Homemade Instant Oatmeal Cups
In honor of National Oatmeal Month, I’m giving you my favorite way to make my oatmeal.
Why I Decided to Create this Recipe
Last year I was to have carpal tunnel surgery. I had no idea what to expect for my recovery. I heard everything from a
I searched the internet for recipes. Most had you mix the ingredients in a bowl and then divide it between the containers. That presented some problems.
One, all the cups would then be the same flavor. I wanted a variety.
Two, I found that some of the ingredients fell to the bottom so I wasn’t assured that every container received the same amount of the base ingredients.
Three, it just wasn’t necessary to mix it in a bowl, then use a wide mouth funnel to put it in the containers…
And, four, I wanted it made my way – with healthier ingredients. So…it just made sense to create a recipe that I could just line up the containers assembly line style and measure into each one. It goes quickly, trust me.
In considering the containers, I wanted something I could eat out of. Remember, I would be one-handed for a period of time. I didn’t want to transfer my food from one container to another. It had to be microwave safe. I also am against heating plastic in the
Why Canning Jars?
I chose canning jars because, first of all, I have them in the house. If you have to buy them, they are inexpensive – about $8 a dozen, even less at the beginning of the canning season. They are easy to store and bug-proof. I like to soak my oatmeal overnight, so they go from the shelf to the fridge to the microwave without any issues. Then I can eat out of the jar without any issues, too. I just wrapped the jar in a clean dishrag, then used that dishrag for the day.
You can expect the same shelf life as you would for the oatmeal and the add-ins that you put in the jar. In fact, probably better because your oatmeal is probably in a cardboard tube or plastic bag, if you get it from the bulk bin. If you put in raisins, they are in a paper box or tube, too. By putting them in the glass jars you are extending the shelf life. As I said, I only made 12 and I planned to eat them over 3 months. I knew I was safe. In fact, I would feel safe at least to 6 months.
As I mentioned earlier, one of the problems I had with the recipes that said to mix the ingredients in a bowl was that I didn’t want 12 of the same flavor. I wanted my own “variety pack.” Some had coconut and almond slivers, some had raisins, some dried cranberries and walnuts, some had dried mangoes that I dehydrated when they were in season and some had strawberries.
If you Have Kids…
These are perfect if you have kids. It is a fun easy project for them to help you put together the cups AND they can choose the flavors they want. Just keep it simple. Limit to two, maybe three add-ins per cup. When putting out the add-ins, grab soup spoons, teaspoons, or some way to measure the correct amount for each item and say, “just one.”
Depending on your children’s age you may need to halve the recipe. Then I’d use a smaller container.
Speaking of containers, remember that if you use canning jars, they will be HOT. Children may burn their hands. You may need to rethink your containers. I’m not really a microwave person, but if you are, you will know what containers to use. Or you could transfer it to their bowls once it’s been cooked.
To Use Your Oatmeal Cup
I like my oatmeal a little chewy, so I chose old fashioned oats and decided to soak the oatmeal overnight in the fridge prior to cooking. I soaked it for two reasons. One, I’m told that soaking is beneficial. And, two, that meant everything was pre-softened and didn’t need the normal 5-minute cook time. It just meant warming it up a couple minutes in the morning in the microwave. Easy-peasy. Remember, you won’t be boiling it. The jar will get hot, but not terribly so.
Making homemade oatmeal cups means you choose the ingredients. You make it as sweet as you want. You add the flavors you want. It’s just the way you want it. And it’s SO convenient! Just grab a jar off the shelf, add your desired liquid, and cook. Easy Peasy!
The recipe is set up PER serving. It’s easier to measure into each container. Just multiply for how many servings you will be making.
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup oatmeal, quick (instant) or old fashioned*
- 2 TB Chia Seeds
- 1 TB Brown Sugar, or sweetener of your choice (I use 1/2 TB Truvia Brown Sugar)
- 1/8 – 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 1 TB Cranberries AND
- 1 TB chopped walnuts, if desired
- 1 TB Coconut AND
- 1 TB Slivered Almonds
- 1 TB chocolate chips, optional, for an Almond Joy type flavor
- 1 TB Raisins
- 1-2 TB dried fruit of choice
- 1 TB chopped or slivered nuts of choice
- 1 tsp peanut butter powder
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 1 TB cocao nibs
- sweet spices such as nutmeg, cardamon, cloves)
- Or any other ingredients you desire
Wash and completely dry your containers and lids. I would do this a day ahead.
Get out all your main ingredients and measuring spoons
Measure the oatmeal into each jar. Then the Chia seeds. Then the sugar. Then the Cinnamon. And finally the salt.
Here’s where you can be creative. Let the kids each choose their own add-ins. I gave guideline in the instructions for the amounts I believe will be best and a couple blends I like. If the kids are involved just don’t let them get crazy and add more than the recommended amounts. They may think 1/2 cup of raisins will be great, but between the swelling during the soaking and cooking, they will overflow your jars and be way too sweet!!
If you are using pint canning jars for the first time, you will have the lids and rings from the package. You can use those. I use the plastic covers meant for them for dry storage. Cover and store in a cool, dark, dry place – a pantry or the basement.
The night before, add your liquid to the jar, recover and place in the fridge. I like to use thinned yogurt. You can thin it with water, milk, nut milk, or coconut water (very hydrating).
The next morning, microwave until hot – about 2-3 minutes. It really doesn’t need to cook as you would on the stove, just needs to get hot. It’s been soaking all night.
*Quick oatmeal technically doesn’t need to be soaked. It will also be more on the gooey side. Old Fashioned Oatmeal should be soaked. It will still have some “chew” to it in the morning, but will cook so much faster.
So, that’s it. That’s my recipe for homemade, healthier oatmeal cups. Notice I didn’t say breakfast. I sometimes eat these at night with a scoop of ice cream on top. Mmmm-mmmm good!
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