By Jan Kenney

DIY instant oatmeal

The importance of a good breakfast is touted all over the media these days, as are the health benefits of oatmeal. And on chilly Vermont mornings, a warming bowl of hot oatmeal certainly has its appeal. But, in our house anyhow, finding someone who actually wants to cook the oatmeal (never mind clean up the icky pan) is not going to happen. And cereal makers have cottoned onto that fact and created instant oatmeal packs. The problem is, they’ve also often gone and added in some not-so-healthy ingredients.

Thank goodness making your own is so simple, can be done in advance (i.e. not in the morning!) and you can easily doctor this recipe to everybody’s individual tastes.

Home-made instant oatmeal

10 cups quick or old fashioned oats (old fashioned make it not as creamy)

1 teaspoon salt

1-1½ cups brown sugar (or other dry sweetener of your choice: maple sugar, coconut sugar, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla sugar, sucanat, stevia etc.)

1 cup powdered milk

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Dry fruit, nuts and\or seeds (optional

21-24 snack-size zip bags (optional)

Put 6 cups of the oats into a large bowl. Place the remaining 4 cups of oats into a blender. Blend until almost powdery, then pour into the bowl. Add the salt, brown sugar, powdered milk, and cinnamon. Mix well until everything is combined. Stir in dried fruit and nuts as desired. Place in an airtight container until ready to use. Or measure ½ cup of the oatmeal mixture into snack-size plastic baggies and seal. If you want to make each of these packets into different flavors, add fruit, nuts and seeds at this point. (Visit for some interesting mixes that I hadn’t thought of.)

To use DIY Instant Oatmeal Packets:

Pour 1/2 cup of oatmeal mix into a large bowl or cup. Add 3/4 cup water (can be adjusted depending on how thick you like it.) Stir to combine, then microwave on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, taking care to ensure the contents don’t boil over. Let stand for a few minutes to allow the oatmeal to thicken.