As you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of oatmeal... as long as it's not that crappy, pre-flavored kind that comes in little packets. I think I blogged last year about how I had streamlined the process of making Scottish oats in the morning using a small rice cooker.
Well, since then I've discovered Starbucks' so-called Perfect Oatmeal. Guess what? It's pretty tasty! Not to mention dairy-free. The annoying thing is that when I go get Starbucks with my boyfriend in the morning, I leave Starbucks, drop him off at home, head to work, and THEN get to my oatmeal. It's almost cold by then. And, it's also more expensive than what you could make at home, obviously.
So what did I do? I figured out a way to streamline Perfect Oatmeal at home!
The key is quick or instant oats. Believe it or not, quick oats are just as nutritious as slow oats. Both are rolled; quick oats are simply rolled more thinly than slow oats.
Here's what you need to make your own perfect oatmeal at home:
- Electric kettle (or a normal one; I prefer electric because it heats up faster)
- Snack-sized sandwich baggies
- Several 8oz or 12oz plastic containers with lids
- Food scale
- Quick, one-minute or instant oats (such as Quaker or Bob's Red Mill)
- Raisins, cranberries, or a mix (I like Sun-Maid Cranberries & Raisins)
- Brown sugar
- Nuts (such as almond, pecan, or walnut)
- Optional: A nut chopper. Otherwise, you can get slivered almonds or chopped pecans/walnuts, or chop by hand, or in a food processor.
Step 1: Figure out your ratios. Starbucks packages their oatmeal with 50 calories of brown sugar, 100 calories of fruit, and 100 calories of nuts. That's approximately 15g/30g/15g, respectively.
Step 2: Make individual baggies of oatmeal toppings. I've found that the easiest way to do this is to put a water glass on your food scale, then put the sandwich baggie in the glass, so that the mouth of the glass holds the baggie open for you. Zero the scale. Add 15g of sugar. Zero the scale. Add 30g of fruit. Zero the scale. Add 15g of nuts. Seal up the baggie, put a new one in, and repeat. If you got really fresh nuts, you might want to store these in the refrigerator to keep the nuts fresh.
Step 3: Make individual containers of dry oatmeal. Starbucks uses 140 calories worth, which is one serving, which is 1/2 cup, which is 40 grams. Measure out a bunch of little containers.
Step 4: The morning you want your super-fast, super-perfect oatmeal, grab a container of oats, a container of toppings, and turn on your electric kettle! When the water boils, add enough to cover the oats (between 2/3 to 1 cup of water depending on how thick you like it), give it a stir, and cover it. After a minute (or more, if you want thicker oatmeal; Starbucks recommends three minutes), pour your toppings on, stir again, and enjoy!
It's worth noting that if you get plastic containers with measurements on the side, you can figure out how much water you like and simply add it to the line. So say you get a 12oz container and fill it up to the 4oz mark with dry oatmeal. You can then just add water to the 6oz line without having to break out the measuring cups. Easy-peasy, even if you're at work!
Also, I don't recommend tossing the oats and toppings together dry and adding the water to all of it together. I think the fruit absorbed too much of the water or something. Just mix them in after making your oats!
As a side-note, Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal was one of several healthy breakfast items the company added to its menu in 2008, all of which were designed by a nutritionist. So this meal has a nutritional seal of approval!