Thursday, February 17, 2011

Instant Oatmeal Rocks

This year Tristan did a talk about making your own instant oatmeal packets.  It was a good lesson in economics for him. .and it put the rest of us on an oatmeal kick!! He is getting more comfortable talking in front of crowds. .and that is an enjoyable thing for me to watch!! One of his first demonstrations was on making a bluebird house.  He practiced and practiced making them, and we just unscrewed the boards each time and let him put it back together as he did the talking.  The night of his demonstration in front of the club, he was so nervous that he had the screws coming out of the side walls so you could see where they entered and where they exited!! Jeremy stayed home with Devin, who was just a toddler.  He took one look at the birdhouse and said. ."what the hell happened to THAT??" We still laugh about it.  He's come a long way. .and I am hoping that he might take an interest in the forensics group next year in high school.  By the way. .his little oatmeal packet came in handy this morning as I flew out of the house to work!! This might be something you moms out there might want to try!!  He got an alternate blue on the talk in the senior division. .and he had a good critique by the judge.  Following his picture is the narrative demonstration that he used as a guide!! Hoping that everyone is enjoying the beautiful spring-like weather that we are having here in Kansas this week!

Today’s shopper is challenged to buy the best deals for their families. When it comes to groceries I have found a way to help buy more for less.
Hi my name is Tristan . .this is my 6th year in 4-H and my 6th year in the foods project. Cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be inconvenient and it can also prove to be very economical. .as I want to demonstrate to you today while I show you how to make your own instant oatmeal packets.
A box of brand name instant oatmeal packets like this one (Quaker) can cost around $3. .a little more some places, and a little less if you buy it on sale or purchase a generic brand. That makes each packet around 30 cents. By purchasing a large oatmeal container like this. .42 oz for approximately $3.98. .which will make roughly 42 packets of instant oatmeal will cost 9 cents a packet, costing 2/3 less than the prefixed oatmeal. And who wouldn’t love to pay only 1/3 of the price?? That’s a big bang for your buck!
It’s easier than you might think! Let’s go! Start with 3 cups of quick cooking oats. Place 1 cup of oats into a blender or food processor in small batches to blend the oats into a powder. I have already done this at home to save time. The purpose of using oat powder is to thicken up the finished oatmeal in your packet, so it isn’t too watery.  Take 8 small ziplock bags and into each bag put ¼ cup quick oats. Add 2 Tbsp oat powder and a small pinch of salt. Now, since I’m not a plain oatmeal fan. . this is where you can really get creative and make fancy flavored oatmeal packs. Of course, when you start adding ingredients to your basic packets. .the finished cost will also be more, but since you won’t add preservatives, can adjust the amount of sugar, and can add more fruits to your packets than what comes in the instant packets. .they will certainly be healthier than the pre-made packets.

You can experiment with all kinds of different add-ins, but I will share my favorites with you today to get you started. Because most of us don’t eat enough fruits and veggies, adding them to your breakfast is an easy way to increase the number of servings you eat. I like dried blueberries. .so I add 2 Tbsp of them to one packet of oatmeal and to make it creamier, I also add 1 Tbsp non dairy flavored coffee creamer. .and that comes in tons of flavors. .so you see what I mean about getting creative!! I also like an apple combination. .so I add 1 Tbsp brown sugar, ¼ tsp (or so) of cinnamon, and 2 Tbsp chopped dried apples. After it’s cooked I swirl in a heaping spoonful of peanut butter and stir till its melted. Delish!!
When you are ready to eat your oatmeal packets, just add ¾ cup boiling water and let stand for a couple minutes. .like while you brush your teeth!! When you come back it’s ready to eat. Now that didn’t take long at all did it!! By the way. .if you like to go green for the environment. .just toss the empty baggies into a drawer and use them again the next time you make oatmeal packets.
So, I hope you were listening. Maybe if you can help your mom save a few bucks in her grocery bill. .she’ll donate the extra savings to your allowance fund!! It’s worth a try. Are there any questions??


  1. That was great. We love oatmeal. I never knew the tricks to making it "instant" at home. See, I learned something today.

  2. I loved his talk!! I had never thought about making "instant" oatmeal like this, but will sure be trying it!

  3. Very interesting...I had no idea that was possible. I just read the other day about making your own microwave popcorn...also super simple and economical!

  4. I. LOVE. THIS. This so great. I am most definitely going to do this. I already have a huge container of quick cooking oatmeal, I just need to buy some dried blueberries and dried cherries. I like the idea of adding in the brown sugar and also the non dairy creamer. This would be excellent for preparing for camping!!!! We have our little camp stove to heat the water, just pour the premeasured oatmeal pack in a mug, add the water, I love it. And he's right this is so much more economical than buying those packets at the store! My son is in the Scouts and they go camping a lot. This would be a great idea for the Scouts to get together to make these packets before a camping trip. GENIUS! Thank you for posting this!

  5. Congratulations to both your boys on their 4-h talks! This oatmeal sounds good. :)