I'm a big oatmeal fan. I loved the oatmeal my mother used to make for us in the mornings, warm, with sliced bananas and brown sugar. When I went to college, I made huge batches of oatmeal and filled bowl after bowl, putting fruit in some servings, mixing other with granola or nuts. When I married, though, I discovered my husband only liked instant oatmeal. Flavored. In packets.
I didn't want to spend so much money on individual servings when we could make it in bulk, so I developed a recipe for apple cinnamon instant oatmeal (and by the way, a great source for gluten-free instant oatmeal is LibreNaturals):
Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal
10 cups quick oats
1 - 5 cups powdered milk, depending on the brand
1/3 cup cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
6 ounces diced dried apples
makes about 12 cups
With the larger amount of milk, add equal parts of oatmeal mix and hot water. The smaller amount of milk uses about 3/4 mix to 1 cup water.
Now, nearly twenty years later, my family is tired of apple cinnamon. I should mention that in the meantime I have converted my husband (though not the whole family) into a "hot cereal lover." (He doesn't love every kind, but then, neither do I.) In particular, the whole family enjoys a bowl of steel-cut oats with maple cream (which may be an entirely different post in the future). But the instant oatmeal is still a nice, easy, spur-of-the-moment way to have a hot breakfast.
Down here in Louisiana, maple syrup is prohibitively expensive. So I've been making maple brown sugar with maple extract, and I thought I'd share my proportions with you:
Maple Brown Sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon real maple extract
Stir the extract into the brown sugar. Taste. Add more sugar if maple flavor is too strong, more extract if not strong enough.
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