Monday, January 18, 2010

Makin' It From Scratch #2 - Instant Oatmeal

So, I just wanted to make sure to point something out about this little series I'm doing about making things from scratch. I realize that the main reason why we buy convenience food is because it saves us time. Not everyone has time to make their own bread, etc.

But I do feel that we get lulled into the frame of mind that we have to buy the convenience foods because there's no way we could make it ourselves. Not only that, but saving money right now is a big priority for my family and making as much of our food from scratch can help with finances big time. So, money and independence are the reasons why I wanted to explore what I really could make from scratch myself - and of course I had to share it.

Okay, so I know the last post was a really obvious one. Bread is something a lot of people make from scratch just because they like it. In my mind homemade bread is more like a treat than a staple, but I am trying to change that. This past week we survived on just one loaf of homemade bread (100% whole wheat). Even though the dough rose beautifully, it was still a little dense. (It made great toast!) However, my 2 year old son ate it just fine, so I think that's the ultimate test. This week I think I'll try just a white bread using unbleached flour and see how that compares.

Anyway, on to the exciting post for the day:
Instant Oatmeal.
Need I say that store bought instant oatmeal is expensive and rather BLAH? Well, here is a revelation!

I am ashamed to say that it never occurred to me that I could make instant oatmeal myself. Well, guess what?? You CAN! I cannot stress how EASY this is. It took me 5 minutes to mix this recipe up and it was absolutely delicious!!! Store bought can't touch this stuff.

One minute in the microwave, a little milk and ooooooh. This tasted so, so good. It could have been the fact that I'm 8 1/2 months pregnant and it was snack time, but no. It really was that yummy and tasted so fresh!

Here's the recipe:

Instant Oatmeal (Cinnamon Raisin)
(may be doubled, tripled, or quadrupled - you may need to, it's that good!)

2 cups quick oats
1 cup quick oats (blended to a powder)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins

Mix all ingredients really well and place in an air tight container. Makes about a 1 quart mason jarful, or 8 servings.

To serve, scoop out a 1/4 cup of the mix, add 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup boiling water (depending on how thick or thin you like your oatmeal). Stir and let stand for 2 minutes. (Or add the water to the oatmeal mix in a bowl and microwave for one minute.)

To make it even more quick and convenient you can divide the mix into separate baggies. For this method, do not mix all the ingredients together. Instead in each plastic bag put:

1/4 c. quick oats
2 Tbsp. powdered oats
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 Tbsp. raisins

To prepare, add 1/2 c. - 3/4 c. boiling water and let stand for 2 minutes. Makes 8 servings. (And if you're really thrifty, you can reuse your baggies!)

You can try different variations. I've seen apples & cinnamon (using minced, dried apples), cranberry & walnut (using dried cranberries) and blueberries & cream (using dried blueberries and powdered creamer). Have fun coming up with your own!

(And when you go out to buy your oats, do some research on places near you that sell oats in bulk. It will be far, far cheaper than buying those dinky little canisters.)


Rachel B. said...

I've been making my own homemade oatmeal for years. I will never touch the store bought stuff. YUCK!

Sarah Rachelle said...

I grew up with my mom making homemade oatmeal. But I had never heard of anyone making their own instant oatmeal - which is why this got me really excited! It really is a lot better than the icky store-bought instant stuff.

Keleigh, Cecilia and Family said...

do you have any suggestions as to where to buy good priced bulk oatmeal online? thanks!

Sarah Rachelle said...

I don't buy my oats online, but I did find this one website that seems to have pretty decent prices:
You can also try your local store/health food store that have bulk bins. Many times they will be happy to order in bulk for you and give you a percentage discount.
Good luck!

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