Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Flavored Oatmeal

I am a old fashioned oats oatmeal eater. I married a flavored, instant oatmeal man. 

He would eat it when I made it but he didn't really enjoy it. I liked adding dried fruit to my oatmeal, but couldn't handle the texture and the sweetness of instant oatmeal. 

Ahhh, the internet! I went searching for some quick oatmeal ideas that would suit both of us. I found several versions of "do it yourself" instant oatmeal packs so I decided to give it a try.

I started with 10 cups of oats, a cup and a half of brown sugar, a cup of powdered milk, and a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon.

Half of the oats went into the food processor and I hit the pulse button a few times to break it down and then added the remaining ingredients and mixed them all together to form my oatmeal base.

At this point, I pulled out a bunch of fruits that I had dehydrated, some nuts and some other seasonings. I measured  about 1/2 a cup of the oatmeal base into a jelly jar (you could do this in plastic bags, but I like vacuum sealing these in jars). I prefer the jars because they last longer and they are easier to deal with in my pantry that is full of other mason jars.

I added about a tablespoon of nuts if I was using them, and a couple of tablespoons of the fruit. Spices were added in 1/4 tsp increments.

These are the varieties that I made and the additions:

Apple Cinnamon--I added an extra 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, and some chopped pieces of apples that I had dehydrated.
Apple Pie--a little cinnamon, some apples, a little nutmeg, golden raisons, and a small amount of walnuts.
Brown Sugar and Cinnamon--a little extra cinnamon and a little more brown sugar.
Strawberries and Cream--an extra 1/2 teaspoon of powdered milk, some dehydrated strawberries.
Cranberry Almond--some dried cranberries and slivered almonds.
Pumpkin Spice--pumpkin powder (dehydrated pumpkin ground into a powder) and pumpkin pie spice.
Banana Nut--Chopped up dried bananas, a touch more cinnamon and some walnuts.

We have both tested most of the flavors and have pretty much been pleased. I made a couple of notes to change for the next time, the biggest being to make sure I added enough of the pumpkin powder in the Pumpkin Spice--you could taste it but is was very subtle. 

When I do things like this, I make a ton of them so that I don't have to do then that often--I doubled this recipe so I have about 35-40 jars of oatmeal vacuumed sealed in my pantry. They make a great quick breakfast and can be tossed in a lunch box for a snack or breakfast at our desks at work.

I love that these have real fruit in them, I can control the sugar, it has a heartier texture for me than commercial packets, but a smooth enough texture for my husband. Pretty much a very tasty win-win!


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