Up until a few days ago, I truly resolved not to have any new years resolutions. I had reflected on last year's resolutions and felt that I had succeeded; I had become better at being a meaner and greener chef. You'll notice that I used the word better and not best.
There's still room for improvement. But how? I thought about my continuing cooking conundrums and was dumbfounded. I could be growing even more food in my garden but my backyard is already filled to the brim. I'm already down to one cup of coffee per day and am nowhere near ready to give that up. I could better at keeping track of my expired spices but really, who has the time?
And then, right there in the middle of my quarterly kitchen clean-out, it hit me. Literally. A half-empty box of instant oatmeal fell out of my overstuffed pantry and onto my head. I need to get rid of all this...stuff: the boxes, the baggies, the glass jars that I save and say I'll reuse but then I never do.
But how? I am not making my own yogurt. I am not baking my own crackers. I am not making my own instant oatmeal cereal....or am I?
Ever since I was a kids, I've loved those little packets of hot cereal, my favorite being the maple and brown sugar. My kids love this cereal, too. I feel good about giving it to them because its quick and easy to prepare, makes a minimal mess, and its filling--three things you'd be hard-pressed to say about any other breakfast meal.
After doing a bit of experimenting and research, I found that making my own instant oatmeal mix was easy, delicious, super-cheap, and a great way to use up those glass jars that I've been saving.
Homemade Instant Oatmeal Mix
2 cups quick cook oats
¼ cup brown sugar (you can also use coconut or maple sugar)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1. Grind half of the oats in a food processor until it has the texture of sand. This will give your completed oatmeal a creamy texture.
2. Mix the ground-up oatmeal along with the rest of the ingredients until uniformly mixed.
3. Store in an airtight glass jar.
Seriously, that's it!
1. Mix 1/3 of a cup of the oatmeal mixture with approximately 2/3 a cup of boiling water; add more or less depending on how you like your oatmeal. Stir for about 90 seconds or until smooth and thickened. Feel free to add in whatever else you like; this is a great way to get kids involved. And we all know that the more kids are involved in preparing their food, the more likely they are to eat it.
My favorite oatmeal add-ins are raisins, crushed walnuts, and a bit of warm milk. What about you? How do you like your oatmeal?