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Make Your Own Homemade Instant Oatmeal Mix

    Make your own homemade instant oatmeal mix! This recipe is as easy as combining oats with your favorite nuts, fruit, and spices.

    adding milk to homemade instant oatmeal

    Raise your hand if you secretly love maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal. (Raises hand.) Raise your hand if you are hungry 30 minutes after consuming said packet of instant oatmeal. (Raises hand.) Oatmeal in general is good for you. It’s a good source of fiber and iron. There are studies out there that claim it can reduce the risk of heart disease.

    homemade instant oatmeal

    Instant Oatmeal vs Homemade Oatmeal

    Instant Oatmeal packets can contain a lot of preservatives, have a lot of hidden ingredients that can boost sugar and decrease nutritional valule. While instant oatmeal is not necessaraly bad for you– it’s not exactly good either.

    Homemade oatmeal on the other hand is more filling because you control the ingredients. Making your own instant oatmeal is as easy as combining oats with your favorite dried fruit, chia seeds, nuts, brown sugar, and spices to keep you full all morning.

    ingredients in homemade instant oatmeal mix

    That’s why oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts! Whether it’s Baked Oatmeal with Berries, The ULTIMATE 90 Second Microwave Oatmeal, or Quick Banana Oatmeal with Flax; 9 times out of 10 I am eating oatmeal (or smoothies) for breakfast.

    adding oats to a bowl

    Make your own Instant Oats Mix

    Here are a few tricks to making it extra special so that your family will gobble it up.

    adding raisins to a bowl

    Start with your favorite dried fruit and nuts. Do others in your family have different favorites? Make several mixes at the same time for efficiency’s sake.

    chopping pecans

    Toasting and chopping the nuts in advance makes for an easier (and more delicious!) eating experience, but you can skip these steps if you’re in a hurry.

    chopping apricots

    While I’m dicing and chopping nuts and dried fruit, I also make a few extra portions to save for parfaits and salads. Eating healthy takes a little bit of prep, so why not make it easier?

    adding ingredients to a bowl

    Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. You can portion the mix out into individual bags just like the store packets, or keep it all in a single air-tight container and scoop when ready.

    Other ways to boost flavor in Oatmeal:

    Adding toasted Nuts: By popping the chopped walnuts and almonds in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes, the natural oils are released and the end result is a warm, nutty, and toasted flavor that you wouldn’t get using raw nuts.

    Add Fruit. I love raisins, don’t get me wrong. But why not give a shout-out to your other favorite dried fruits? Apricots, cranberries, cherries, dates, figs… go crazy with your dried-fruit-loving self.

    Frequently asked questions:

    How do I add nutrition to oatmeal?

    Sneak in Nutrition: Flaxseed meal, toasted wheat germ and other whole grain foods do a body good and I guarantee your children will not notice it’s in there. I do guarantee their bodies will appreciate the omega-3’s, zinc, protein, B vitamins, fiber, and other goodies.

    How do I make oatmeal savory?

    Use sage, golden raisins, less sugar, and perhaps buttery toasted pinon nuts. Look at Middle Eastern and Moroccan style spice mixtures for savory-sweet oatmeal.

    How do I cool down hot oatmeal for kids?

    Mix in a fruit like frozen blueberries to cool it down.

    measuring homemade instant oatmeal and adding to a bowl

    On busy school mornings, with my oatmeal mix prepped in advance, I can have breakfast on the table in 90 seconds. My kids have their own favorite mixes and I know that I am feeding them a hearty, healthy breakfast that will keep them full until lunchtime at school.

    person eating homemade instant oatmeal

    Other Oatmeal Options:

    Not looking to prepare oatmeal in advance? No worries. You can make oatmeal on the fly using my 90 second ultimate oatmeal recipe. Have more than 90 seconds? Try my banana nut oatmeal which can be made in advance in a slow cooker– and is is a big hit.

    Your spoon is waiting.

    homemade instant oatmeal2

    Make Your Own Homemade Instant Oatmeal Mix

    4.45 stars average
    This recipe is as easy as combining oats with your favorite nuts, fruit and spices.
    PREP: 10 mins
    COOK: 2 mins
    TOTAL: 12 mins
    Save
    Servings: 16

    Ingredients
     

    • 8 cups old fashioned oats
    • 2 cups dried fruit (chopped – I used raisins and dried apricots)
    • 2 cups nuts (chopped – I used walnuts and almonds)
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • ¼ cup flax seed meal
    • ¼ cup cinnamon
    • 4 teaspoons salt (I use kosher salt)
    • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
    • ½ tablespoon ground cloves

    Instructions
     

    • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spread chopped nuts in an even layer on a baking sheet.
    • Roast nuts for 10 minutes or until lightly toasted; set aside.
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients including toasted nuts. Store in an air-tight container for up to 3 weeks.
    • To serve: scoop out 1 cup of the oatmeal mixture and place it in a bowl with 1/2 cup water or milk. Microwave for 90 seconds or until liquid is absorbed.

    Recipe Video

    Notes

    1/2 cup of liquid is used to cook oatmeal but feel free to add more or less to reach desired oatmeal consistency. 90 seconds will cook the oatmeal but if you prefer a more mushy oatmeal, feel free to cook longer. I like it a little on the chewy side!
    We like using old fashioned oats for added texture but you can also use quick cooking. Just note that it will cook faster and be a bit on the mushier side.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 326kcalCarbohydrates: 51.5gProtein: 8.3gFat: 11.4gSaturated Fat: 1.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 10.1gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 587mgFiber: 7.3gSugar: 21.2g
    SHOW AND TELL ON INSTAGRAM!Show me your creation and rate it below! Mention @thelemonbowl or tag #thelemonbowl! I would LOVE to see!
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    Liz DellaCroce

    Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families. Click Here To Subscribe to my newsletter:

    107 Comments

    1. This looks wonderful. Wanted to check on using one cup of the dry mix to 1/2 cup liquid per serving. Thanks for the recipe,! Mindy

    2. This is the perfect thing, now that it has become too cold for overnight oats. I added 1/4c chia seeds, and reduced the salt a hair, but not by much. The aroma while it’s cooking is heavenly, also! Thanks for making my workday breakfasts so easy and delicious.

    3. This great! I am an older endurance athlete and I have been paying a fortune for Umpqua instant oatmeal. This way I can customize it to suit me. This recipe is a great base to build what you want.

      Dried apricots and cardamom instead of other spices.

      Want it savory? Use sage, golden raisins, less sugar, and perhaps buttery toasted pinon nuts. Look at Middle Eastern and Moroccan style spices mixtures for savory sweet.

      There are just a ton of ways to customize this.

      Salt? I think anyone with any sort of intelligence to follow a recipe should know a recipe is, for the most part, a general road map you can customize. A short run for me is 10 miles, in New Mexico heat. I NEED that extra bit of salt. But if it is an issue, be smart, don’t add it, or adjust to suit you.

      1. To cool any cooked cereal we spread it on a plate. I usually have an assortment of yogurt, mini marshmallows and mini choc chips, nuts, sprinkles, cut up fruit, etc and TINY spoons. They can pick up to 3 extras.. The grandkids can make roads and mountains and such. The “extras” aren’t good for a rushed school morning but are fun on the weekends. Hot/cold cups with a lid are good to grab as you run out the door and if the oatmeal is thin enough you can just drink it!

    4. This recipe was….okay. I’m about to make it again, cut the salt in half, double the sugar, and don’t include cloves and nutmeg. I also microwave it with 1 cup of oats to 1 cup of water for 90 seconds.

    5. Wondering what type of salt people are using and if that’s making the “salty difference”? I’m not sure why people can’t tell beforehand if salt or cinnamon levels are going to be too much. If you’re sensitive to it, wouldn’t you know and adjust accordingly up front?

    6. Oh my god the salt. You really should edit this recipe for future users. I wasted all those ingredients, and I can see from the comments section many folks felt the same. This was the worst recipe I’ve ever made from online.

      1. Hi Anon, I am going to politely agree to disagree. The salt balances out the sweetness of the sugar and dried fruit. That said, you’re welcome to make it your own and leave it out!

    7. I just made a batch of this last night and tried it myself today. It is SO SALTY!! I can’t even taste any other flavors! Is there a way to fix this batch, other than making another with NO salt to add to it? My kids might not even eat this and I have already wasted all these ingredients. I’m so bummed-this looked like a keeper ????.

      1. Hi Julie Ann, We make this all the time so i Just want to make sure: did you use four teaspoons? Not tablespoons, right? Just making sure. In general, 4 teaspoons works well with 1/4 cup cinnamon, 8 cups of oats, 2 cups dried fruit, 2 cups nuts and 1/2 cup brown sugar. That said, you can just add more oats and cinnamon and that should fix it!

    8. I just made this and the cinnamon is way overpowering. Next time I will use only 1/2 of the cinnamon called for. As is, I cannot taste the fruit or nuts bacause of the cinnamon.

      1. Hi Melissa – I’m sorry the cinnamon flavor was too strong! I’ve made it for several friends and family with less and they always ask for more. I guess everyone prefers it a bit differently but regardless I’m hopeful you will try it again and make it your own way next time with less cinnamon! I also love using different fruits and nuts depending on what I have on hand. Very customizable! Enjoy!

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