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Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, but sometimes we have no time in the morning to make it! This leads to unhealthy choices on-the-go, but NO MORE! It's so easy to make a healthy energy-boosting bowl of oatmeal in any flavor you like and the best part is you control the ingredients! For our upcoming backpacking trip, I wanted us to have a healthy whole foods breakfast that was quick and easy to make, with flavors we could vary. Instant oatmeal was my answer; but I didn't want to bring the instant oatmeal packets found at our local grocery stores, because of all the unhealthy additives in them!
Quaker flavored instant oatmeal packets aren't as healthy as you might think
I admit it. I've been an avid eater of instant flavored oatmeal packets in the past. I've tried many flavors, my favorite usually centering around maple, brown sugar, and cinnamon. I remember growing up and being told to eat my oatmeal by the media, because “it's good for you” and “prevents heart disease”, but what I didn't realize was that all the extras in the flavored oatmeal packets, were not so great for me. With artificial sweeteners, caramel coloring, and more, I was a little shocked when I realized just how unhealthy my favorite flavored oatmeal packets were. As one who loves a great challenge, I took it upon myself to create my own instant oatmeal packets jam-packed with flavor, but without all the unwanted additives! Challenge accepted!
I wanted easy hearty breakfasts on the trail
With only a week and a half before we leave for our backpacking trip, I have been scrambling to put together our meals for this trip. Knowing that breakfast is going to be our most important meal to fuel our day of hiking through the Ozarks, I really wanted easy hearty breakfasts that gave us long-lasting energy. Oatmeal is such a great option and you can add all sorts of healthy boosters that give you the lasting energy you need on the trail, but
Dehydrating your own fruits for all your oatmeal flavors
While you can purchase each of the dehydrated fruits for all the flavors mentioned below, I dehydrate my own fruits to save on money! You can dehydrate fresh or frozen fruits as long as they are defrosted first. I buy my favorite organic fruits frozen from Costco because they're already cut and prepared. All that you have to do is defrost them, drain them of the juice (I save to add to sparkling water or my favorite teas!), and toss onto your dehydrating trays to dehydrate! While any dehydrator will work, I am extremely partial to mine (the Excalibur, with a timer) because of its many amazing features. It's seriously the king of dehydrators and makes it easy for me to dehydrate all the time! I dehydrate the fruits and veggies in my fridge that are getting close to going bad, once a week; that way nothing spoils before we can use it! It's so convenient!
Healthy Instant Oatmeal Packets – 10 Delicious Flavors
There are endless combinations to this recipe, so get creative and add in the things that you have around your house and go with your diet! If you are vegan, use coconut milk powder instead of cow's milk powder. These jars are great to take with you to work, on the trail, or simply for quick breakfasts at home! If you choose not to add any of the flavor add-ins, this makes a fantastic plain oatmeal! Secret confession….the chocolate peanut butter cup and pina colada flavors are pretty much staple flavors for me in the morning!
- 1/3 cup instant oats (or quick cooking oats, or museli)
- 1 Tbsp. coconut milk powder (or organic milk powder)
- 1/8 – 1/4 tsp. cinnamon powder (I like more cinnamon in my oatmeal!)
- up to 1 Tbsp. powdered sweetener of choice (coconut sugar, succanat, maple sugar, brown sugar, etc.)
- 1 tsp. chia seeds (optional)
- 1 tsp. ground flax (optional)
- 1 tsp. hulled hemp hearts (optional)
- 1 scoop protein powder (optional – use vanilla or chocolate based on the flavor theme!)
- flavor add-ins (optional – without these you get a delicious plain oatmeal!)
Mint Chocolate Chip – 1/2
Pina Colada – 2 Tbsp. dried pineapple, 2 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut flakes
Maple Cinnamon – Use maple sugar for the sweetener and add an additional 1/8 tsp. cinnamon powder (for a total of 1/4 tsp.)
Strawberry Banana – 2 Tbsp. dried strawberries, 2 Tbsp. dried banana slices
Blueberry Vanilla Bean – 3 Tbsp. dried blueberries, 1/4 tsp. vanilla bean powder
Apple Pie – 3 Tbsp. dried apples, 1/8 tsp. cinnamon powder (total of 1/4 tsp. cinnamon), tiniest pinch of nutmeg and cloves, 1/8 tsp. ginger root powder
Tropical Treat- 1 Tbsp. dried banana slices, 1 Tbsp. dried pineapple, 1 Tbsp. dried mango, 1 Tbsp.
Mocha Chip – 1 Tbsp. raw cacao powder, 1 tsp. espresso powder or instant coffee powder, 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips
Cherry Almond – 2 Tbsp. dried cherries, 1 Tbsp. sliced almonds
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup – 1 Tbsp. raw cacao powder, 1 Tbsp. peanut butter powder, 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips
- Combine all of the dry ingredients in one container. Mason jars work great if you are trying to avoid plastic, and you can cook with them in the microwave too!
HOT WATER COOKING DIRECTIONS
- Add your oatmeal packet to a heat resistant bowl or mug (or leave in mason jar to cook with) and cover with 3/4 cup boiling water.
- Cover and let sit 3-5 minutes for instant oats, 5-7 minutes for quick oats, and 7-10 minutes for museli.
MICROWAVE COOKING DIRECTIONS
- Add your oatmeal packet to a microwave safe bowl or mug that is at least twice the size of your oatmeal (It WILL rise while it's cooking) and cover with 3/4 cup cold water.
- Microwave on high 3 minutes for old fashioned oats and museli, 2 minutes for quick oats, and 1 minute for instant oats.