Banana Oatmeal Mix

Oatmeal has a laundry list of health benefits.  It’s a high-fiber food rich in carbohydrates that provides energy and helps people achieve and maintain healthy weight and blood pressure.  It’s also a BIG comfort food, especially as part of a hearty breakfast on a cold morning.

 

Before we go a lot further, I have to be honest:  This is not, in any way, a health food!  This recipe works for my family.  There are plenty of ways to make it healthier.  If you don’t care to use dairy, you can substitute powdered coconut milk.  Staying away from sugar?  Use coconut sugar which has a much lower glycemic index than regular sugar.  Or you can use the sugar substitute you feel comfortable using.  Please consider this recipe a canvas.  It’s hard to mess up oatmeal.  Because I make a lot at a time and often store it for extended times, I do not add nuts to my mix.  I add them as I make individual bowls of oatmeal.

 

Honestly, I was never such a huge fan of oatmeal back when I was cooking and eating it plain.  Then I discovered Chef Tess.  At the time she was working for Honeyville and had developed a collection of flavored oatmeal “packets” for individuals and a separate collection of flavored oatmeal family-sized meals in quart jars.  The beauty of these, aside from being delicious, was that they could be made ahead and stored until needed.

 

I bought stacks of small plastic storage containers and made all kinds of flavored oatmeal that was ready with the addition of hot water.  The toughest part about that was having stacks of containers all over the kitchen.  At least those containers could be washed and reused – no sense in being wasteful with plastic bags, the only other way I could think of to package breakfast.

 

The oatmeal in the quart jars was equally delicious – or even more, truth be told.  I’m a pushover for coconut!  the drawback to those was that they took a good 25 minutes of constant stirring before they were ready to eat.  (If you read the recipes on the links, you know that some of them were meant to be baked.  Yeah – I didn’t do that.  I dumped the jars into a big pot, added a jar full of water, and boiled away.)  They were so good it was totally worth the effort, but that kind of time investment could only be made on a weekend or holiday.  In order to have my favorite raspberry oatmeal on a weekday I would cook the whole jar ahead of time, add a splash of water when I was ready, and reheat it.  It was a great solution – until I had this big idea of my own…

 

Why not make a huge bulk mix of the oatmeal I wanted using quick cooking oats instead of the steel cut oats?  Problem solved!  Delicious oatmeal any time I want, no stacks of individual-sized serving containers, and it’s very easy to accommodate large and small appetites by adjusting the amount of mix you put in the bowl.

 

So, if you enjoy a warm bowl of oatmeal, enjoy flavors you can’t buy in the store-made packets, but don’t have a lot of time to cook in the morning, this might be a solution for you, too.  I have tweaked the original recipes quite a bit.  You can tweak them more.  I use real, organic sugar.  If you don’t use sugar, feel free to substitute for that.  I also wait and add nuts as I make the oatmeal rather than adding them to the mix.  It seems easier that way, especially since not everyone in my family enjoys nuts, and the rest of us don’t necessarily want them every time.

 

Quick Banana Oatmeal Mix

2  lbs (approximately 10 cups) quick cooking rolled oats

1 cup powdered milk

1 cup sugar

1 cup unsweetened, fine coconut flakes

1 package (4 serving size) butterscotch pudding mix (not instant)

1 package (4 serving size) banana pudding mix (not instant)

1 can (10 oz) freeze dried bananas, broken into smaller pieces

1 teaspoon salt ( I use Himalayan Pink salt)

Mix all ingredients together well.  Store in an airtight container.

 

To serve, put the amount of oatmeal you would like in a bowl and an equal amount of boiling water.  Adjust the liquid as needed, depending on how thick you like your oats.  Allow to stand for 5 minutes to rehydrate the bananas.  You can microwave it for 30 seconds or so, too, if you need to reheat it.

 

There are all sorts of ways to dress this up.  Stir in some walnuts or pecans.  Sprinkle some mini chocolate chips on top.  Whatever you like!

 

Does this seem like an enormous amount of mix?  Are you wondering if you’ll get through it before it gets stale? This mix keeps well in a vacuum sealed canning jar.  I fill the jar, put a fresh lid on top, then use the FoodSaver to remove the extra air.  Everything stays fresh!  Store the mixture in a dark place.  Like to camp?  Seal individual servings into storage bags.  What a delicious way to start the day!