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The Nom-Nom Diaries: Make your own Instant Oatmeal

As a mild creature of habit, every weekday morning starts with tea and oatmeal for me. I fluctuate between steel cut oats (which I love) and instant oatmeal.

Instant oatmeal is, quite simply, more convenient. And for the longest time, it didn't occur to me that I could make my own from scratch. After reading a column in the New York Times by Mark Bittman, I had a light bulb moment, and set forth in search of instant oatmeal recipes.

In the end, it's cheaper per packet, and you can control the type and quality of the ingredients.

All told, the recipe takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, bag and store.

After some tinkering with sugar and spice levels, I finally tweaked the recipe I found. Enjoy:

Homemade Cinnamon-Spice Instant Oatmeal:
6 cups quick oats
1/2 cup brown sugar*
2 TBSP cinnamon, ground*
1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground*
1/4 tsp cloves, ground*
1/2 tsp cardamom, ground (optional)*
~12 sandwich resealable baggies

* - spice amounts are variable. Use more of what you like, less of what you don't.

1. Using a blender or food processor, grind 1.5 to 2 cups of the oats, until they're a flour-like powder. Use more if you like your oatmeal really thick, less if you don't. This part may require some tinkering on your part until you find the consistency you like. If using a blender, you may need to grind in batches.
2. Throw everything into a large bowl and mix well.
3. Fill your sandwich baggies with 1/2 cup of the mixture.
4. When ready to have your oatmeal, add as much or as little boiling water as you like, usually about 1/2-3/4 cup.
5. Enjoy!

The beauty of the recipe is that once you grind the oats, the rest is a free for all. You can add dried fruit or nuts (about 1/2 cup is recommended), or cocoa powder, or other spices you really like. The possibilities are endless.

Some recipes for fruit & cream oatmeal recommend adding 1 TBSP milk powder to each baggie in addition to about 1-2 TBSP of the dried fruit.

I keep my oatmeal baggies stored in an empty oats container, and have another oats container for the empty baggies, which can be reused.

Enjoy! And if you develop your own unique & tasty variety, please let me know!