DIY oatmeal packets are great for quick breakfasts! Making instant homemade oatmeal packets allows you to control ingredients, tailor flavors, and more.
Note: you may also be interested in our Overnight Oats recipe.
DIY Oatmeal Packets Recipe!
Growing up, instant oatmeal packets were a staple in our house in the winter. I LOVE waking up to a big, comforting bowl of oatmeal on a chilly day. It just wraps you in a warm blanket and lets you know that, even if it’s cold outside, you can be warm inside.
Sweet Sweet Oatmeal
It has been many years since I’ve purchased instant oatmeal packets. I stopped buying them because buying a tub of oats was so much cheaper and it allowed me to be more creative with what I would put into my oatmeal.
Then, after making my own oatmeal for a few years I had the chance to try one of those packets again. And you know what hit me? Just how SWEET those packets are. Some of them are more like dessert than breakfast!!
What I learned was that by making my own oatmeal, I had control over the sweetness of my breakfast. And when I was in control, something interesting happened. Little by little, I wanted the oatmeal less sweet. Maybe I’d throw in dates and not need sugar at all. Maybe I’d just add a little swirl of honey and realize that was all I needed. However it happened, all I know is when I tasted that packet again, I was blown away by how my tastes had changed.
That’s not to say you can’t make your homemade oatmeal packets sweet. But, at least you know exactly what sweetener is being used.
Making Oatmeal at Home
Honestly, making oatmeal at home from rolled oats doesn’t take much longer than those instant packets. Sure, if you make it on the stove, you might be investing 5-7 minutes. But, you can still make it in the microwave in 1-2 minutes flat.
What can get tricky on busy mornings is figuring out what to put into your oatmeal and measuring out the ingredients.
If you barely have time for breakfast, you probably don’t have time to think and measure.
Homemade Oatmeal Packets to the Rescue!
By making DIY oatmeal packets, you have pre-measured servings that you can dump and heat.
No time for breakfast? Grab a bag on your way to the office and heat it there.
Or better yet, keep some of these packets stashed in your desk for those days when you’re running a bit behind in the morning. (They make great mid-afternoon snacks too!)
Whenever you eat them, you can have confidence that you’re eating good, whole ingredients that YOU chose. Not artificial sweeteners or flavorings. Just pure, healthy goodness.
Rolled Oats vs Instant Oats
One thing you’ll have to decide is whether you want to use rolled oats or instant oats in your DIY oatmeal packets.
Rolled oats are oat groats that have been pressed through rollers to flatten them. They absorb liquid nicely and hold their shape pretty well in cooking. Oatmeal made with rolled oats will have a nice texture to it once cooked.
Quick oats are pressed thinner than regular rolled oats, so they cook a bit quicker. They’re a good medium point between rolled and instant.
Instant oats are made from oat groats that have been pre-cooked, dried, and then rolled thin. They cook a bit more quickly than rolled oats but don’t hold their texture as well, so they tend to create oatmeal with a softer texture.
The good thing to know is that no matter the processing method, all these oats retain their nutritional value. So pick your favorite and enjoy!
DIY Oatmeal Packets Recipe
For each one-serving packet, you will need:
- ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats, quick, or instant oats
- 2 teaspoons powdered milk (find organic powdered milk here, or organic powdered coconut milk for dairy-free oatmeal)
- 1-2 teaspoons dried natural sweetener of your choice* (consider using maple sugar, coconut palm sugar, sucanat, etc.)
- pinch of salt (find unrefined sea salt here)
- add-ins!! (see flavoring section below)
*You’ll need to experiment to see what sweetness level you prefer for your DIY oatmeal packets. I only use a scant 1 teaspoon, but my husband likes closer to 2.
Place all of the ingredients into a small resealable bag or container. Store your DIY oatmeal packets in a cool, dry place until you are ready to use.
- Pour the contents into a bowl and add ¾ cup water. Stir to combine and microwave on high for 1-3 minutes, checking every 30 seconds, and more frequently as the oatmeal begins to heat up.
- Cook the DIY oatmeal packets less time for thinner oatmeal, or cook it for more time for thicker oatmeal.
- Let the oatmeal stand for a minute to thicken. Add more water if the oatmeal is too thick.
Flavoring Your Homemade Oatmeal Packets
Feel free to get creative with your add-ins depending on what you like or what you have in your pantry, but here are some suggestions that I like!
- Berries & Cream – 2 Tablespoons freeze-dried strawberries, or dried blueberries
- Peaches & Cream – 2 Tablespoons freeze-dried peaches
- Apple Cinnamon – 2 Tablespoons freeze-dried apples + ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Banana Walnut – 2 Tablespoons dried bananas (or freeze-dried) + 2 Tablespoons chopped walnuts
- Cranberry Orange – 2 Tablespoons dried cranberries + ½ teaspoon orange zest
- Pecan Date – 2 Tablespoons chopped, dried dates + 2 Tablespoons chopped pecans
- Cinnamon Spice – ¼ teaspoon cinnamon + ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg + ⅛ teaspoon ginger + pinch of cloves
- Cherry Almond – 2 Tablespoons dried cherries + 2 Tablespoons sliced almonds
- Cinnamon Raisin – 2 Tablespoons raisins + ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Maple Pecan – 2 Tablespoons pecans + maple sugar as your sweetener
Oatmeal is already a very healthy breakfast option, but you can really kick up the nutrition of your DIY oatmeal packets by picking one or two of these nutrition boosters to each packet.
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp ground flax seed
- 2 tsp oat bran
- 2 tsp wheat germ
- (Matt & Betsy like 1 tablespoon grass-fed gelatin for added protein & other health benefits)
Make up a bunch of these homemade oatmeal packets at one time, and you’re set for a few weeks!
How would you flavor your DIY oatmeal packets? Share your ideas below!