It is already July and that means we are well and truly into Winter now. The fire is going almost constantly these days as even the temperature during the days has been quite low. July also means the beginning of ‘Plastic Free July’, a challenge set up to encourage us all to quit single use plastic items for the month of July. It’s not too late to sign up and the webpage http://www.plasticfreejuly.org/ has some really great tips to get you on your way. I also did a post last year (my very first post) on reducing household waste which involves reducing our dependance on single use items. You can find it here: 9 Ways To Reduce Everyday Household Waste
What has this got to do with time and money saving breakfast I hear you ask. Well mostly microwaveable, flavoured breakfast oats come in small sachets that we tear open and discard, making them a single use item. Not only that but I often feel uncomfortable with buying things like that because I feel we, as consumers, are grossly overcharged for what we are told is convenience. ‘Quick’ oats are literally just regular oats that have been cut down smaller so they cook faster. We are taught to believe that we are far too busy to do *all* that work and these companies will save us the hassle and do it for us. At what cost? The mounting landfill that is destroying our natural environment or the whole in our hip pockets? Maybe it is time we took back the control of our own kitchens and did things for ourselves. It is strangely empowering and will help you keep a few extra dollars in your wallet each week.
Enter my quick oats recipe. These took around 5 minutes to create and we have breakfast sorted for weeks. It was also a LOT cheaper and I can change the recipe depending on what we have on hand and I can even sneak in some garden produce by drying fruit in my dehydrator and adding it. They only contain four ingredients, all of which can be bought in bulk and stored, so you can have them on hand all the time. All you need to add is the milk of your choice and you can either microwave, cook on the stove top or cook in the Thermomix. You can add just about anything to top it off too; fresh fruit, yoghurt and a sweetner like honey or maple syrup if you so desire (though I find the dates do add a good amount sweetness).
DIY Quick Oats
6 dried dates
4-5 cups of rolled oats
2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1 cup of dried fruit (I used currants)
To make the dry mix:
Throw the dates into a food processor or Thermomix (speed 8/ 10 seconds) and process until they are cut down very finely. Then add the oats and cinnamon and process until the oats are chopped very small but not a fine powder (Thermomix – Turbo x 4) it doesn’t matter if there are still some bigger pieces left as these will add some texture when you cook the oats later. Then transfer to a glas jar or container along with dried fruit. Seal and shake the jar to combine oats and fruit. Store in the pantry until needed.
To cook the oats:
Combine half a cup of ‘Quick Oats’ with 1/4 cup of milk of choice and cook in the microwave for 90 seconds OR on the stovetop in a saucepan (heat and stir until mixture has thickened) OR in the Thermomix for 2 minutes/ 90 degrees/ Reverse/ Speed 2 (double time for a double batch).
If the mixture is too thick just add a little more milk after the cooking time and mix well.
And it is as easy as that!
Until next time,