Flannel Jammies Farm

...praising God on our 1/5 acre of suburbia

Saturday, October 4, 2014

oatmeal for a busy October...

It's here!  October, truly Autumn, my very favorite time of year!

There's one catch... our calendar overfloweth.  Each square (or digital sliver) on our calendar is filled, some with letters and numbers treading dangerously onto the already filled square nextdoor.  Meals must be planned lest they be forgotten until the last minute, leading to poor and expensive choices and very often a bad tummyache.  So today I did a little prep for breakfasts this month.  I have home-baked healthy muffins in the freezer, waiting to be pulled out as needed.  I have eggs-a-plenty on hand.  And I made up lots of those very handy Oatmeal Packets seen all over the interwebs (you've seen them: a few ingredients in a little baggie to be dumped in a bowl.  Just add water, heat, and PRESTO!  Healthy hot breakfast!  An oft-pinned tutorial on this subject by The Yummy Life can be found HERE.)

Top: dehydrated cranberries and orange zest strips; bottom left: Apple Cinnamon oatmeal packet, bottom right: Christmas Cranberry Orange oatmeal packet

I whipped up several reusable containers (so much nicer than baggies with no waste!) with our favorite Apple Cinnamon variety, using the apple rings I preserved in the dehydrator, nuts, and cinnamon.  Then I did a little taste-testing and LOVE our newest flavor:  Christmas Cranberry Orange.  It truly smells and tastes like Christmas to me!  The cranberries were purchased fresh, pulsed in a food processor until fairly finely chopped, then dried on the fruit leather tray of the dehydrator until crispy.  I like these much better than the dried cranberries from the store that are chewy and can have added sugars.  The orange flavor comes from 2 slivers, finely chopped in each container, of dehydrated orange zest.  (Orange peels were saved, cut into strips, and all of the bitter white removed before dehydrating.  If you don't have dried orange zest, you could add some fresh orange zest to the oatmeal when you are ready to serve.)  We don't like things overly sweet, so we often add no sweetener at all or just a 1/4 tsp per packet; you may sweeten to your taste, of course.  I also like to stir in a teaspoon of freshly ground flax or other seed to the oatmeal just before serving.  Many recipes online call for nonfat dry milk powder but we leave it out making our packets free of dairy and gluten.

When ready to enjoy our oatmeal packet, we dump it into a good sized bowl (the oatmeal can bubble over in the microwave, trust me!), add 3/4 - 1 cup water, and heat in the microwave for 2 1/2 - 3 minutes (quick oats and instant oats take less time).  No time in the mornings?  No problem... prepare overnight oatmeal: add oatmeal packet to a pint jar with a tight fitting lid, pour in 3/4 cup cold water OR 1/2 cup cold water and 1/4 cup yogurt, shake until well mixed and refrigerate overnight.  Refrigerator oatmeal can be enjoyed cold or we might heat it up.  Here are the ingredients per packet for the two flavors I mentioned...

Apple Cinnamon (Almost Instant) Oatmeal
per packet:
1/3 cup gluten-free old-fashioned or rolled oats
2 dehydrated apple rings, chopped or torn into small pieces
1 - 2 T. chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, whatever you like)
1/4 t. dry sweetener (I like turbinado cane sugar)
1/4 t. cinnamon

Christmas Cranberry Orange (Almost Instant) Oatmeal
per packet:
1/3 cup gluten-free old-fashioned or rolled oats
1 T. chopped, dried cranberries
1/2 t. dried orange zest, chopped fine
1 - 2 T. chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, whatever you like)
1/4 - 1/2 t. dry sweetener (I like turbinado cane sugar)
1/4 t. cinnamon



1 comment:

Charity Dunlap said...

YAY!! Thanks for posting this great breakfast idea!! Can't wait to try it!!