After the crushing revelation that Shamrock Shakes are not green smoothies, and that lattes and gluten-free doughnuts (sorry, Do-Rite) are not actually parts of a complete breakfast, I was left at a loss for what to start with as fuel for my days.
I eat breakfast in the office most days, due to a 2+ hour commute and a stomach that is even less of a morning person than the rest of me. So, I need something that transports easily and can be prepared with just a microwave and a spoon. Oh, and it has to be something my coworkers couldn’t mock me for, like they do for my love of Fruity Pebbles.
The perfect solution? Instant oatmeal. The problem? It adds up pretty quickly and none of the grocery stores around me stock packets of the gluten-free variety. Oh, and the buckets of extra sugar they add to make it taste good…
What’s a girl to do? Make it at home!
It costs a whole heck of a lot less, can pack a nutritional punch, can be made in batches of any size and comes in an infinite number of flavors. So far I’ve made Dirty Chai, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, Honey Ginger (my favorite), Maple Raisin, and Mocha.
I found a lot of recipes that included powdered milk, presumably to up the creaminess factor, but it is an ingredient most people don’t keep on hand. (And by most people I mean me). When I was creating my base recipe, it was important to keep things as simple as possible. I didn’t want to add dairy to something that should be vegan and dairy free (even Quaker Instant Oatmeal is dairy free) and I most definitely didn’t want to tell people to get an ingredient they otherwise wouldn’t keep in their pantry.
As I experimented, I found that simply grinding some of the oats made the oatmeal as creamy as its store-bought cousins. I couldn’t believe it was that simple. I also added chia seeds, which you could forgo if you don’t keep them on hand, for some protein and added vitamins.
- 175 grams (2 cups) + 35 grams (6 tbsp) gluten-free instant oats, divided
- 76 grams (6 tbsp) sugar*
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 30 grams (3 tbsp) chia seeds
- Mix-ins (optional, see suggestions below)
- Grind the smaller amount of oats in a food processor or spice mill.
- Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, a stir to make sure the ingredients are evenly dispersed.
- If you want to make all your baggies the same flavor, add your mix-ins now.
- Divide your ingredients evenly amongst 6 snack-sized plastic zip bags. If you want to add different flavors, you can add them to each baggie.
- To prepare, empty the baggie with your oat mixture into a bowl or mug. If you want to make it in a microwave, add a scant half cup of water and heat for 1:30- 2mins. Stir well and allow to cool slightly. If you hate the microwave, you can add a scant half cup of boiling water and let it sit until the oats are tender, about 3 minutes.