I keep spotting oatmeals cups like these in coffee shops and airports.
Compared to an instant packet of oats, these cups typically are more nutritious and filling (though you can always go overboard with sugar and dried fruit), and make a yummy and healthy meal on the go. I wanted to make my own at home, but I’m just a little too green to buy one-use paper cups and lids.
Enter the Tupperware of the 1850s.
My first five flavors of Mason Jar Oatmeal turned out pretty well. I kept the ingredients dry so they could be stored in the pantry. To eat, you just add hot water (boiling or from an instant-hot water dispenser) to the jar (fill to the bottom of the threading), close up tight, give a good shake (when else do you get to shake oatmeal??) and get something else done while it “seeps” (10 to 15 minutes is ideal). The result is tasty and gooey oatmeal, just as I like it. My husband agreed, though more than anything, he loved how the mason jars fit so nicely in his car’s cupholders, instead of wobbling around his front seat like his greek yogurt containers or paper bowls of oatmeal.
I’ll try the steel cut oats and fresh fruit next time (either need to cook or soak overnight). For this batch, I used half-pint jars (a single serving), and 1/2 cup rolled oats in each and my favorite dried toppings from my pantry:
- Apple Cinnamon: 1 heaping TBSP dried apple (cut up), 2 tsp brown sugar, pinch of cinnamon
- Apricot-Almond: 1 heaping TBSP dried apricot (chopped), 1 heaping TBSP sliced almonds, 2 tsp brown sugar, pinch of salt
- Maple Brown Sugar & Golden Raisins: 1/4 cup golden raisins, 1 tsp brown sugar, pinch of cinnamon (I added a squeeze of maple syrup along with the water)
- Cranberry, Almond & Hemp: 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1 TBSP sliced almonds, 1 TBSP hemp
- Fruit & Flax: 1/4 cup mixed dried fruit (crane, raisin, apricot), 1 tsp brown sugar and flax seed powder
- Currant, Pepita & Flax: 1/4 cup mixed currants and pepitas, 1 tsp brown sugar and flax seed powder
Scott just brought home the raw shelled hemp seeds as a source of protein for our 5 year old (the vegetarian). It looked kind of earthy, with green specks in it, but I think the Cranberry, Almond & Hemp I had today was the best of the bunch, followed by the Maple Brown Sugar and the old-fashioned Apple Cinnamon:
Ahh!! Did you see that? I totally misspelled cinnamon on that sticker! YIKES. Two ns, one m. Two ns, one m.
Speaking of sticker, I used the ones that came with my mason jars. The jars clean up easily in the dishwasher, but the label residue is a bit messy. Next time, I’ll try these Martha Stewart kitchen labels (available at Staples), which can go in the dishwasher or microwave and don’t leave the stickiness behind.
Delicious just-for-you oatmeal. No cooking (except for boiling water) required.
All that AND it fits in your cupholder.