe bowl.  Add 3/4 cup water to the mix and microwave uncovered, on high for 45 seconds.  Stir and cook an additional 45 seconds or until bubbly.  Let stand 1-2 minutes.

Serve with milk, extra sugar, and fresh fruit.

**I've found that my kiddos can't eat all their breakfast when I use 1/2 cup of the dry mix.  So I've been using 1/3 cup of mix and about 2/3 cup water.**

Source:  Real Mom Kitchen

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