|DIY Superfood Instant Oatmeal|
I started throwing these packets together a few months ago when I was heading to Asheville, N.C. for a solo getaway. I travel to Asheville 2x/year to rejuvenate mentally and physically, and my favorite time of the day is early in the morning. I relish those few hours between 6 and 9 am, which I spend working in bed with the windows thrown open. The air is crisp, regardless of season, and event the raucous chatter of mountain fauna is subdued, reverent.
During these hours, the last thing I want to do is leave my little nest to grab breakfast. When I stay at a hotel (which I alternate with Airbnb), I'm also disinclined to spend $30 on the house oatmeal and a side of fruit for one. As a result, I've gotten creative with DIY breakfasts that I can bring with me.
A few months ago, Quaker sent me some sample products, including two containers of their 1-Minute Instant Oats. I hadn't purchased instant/quick-oats in years, as they are more processed than their rolled brethren, and certainly a world away from stick-to-your ribs but laborious steel-cup oats. But if you know me even a little, you know that I hate to waste any food, so I decided to give them a try one chilly Spring morning.
Whelp, whaddya know!?! I realized that I love LOVE the texture of creamy cooked instant oats! I had forgotten how creamy they are; how pleasantly easy on the throat and tummy.
Here's the deal with oats: all forms of oatmeal start as as oats groats; whole, unbroken grains. As noted on The Kitchn, "The difference between steel-cut, rolled, and instant oats is simply how much the oat groat has been processed. This also results in each variety having a distinct texture and varying cook times."
Steel-cut oats are oats that are simply chopped into smaller pieces. They take significantly longer to cook, as a result, and they have a wonderfully chewy texture. Rolled oats are groats that have been steamed to make them soft and malleable, then they are flattened, which decreases the cooking time noticeably. Quick/instant oats are pre-cooked, dried, then rolled and flattened. This makes them incredible fast-cooking, and they have a mushier texture...that I really, really dig! Despite the difference in processing, instant oats are still very nutritious, full of fiber, calcium, iron among others.
While instant oats can help suppress hunger and balance blood sugar (Source), they do digest more quickly than rolled or steel cuts oats, so I have found them to be less satisfying for the same amount of time.
To counteract this while still enjoying the convenience, ease and yumminess of instant oats, I created these Superfood Oatmeal Packets!!!
Adding goodies like chia seeds (extra fiber & omega-3s), quality protein powder and coconut flakes (MCT fats) provides major extra staying power to my instant oats. I add cinnamon, a little coconut sugar and a pinch of salt to make it taste even yummier, and bonus—cinnamon can help stabilize blood as well! You are certainly welcome to play around the different add-ins of choice: I have also added hemp seeds, flax meal, cacao nibs and dried fruit such as a raisins and cranberries before. You could also add cocoa or cacao powder if you're not using chocolate protein powder, as well as an organic peanut butter powder like THIS one.
There are two different ways to enjoy this Superfood Oatmeal:
- HOT: Almost every hotel or Airbnb offers access to hot water, whether through a Keurig or other coffee maker, a stove and pot, a microwave or even just really hot tap water. Simply pour your Superfood oats in a heat-proof mug, bowl or other cup (I've even used high-ball glasses!). If using a stove top, cover with water (about 1/2 inch above oat line) and cook, stirring, on low until absorbed. If using a microwave, cover with water (about 1 inch above oat line) and microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, until absorbed. I suggest using a larger bowl or cup with the microwave so it doesn't bubble over. If using water from a Keurig or coffee maker or tap, just pour hot water over oats just barely above the oat line and allow to sit 5 minutes, covered with a napkin or towel. Then stir and add splashes of water as desired.
- COLD: My favorite way to enjoy these when I have access to a fridge is to turn it into overnight oats. You can keep it simple and just pour the oats into a mug/bowl etc. and stir in enough water that the mixture is the consistency of a thick smoothie; not watery but thinner than oatmeal consistency. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour overnight and enjoy! If you have more time and access however; you can pick up a small container of nut milk and use that instead of water.
For either method, you can certainly add fresh fruit and other toppings. My favorite combinations are almond butter with fresh raspberries and peanut butter with sliced banana.
Please let me know if you make these Superfood Instant Oatmeal packets, as well as any changes/additions you choose. Whether you're traveling or you're just a busy person who wants a grab-n-go breakfast, I hope this makes your life healthier, easier and more delicious!