This was perhaps the most fun I’ve had creating a post! I’ve brainstormed, tested and trialed countless variations of DIY single-serving oatmeal for you and here are the best of the best! These are travel-friendly DIY oatmeal recipes with all dry ingredients. Of course you could add chopped fruit and other fresh goodies into your oatmeal once it’s prepared but the point of these guys is to have pre-prepped single-serving oatmeal for grab-and-go, hiking and traveling breakfasts and snacks.
Why make your own single-serving oatmeal? Two main reasons: cost and quality control. As with any convenience food, the boxes of pre-packaged instant oatmeal at the grocery store are relatively expensive in relation to their ingredients. Furthermore, they’re often loaded with sugar and unwanted ingredients. By making your own single-serving oatmeal, you can ensure all of the ingredients are ingredients you want.
My preferred all-in-one container for single-serving oatmeal is a wide-mouth pint-sized Mason jar. I prefer the wide mouth because it makes filling easier (so oats don’t fly all over your kitchen). All-in-one means I store the oatmeal in the container and I eat it out of there as well. I can make several varieties of oatmeal, store the jars in my pantry, grab one on my way out the door, pour hot water into it at work and eat it right out of the jar at my desk. That’s what works for my lifestyle! Of course you could use any sort of container you wish, or store the oatmeal in baggies (such as for when you go camping or travel) and then dump the contents into a bowl and eat from there.
I try to minimize using plastic baggies—if you’re into baggies, there are loads of reusable ones on the market like these and these. Only drawback is they aren’t cheap, so if you’re prepping a bunch of oatmeal at once, I find that jars work best (plus I use jars for many other things so having many of them isn’t an added cost).
Back to the oatmeal…
As with all recipes, adjust the ingredients to your personal preferences. One third of a cup of oats is the perfect serving for me (this is my mid-morning snack a couple hours after my green smoothie), but feel free to scale up or down depending on your desired portion.
Use whatever kind of dried sweetener you like (sugar, stevia, etc.) or don’t. Or you could add a liquid sweetener (such as maple syrup) after you’ve prepared the oatmeal. If you include freeze-dried fruit in your oatmeal, you might find you don’t even need added sweetness!
Depending on how thick or thin you like your oats, and the additional ingredients, the amount of hot water you add will vary. Start with 1/2 to 2/3 cup of hot water—I usually eyeball mine. It should be very liquidy when you add the water—then screw on the lid, shake until well-mixed and let sit ~5 minutes to thicken. If it’s too thick for you, add more hot water and stir well. Enjoy!
Blueberry Muffin Oatmeal: 1/3 cup quick oats, 1/4 cup freeze-dried blueberries, 1 tbsp soy milk powder, 1 tbsp ground flax seed
Banana Nut Oatmeal: 1/3 cup quick oats, 1/4 cup freeze-dried bananas, 1/8 cup raw walnuts
Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal: 1/3 cup quick oats, 1/4 cup freeze-dried apples, 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Strawberries ‘n Cream Oatmeal: 1/3 cup quick oats, 1/4 cup freeze-dried strawberries, 1 tbsp soy milk powder
Chia Hemp Oatmeal: 1/3 cup quick oats, 1/8 cup chia seed, 1 tbsp hemp seed
Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal: 1/3 cup quick oats, 1 tbsp powdered pumpkin, 1 tsp soy milk powder, 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
PB Choco Chip Oatmeal: 1/3 cup quick oats, 1/8 cup powdered peanut butter, 1 tbsp chocolate chips
The ultimate loaded oatmeal is combining the peanut butter chocolate chip with the banana nut—it’s out of this world!
Add 1 tbsp of milled flax seed or chia seed for a boost in omega-3 fatty acids.
Add 1 tbsp of soy milk powder whenever you want creamy oatmeal (may need to add more fruit or sweetener), adjust water accordingly.
Play around with nuts! Chopped almonds, peanuts and pecans would make for tasty additions.
If you like a more viscous oatmeal, blend half of the oats until they are a fine powder.
Add hemp seeds, wheat germ, protein powder, instant espresso powder, dried coconut, cacao or other creative add-ins to further boost flavor and nutritional content.