Sunday, April 29, 2012

Homemade Instant Oatmeal with Chia and Raisins

My kids and I love having a hot bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. There’s just something so satisfying and comforting about it, and it sticks with you all morning long. The problem is that we usually don’t have a lot of time in the mornings to prepare oatmeal. I sometimes buy instant oatmeal packets for speed and convenience, but I don’t like how much sugar and salt they contain. That’s why I decided to make my own instant oatmeal with ingredients that I enjoy. I happen to like raisins and cinnamon in my oatmeal, so I added those. I also love chia seeds because they’re rich in omega-3 and fibre. They work really well in this because they have a similar texture to oatmeal when cooked so you don’t even notice they’re in there. You can of course customize this recipe to include whatever you like best. Bennett especially loves this stuff and has been asking for it almost every morning lately. I’ve also been eating it regularly and I enjoy it a lot. It’s much lower in sugar and sodium, and higher in fibre that the store-bought kind, so it’s a breakfast cereal you can feel good about eating. If you’re opposed to the sugar in the recipe, you can certainly leave it out and sweeten it after cooking with any alternative to sugar that you like. A tablespoon or two of maple syrup, honey, or agave syrup would work great it this.

Homemade Instant Oatmeal with Chia and Raisins

3 cups quick cooking oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup raisins
2 tsp cinnamon

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container. Makes 10-12 servings.

Single Serving Directions:
Scoop 1/3 cup of oatmeal mixture in a bowl and pour in up to 1/2 cup of boiling water and stir. Let stand until thickened.

Microwave directions:
Scoop 1/3 cup of oatmeal mixture in a bowl with 2/3 cup water and microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring after each minute.

Possible additions:
Milk or non-dairy milk (almond, soy, coconut)
Nut butter (peanut, cashew, almond)
Nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds)
Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower)
Fruit (blueberries, bananas, strawberries)

*For kids: add an ice cube or two to cool it down quickly