I have really been on an oatmeal kick lately for breakfast. So I adapted this recipe from one I found on Taste of Home to make your own instant oatmeal mix. It is less expensive to make your own and you can change up the flavor with the type of dried fruit you add. You can also leave out the dried fruit and top it with fresh if you prefer. I also have a list of some other yummy ways to top your oatmeal below the recipe.
I chose to do a combination of dried cranberries, golden raisins, and dried apples. A combination of dried fruit in the mix along with topping it with fresh fruit after cooking is another yummy alternative. The recipe uses half regular sugar and half brown sugar. Next time, I am going to give it a try with all brown sugar. Of course, I add a little milk after cooking and top with a little more brown sugar. I like my oatmeal sweet.
Instant Oatmeal Mix
- 6 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dried fruit or nuts, if desired (I used 1/3 cup of each of the following – golden raisins, dried apple, and dried cranberries)*** see note below
In a large bowl, combine all of the above ingredients. Then store in airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 1 month. Makes 14 half cup servings.
To prepare oatmeal:
Place 1/2 cup of mix in a deep microwave-safe bowl. (My cereal bowls worked just fine)
Add 3/4 cup water to the mix and microwave, uncovered, on high for 45 seconds.
Stir and cook 20-50 seconds more (40 seconds worked for me) or until bubbly. Let stand for 1-2 minutes.
Serve with milk, some extra brown sugar, and fresh fruit if desired. Yield: 1 serving
*** If you don’t add the dried fruit or nuts to the mix you can top with many things. Here are some yummy ideas.
Fresh or frozen fruit – diced apple, blueberries, diced peaches, raspberries, diced strawberries, blackberries, or diced bananas. Applesauce is a nice addition too.
Nuts - pecans, almonds, walnuts, etc.
Nut Butters and jams – any jelly, jam, or fruit preserves you like. Butters like peanut, apple, almond, cashew, etc. are good additions. Don’t for get about nutella too.
Cereal – Throw a spoonful or two of your favorite granola or favorite dry breakfast cereal on top for some added crunch.
Syrup or sugar – add a little maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar for sweetness.
Yogurt – yogurt adds richness and creaminess just like milk but can also add flavor by the kind you use such as strawberry and peach.
Pudding mix – a little dried pudding mix can be added to change up the flavor whether it be sugar free or regular, I’d go for sugar free to save on calories. Just mix in a table spoon or two of mix for a complete flavor change. Just think of the options, chocolate, butterscotch, white chocolate or cheesecake. Think of the combinations you can make - black forest made with chocolate pudding mix and dried cherries for example.
Ice cream – a spoonful of ice cream takes it up a notch from milk. Plus you get that hot and cold combination.
If you really want a treat to can even use whipped cream, chocolate chips, mini-marshmallows, butter, crumbled candy bars and eggnog.
Here are some combination ideas:
Peaches and Cream – top with freesh diced peaches and vanilla yogurt
Blackberry Cobbler – top with fresh blackberries and crushed vanilla wafers
Black Forest – topped with chocolate chips, walnuts, and fresh diced cherries
Savory – top with crumbled bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, and maple syrup.
Spryliving.com has photos of 28 different ways to top your oatmeal.