Make a bunch of these gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan DIY instant oatmeal packets in advance to keep on hand for those busy mornings when you don’t have time to make breakfast or for a healthy snack any time of day.
Making your own instant oat packets is an easy, healthier alternative to store-bought packets which usually contain high sodium, artificial flavors, sweeteners, and preservatives.
Your basic instant oatmeal packets could contain…
Oats, obviously…there are three different options of rolled oats that are all surprisingly similar in nutrients
- Quick and instant oats…these are digested more quickly and do not do as good a job as old fashioned oats at keeping you feeling full and stabilizing blood sugars…but these are normally preferred in oatmeal packets because they only require adding boiling water to cook them.
- Old fashioned oats…these must be cooked in the microwave or on the stove top….
Chia seeds, ground flax, or hemp seed… these all have big health benefits but with little or no flavor
Oat bran, wheat bran, or wheat germ… these all add heart-healthy fiber
Sweetener…options include coconut sugar, sucanat (dried sugar cane juice), pure maple sugar (dried maple syrup), and brown sugar
Non-fat powdered milk or protein powder...this not only adds protein and calcium, but also creates a creamier texture and taste.
Freeze-dried or dried fruit…A good rule of thumb is to use a ratio of 1:2 for dried fruit to oats.
- Freeze-dried fruit contains no additives at all and can be eaten by itself for a crunchy, healthy snack or added to oatmeal packets. Freeze-dried fruit rehydrates instantly when mixed with water.
- Dried fruit…this is more widely available, but often contains additives.
The following recipe involves mixing all of the basic ingredients together before making up individual packets.
Basic Oatmeal Mix
- 9C oats
- 3Tbsp chia seeds or ground flaxseed (optional)
- 1/4C oat bran (or wheat germ/bran)
- 1/4C powdered milk, non-dairy coffee creamer, coconut milk powder, or organic milk powder
- 1-1/2C sweetener
- 1Tbsp cinnamon
- 1tsp salt
Assembling instant oatmeal packets
- Label the top of the snack-size Ziploc bags that you’ll be using while they are empty and flat, so that way you can store your oatmeal packets upright in a basket and easily flip through them to find the flavor you want.
- Measure 1/2 cup of the oatmeal mixture into each snack-sized plastic baggie.
- Add any fruit, nuts, and “extra” ingredients.
- Seal the bags tightly to keep any humidity out and extend the shelf life.
How to make hot oatmeal.…Pour oatmeal packet into a microwave safe bowl or mug. Now Either pour in 2/C boiling water, stir, and let stand until thickened….or add 3/4C cold water and microwave on high. Instant oats are ready in 2-3 minutes. Quick oats are ready in 4-5 minutes.
How to make no-cook, refrigerator oatmeal …Add an oatmeal packet to a half-pint jar. Add 1/2C cold water and 1/4C yogurt. Cover. Shake vigorously until well mixed. Refrigerate at least four hours and up to three days.
- Amish Style: 2 Tbsp raisins, 2 Tbsp dehydrated apples, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 2 Tbsp chopped pecans
- Apple Cinnamon Maple…chopped dried apples, cinnamon, maple sugar
- Apples and Cinnamon: 1/4 cup dehydrated apples, 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Apple Pie…3 Tbsp. dried apples, 1/4tsp cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg and cloves and ginger
- Apricot Ginger…chopped dried apricots, minced crystallized ginger
- Banana Bread: 1/4 cup dehydrated bananas, 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Blueberries and Cream…1/4 cup dehydrated blueberries, cream option
- Blueberry… freeze-dried blueberries
- Blueberry Vanilla Bean…3 Tbsp. dried blueberries, 1/4 tsp. vanilla bean powder
- Cherry Almond…2 Tbsp. dried cherries, 1 Tbsp. sliced almonds
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup…1 Tbsp. raw cocoa, 1 Tbsp. peanut butter powder, 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips
- Cocoa Banana…chopped freeze-dried bananas, unsweetened cocoa
- Cranberry Orange Pecan…dried cranberries, chopped pecans, dried orange peel
- Mango Macadamia Nut…chopped dried mango, chopped macadamia nuts
- Mint Chocolate Chip… 1/2 tsp. powdered peppermint leaf, 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips, 1 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
- Mocha..instant espresso powder, unsweetened cocoa
- Mocha Chip…1 Tbsp. raw cacao powder, 1 tsp. espresso powder or instant coffee powder, 1 Tbsp. chocolate chips
- Peach Macadamia Nut…chopped dried white peaches, chopped macadamia nuts
- Peaches and Cream…1/4 cup dehydrated peaches, cream option
- Peanut Butter Banana…chopped freeze-dried bananas, PB2 powdered peanut butter
- Pina Colada…2 Tbsp. dried pineapple, 2 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut
- Pineapple Coconut…freeze-dried pineapple, dehydrated unsweetened coconut
- Raisins and Spice: 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Raspberry Vanilla Bean…freeze-dried raspberries, ground vanilla bean powder
- Strawberries and Cream…1/4 cup dehydrated strawberries, cream option
- Strawberry Banana…2 Tbsp. dried strawberries, 2 Tbsp. dried banana slices
- Tropical Treat…1 Tbsp. dried banana slices, 1 Tbsp. dried pineapple, 1 Tbsp. dried mango, 1 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut