Life hack: frozen oatmeal

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I took a page from Dinner with Julie‘s book and have started making a huge pot of oatmeal every few weeks. I freeze it in muffin tins, then pop the portions into freezer bags.

I’m something of a maximalist when it comes to oatmeal, so the ingredient list is long, but it would work just as well made plain. I use mostly steel-cut oats with some regular rolled oats (which basically dissolve during the long cooking time, adding a nice creaminess) and a bit of another grain or too–barley and/or quinoa, generally. Unsweetened dried coconut, two grated apples, a couple handfuls each of chopped dried apricots and whatever other dried fruit I have around (here, it’s a berry mix from Trader Joe’s with dried cherries, blueberries, and golden raisins). A bit of cinnamon, cardamom, and allspice. Chia seeds on top of each portion before they go into the freezer.

Then every day I take one (or two, if I know I won’t be able to eat lunch until late), put it in a wide-mouth mason jar with a drizzle of boiled cider, a splash of milk, and some frozen fruit, and take it to work. Using a jar means it doesn’t leak, and as long as I take the lid off, it’s microwave safe. It’s made my mornings run much more smoothly and I’m spending a lot less money buying breakfast that wouldn’t be nearly as good for me. I haven’t gotten sick of it yet, but I think switching up the fruits and spices and add-ins would help if I ever get to that point.

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