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We signed papers on the Farm the Friday before Thanksgiving… just two weeks before the snowiest, coldest, longest winter anyone had known in our Valley in 40 plus years! To say it was a winter of struggle would be an understatement as we tried to unpack boxes, continue homeschooling and learn to live as a multi-generational family under one roof! That year my Dad, who had dementia, got pneumonia just before Christmas and I was his companion in the ambulance a couple of times and for the several nights he stayed in the hospital. Only once during that crazy winter did we lose electricity at the Farm and only for 27 hours, but let me tell you, it was a long 27 hours!
So, what does that have to do with oatmeal? Convenient, quick, nutrient packed, comfort food.
I remember our family sitting at the farm table in the kitchen eating oatmeal by lantern light and thinking it was likely the most comforting food I’d ever eaten! The warmth, tastes and smells just somehow made the current chaos seem lighter for me. Food has a way of doing that, doesn’t it?
A year or so later I stumbled upon the amazing idea of making my own oatmeal packets! Not gonna lie, oatmeal packets are pretty inexpensive and even simply made so, why would I choose this? First, availability. All of the ingredients for oatmeal packets are already on my Master Grocery List (you can read about and download a free printable of that here) so I have the ingredients on hand to make a quality oatmeal packet on the fly. Second, the cost is about half that of commercially prepared packets. Third, diversity. We can tailor it to our own tastes. My husband even made his own basic recipe specifically to his preference. There are so many options to be creative and my kids will choose oatmeal packets for breakfast over making a pot of oatmeal. Lastly, you can powerhouse this oatmeal full of amazing nutrition for your family.
Let’s get started!
Oatmeal Packets… Basic Recipe
1/3 Cup Oatmeal
2 teaspoons Powdered Milk (I put a little extra powdered milk in my fruit and cream varieties)
1 teaspoon Chia or Flax Seeds
Pinch of Salt
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Oat Bran, Wheat Germ or 10-Grain Cereal
3 teaspoons Sucanat (or sweetener of your choice. check out my post on sugars here.)
Freeze Dried/Dehydrated Fruit (raisins, dates, peaches, strawberries, cranberries, bananas, apples, blueberries, raspberries, etc. be creative!)
Nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds)
Spices (nutmeg, cloves, allspice)
Here are some ideas for flavor varieties:
Oatmeal Cookie (brown sugar and raisin)
Fruit and Cream
Apples and Cinnamon
Maple and Walnut (sucanat lends a great maple flavor)
Raisin Date Walnut
This weekend we are heading out on a camping trip, and you can be sure that our homemade oatmeal packets are on the list!
Commercially prepared oatmeal packets are tiny! 1.1 ounces! These packs are 2.8 ounces for roughly the same cost. These can be assembled really quickly, too. On my own, it took me about 10 minutes to assemble 10 baggies. With my kids working the oatmeal packet assembly line, it takes me about half the time… well, provided they aren’t being crazy!
*Pro Tip: If you’re planning on oatmeal packets being part of your “survival” type food storage, also plan on paper bowls to go with it. If you can’t rinse or wash your bowl, the oatmeal bits will stick to a ceramic bowl like cement and add a less than fun chore to your list.