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Here comes cooler weather, when a quick breakfast of oatmeal is just the thing to warm the bones, the soul, and it's great for your body too.  Instant oatmeal is handy, but you can make your own at home, control ingredients, and if you buy in bulk, store brands or discount outlets, you can save quite a bit of money.  This mix can be made gluten free by using certified gluten free oats.  Hint:  buy an inexpensive set of measuring cups, and keep the 1/3 cup and 3/4 cup measures with the instant oatmeal mix.  Or, for the measuring challenged, you can put 1/3 cup into cheap zipper-strip sandwich bags, but it's hardly worth the trouble and the expense.  After all, you still measure the water, right?

Instant Oatmeal

4 C. rolled oats
1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
2/3 C. sugar or equivalent of other sweetener
2/3 C. dried milk
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1 cup raisins
3/4 C. ground flaxseed (entirely optional - see Note)

Place the oats in a food processor or blender, and pulse to process until almost all of the oats are at least chopped in half or finer.  Add balance of ingredients and pulse until well mixed.  It's great if most of the raisins are chopped at least in half but not necessary, depending on your equipment.

You can use another chopped dried fruit instead of raisins, or eliminate them entirely.  Part of the sugar can be brown sugar if desired.  Cinnamon is very healthy and helps control blood sugar spikes, but you can change or remove that if you wish.  Any additions can be used - ground nuts or seeds, another seasoning - as long as it is dry, not liquid.

To use: 

Measure a rounded 1/3 C. of oatmeal mix into a microwaveable bowl.  Add a scant 3/4 C. water.   Microwave for about 2 minutes.  Serve with extra milk and/or a bit of brown sugar.  (My great-aunt Amelia used to eat it with just a pat of butter and some dark brown sugar!)

Note:  Flaxseed is a healthy addition and tasty, but mix must be refrigerated if you use this.  Alternatively, use a full 3/4 C. water, and after it's cooked, stir in 1 or 2 Tbsp. ground (refrigerated) flaxseed.

 

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