Making oatmeal is not hard. It is, in fact, very easy. But let me make it even easier. With this almost-instant oatmeal recipe hack, all you need to do is boil water. No recipe, no measuring, no dirty pans. It’s healthier than takeout oatmeal masquerading as healthy food. It’s less wasteful than the little packets of instant oatmeal. And you can tuck it into your purse for a breakfast on the run.
This oatmeal recipe is so amazingly easy that it was featured on LifeHacker.
How to make oatmeal in a jar
- Pour dry rolled oats (not instant) into a canning jar to the halfway point. I don’t care what size canning jar you use. A half-pint jar will make one serving; a pint jar will make two servings; and a quart will make four servings. You choose what will work best for your situation.
- Add a handful of extras if you’d like: chopped nuts, flax seeds, dried fruit…whatever suits your fancy.
- Add a bit of honey or maple syrup or brown sugar. Top it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Pour boiling water into the jar to the bottom of the threads. Screw on lid and invert the jar a couple of times to mix the water with the dry ingredients. Let the jar sit on your counter while you finish getting ready for work or school. Or tuck it into your bag and take it with you for breakfast at your desk. Wherever you let it rest, in 15 minutes it will be ready to eat. Add a little butter or milk, and top it with fresh fruit if you like.
- Take the jar with you for breakfast on the go or eat it at home.
Notes about oats
The texture of oats prepared in this manner is slightly different than oats prepared on the stove top, but the time and energy savings is a fair trade, I think.
If you have a Thermos-type container you can use the same method, though it will be a little harder to gauge your ingredients without measuring. In a Thermos, your breakfast will stay hotter longer.
I buy rolled oats in bulk (25 pounds at a time) from my health food store. That quantity lasts my family of four about 4-5 months. We use it primarily for making granola and granola bars but also for oatmeal and other baking.
Want to hack this hack? Next time you have a nearly-empty jar of homemade jam or jelly (in a canning jar!), whip up this oatmeal recipe in that jar. The leftover jelly will flavor the oatmeal and nothing will go to waste!