On weekdays, breakfast is generally a hurried meal. For years, my main breakfast of choice has been oatmeal – quick to prepare, healthy and satisfying. After gradually removing refined, boxed cereals from the house, I finally got my husband to switch to oatmeal, but for a long time it was packaged instant oatmeal.
Nowadays instead of packaged instant oatmeal, I keep a jar of homemade oatmeal mix on hand. It’s healthier than packaged oatmeal as there is no added sugar, and I use organic quick oats mixed with dried fruit, nuts and cinnamon. If you can’t find quick oats, you can buy rolled oats and in a food processor give them a couple of quick pulses, just to cut down the size of the oats so they’ll cook quicker (see below for a look at the quick oats).
I eat my oatmeal unsweetened and often with fresh fruit (sliced bananas add a nice sweetness and texture), while my husband likes to sweeten his oatmeal with maple syrup. When buying dried fruit, I like to get ones with no added sugar and organic wherever possible.
You can add anything else you prefer to the oatmeal jar. Sometimes I also add ground flax seeds, or I will add chia seeds to the oatmeal after it has absorbed the boiled water (as chia seeds can have a glutinous texture when they absorb water which I don’t prefer). I even add a few spoonfuls of my tea to the oatmeal sometimes as I like the flavour.
For breakfast, I usually spoon out about 4 heaping teaspoons from the jar and then add boiling water to cover the oatmeal. After a few minutes, the oatmeal will have absorbed the water and is ready to eat. When the jar starts running low, I just fill it up again with a new mix right on top of the remaining mix and shake it up.
- Organic quick oats
- Dried fruit (cut into small pieces if required) – dried apples, cranberries, raspberries, etc.
- Chopped nuts – walnuts, pecans, almonds, etc.
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Ground flax seeds or chia seeds (optional)
Fill up just under 2/3 of the container up with rolled oats. Add a layer of dried fruit to fill up almost half of the remaining space, and then fill up the other half with chopped nuts and ground flax/chia seeds (if desired). Add the cinnamon, then screw the lid on the jar and then shake to combine. Ensure you leave a little space in the jar to allow the contents to mix easily.
To eat, spoon 4 heaping teaspoons of oatmeal mix into a bowl. Add boiling water to cover oatmeal with a shallow layer of water on top (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep). Let the bowl sit for 2-3 minutes while the oatmeal gently cooks and absorbs the water. Add sliced fresh fruit and/or sweeten the oatmeal as desired. Mix and enjoy.