My kiddos are oatmeal fiends! They can easily eat 2 packages of instant oatmeal every day for breakfast. So let’s do the math together, 2 packages multiplied by 4 kids equals 8 packages of instant oatmeal per day! Most boxes of oatmeal come with 10 packages for about $2.50 a box.
Now the natural thing would be to just make a pot of oatmeal every morning but here’s the thing, lil G likes peaches n cream, Jo likes blueberry, Ana likes banana, and Ellie likes strawberry. It would cost more to have those fruits on hand to sprinkle in than what I spend on oatmeal in a week.
Also because they eat so much I’m a bit worried about the amount of preservatives and additives that go into their little bodies, but I’m on a budget so what’s a girl to do?
This momma messed around with Pinterest looking for ideas and surprisingly no one had a recipe for the fruit n cream variety of instant oatmeal…at least non that I could find. So I made it up. I looked at the ingredient pouches of the organic stuff I couldn’t afford while in the grocery store and then got a bit creative in the kitchen. I haven’t done a cost analysis so I can’t tell you if this comes out less expensive but I know what’s going into it and the convenience of having large quantities on hand for a quick, healthy microwaveable breakfast is worth it to me!
So the first thing you’ll need is a decent food processor…my bowl broke this morning so I’ll have to fun another, but I love the ease of this one and it was a wedding gift so yay!
Next you’ll need some oatmeal (I’ve used old fashioned and quick oats…both work well) if you want to go organic great, if you want to sub steel cut try it out and let me know if it works!
We use brown sugar in ours, but any sweetener will work. If you prefer Honey or Maple, go with powdered versions for storage purposes.
Ok, that’s the main part, now this part is all based on the flavor desired.
For the fruit and cream variety you’ll need
Non fat dry milk
Freeze Dried Fruit is the key here, Ive tried using dried fruit and the consistency just does not work well. I found Organic Freeze Dried fruit at my local organic market but they also sell it on Amazon. We like to make a batch of each of the following: Strawberry, Blueberry, Banana and Peach. However I have also found cherry and apples (I use these in our apple Cinnamon batch) so maybe a Cherry Almond flavor in the future will taste good!
A pinch of Powdered Vanilla (totally optional if you can find it, I found mine at a specialty spice store in Annapolis), and a tiny pinch of salt…like less than an 1/8 tsp per batch!
Place the freeze dried fruit into the food processor and pulse until the chunks are manageable. Then add everything else and pulse until mixed.
I store mine in small plastic bins but I have also used snack size ziplock bags when we are on the go.
You can use water or milk, 1/4 cup makes it like this
Viola! Instant oatmeal!
We also keep these other ones on hand …
Oatmeal raisin has cinnamon instead of vanilla and raisins instead of freeze dried fruit.
Apple cinnamon omits the Dry Milk and substitutes the vanilla powder for cinnamon.
Maple and brown sugar also omits the Dry milk and substitutes the vanilla for granulated maple syrup.
I hope this is helpful!