My hubby and I love to be out camping and have already made 2 trips to the Boundary Waters this year. When you go out camping where you don’t see other people for many days, you need to pack food that will last for several days without being in a cooler, travels well, and won’t take up too much space. That means no pancakes and bacon for breakfast. Our breakfast of choice when we go camping is instant oatmeal. It is easy to toss in a camp cup and add some hot water and you have a hot breakfast that will stick with you while you embark on your camping adventures. Unfortunately, artificial ingredients such as carmel color, that distinct saltiness that I can always taste, and the fact that it is usually full of a ton of sugar unless you get the plain (but what fun is plain), makes boxed instant oatmeal somewhat unappealing to me. Being a DIY gal, I figured I could replicate instant oatmeal without the artificial flavors and the large amounts of sugar and I did! The hubby even approved and said it was worthy of replacing the boxed kind on our camping trips. One of the many things that is great about making your own is that your oatmeal is totally customizable. Like it a little sweeter? Add more sweetener. Like raisins or dried cranberries? Toss those in your bag. Want more protein? Add in some nuts.
In creating my own oatmeal, there was some serious Research and Development that went on to get the right ratios. Each pouch of oatmeal from a box yields 1/3 c. of dry ingredients. But let’s be honest, who eats only one pouch when you are out in the wilderness camping? Especially if you are a guy, you will almost definitely eat two pouches worth of oatmeal for breakfast to see you through until snack time. (If you have children, however, you will want to 1/2 the recipe listed below or just measure out 1/2 of the mixture when it is time for breakfast.)
Here is what I came up with after careful R&D.
Makes one wilderness sized serving per recipe.
2/3-3/4 cup regular rolled oats (use 2/3 c. if you are going to be adding dried fruit and nuts and 3/4 c. if you are just adding some sweetener and spice)
Put oats in a blender and pulse 3-5 times until you end up with very small pieces of oats and some stuff that looks like oat flour. Pour your pulsed oats into a bowl.
*If you would like to make a larger quantity of oats at the same time I would suggest using a food processor and then scooping out 2/3-3/4 c.. of the ground/chopped oats and doing your add-ins.
Note: *Sucanat is whole cane sugar and is naturally extracted and is better for you than processed sugar. It tastes similar to brown sugar.
Sugar and Spice Oatmeal:
To oats add 1 tablespoon organic brown sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon, and mix well.
Cinnamon and Sucanat
To oats add 2 tablespoons sucanat and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
Cranberry Almond Oatmeal:
To oats add 3 tablespoons dried cranberries, 2 tablespoons chopped almonds, and 1 1/2 tablespoons sucanat.
Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal:
To oats add 2 tablespoons walnuts, 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon sucanat.
Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal:
To oats add 2 tablespoons raisins, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons sucanat.
Put each of your finished oatmeal creations into individual zip top bags. I have found that those little snack bags are the perfect size.
All you have to do when you are ready to eat your homemade instant oatmeal at your campsite is to pour your mixture into a bowl or tin cup, add 2/3-3/4 c. boiling water (less water for thick oatmeal, more for thinner), stir until everything is combined and wait about 3-5 minutes. Your instant oatmeal is ready when it has absorbed most of the water (and isn’t too hot).
One of complaints that I got about making my own instant oatmeal from my hubby was, “But then there is no fun trivia to answer when we are out there.” (The boxed oatmeal that I had been buying had a question on each packet.) Don’t worry…the fun is still there because I wrote out a trivia on each little bag. Of course, writing trivia on each little baggie isn’t necessary but it does add a bit of fun to your breakfast while you are out camping this summer.