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Breakfast Recipe: Oatmeal with Fixings

Rolled oats with craisins, coconut flakes, turbinado sugar, butter, and a touch of cinnamon

Rolled oats with craisins, coconut flakes, turbinado sugar, butter, and a touch of cinnamon

There are many breakfast recipes involving oatmeal. This is just another one — it’s not fancy, but it is received well, even by those like myself who are not “sweet” breakfast types. Also, the ingredients are inexpensive and easy to source.

Meal stats

  • Recommended meal weight: 4.50 oz
  • Total calories: 560
  • Caloric density: 125 cal/oz

Ingredients

There are a few other viable alternatives to traditional oatmeal, if you wish to mix it up and/or avoid gluten. Try gluten-free oatmeal, cream of wheat, or cream of rice.

For some additional texture, add some nuts, like sliced almonds or crushed walnuts.

Oatmeal ingredients. Note that butter -or- coconut oil is needed, not both

Oatmeal ingredients. Note that butter -or- coconut oil is needed, not both

Clockwise from lower left: Rolled oats, craisins, butter, coconut oil, turbinado sugar, coconut flakes. In the middle: cinnamon

Clockwise from lower left: Rolled oats, craisins, butter, coconut oil, turbinado sugar, coconut flakes. In the middle: cinnamon.

At-home preparation

For solo hikers, keep everything but the butter in one bag. In cold temperatures (below freezing or so), butter can be packed like every other food item. In warmer temperatures, I keep it protected in plastic food storage containers.

For groups, give each group member their own 2-oz bag of rolled oats. Distribute equally the other ingredients in the field.

Individual serving: one bag of rolled oats with all fixings, plus separate container of butter or coconut oil

Individual serving: one bag of rolled oats with all fixings, plus separate container of butter or coconut oil

Group system. Each member gets their own bag of oatmeal. Distribute the other ingredients equally in the field. Salt + cinnamon to taste.

Group system. Each member gets their own bag of oatmeal. Distribute the other ingredients equally in the field. Salt + cinnamon to taste.

Cooking instructions

For many reasons, I make all of my meals soupy. On cold mornings, I have added so much hot water that it’s more of a hot smoothie than oatmeal. Here are my instructions:

  1. Add at least 10 oz of water to my stove pot.
  2. Add all ingredients at anytime.
  3. Cook, preferably to at least a 30- or 60-second simmer. Stir to avoid boil-over and volcano-like splattering.

For perfect at-home consistency, use just 8 oz of water.

14 Responses to Breakfast Recipe: Oatmeal with Fixings

  1. Rob March 8, 2015 at 3:42 pm #

    I like to add this to my oatmeal, along with the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. It’s cheaper to get it at Costco if they have it.

    http://www.amazon.com/Kirkland-Signature-Sahale-Snacks-Pecan-Cashew/dp/B00DV4URIC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1425850818&sr=8-1&keywords=kirkland+signature+nut

  2. Tom Clark March 8, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

    A few questions:
    – It only takes 30-60 seconds of simmer to cook this, even though it’s not instant oatmeal?
    – Would that also work as a boil-in-bag meal with a cozy for a bit longer time?
    – What’s the relative advantage of coconut oil vs. butter?

    Great to see these nice, simple recipes!

    Thanks,
    Tom

    • Rob March 8, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

      Tom, I use Coaches Oats http://www.coachsoats.com/ and use a 2 to 1 water to oats ratio and leave them in a cozy for 10 minutes.

    • Andrew Skurka March 8, 2015 at 6:48 pm #

      Yes, 30-60 sec simmer is all it seems to need. Let it sit afterwards for a little while in the pot too.

      I do not eat of bags.

      For me, it is a portability thing. Coconut oil will stay intact at higher temps. But I normally carry butter, protecting it in a plastic container.

      • Rob March 8, 2015 at 9:47 pm #

        Andrew, do you ever use ghee?

      • Cameron N. March 20, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

        What’s the reason you don’t eat from the bag? I’ve heard the argument that you may be leeching chemicals into your meal if you pour boiling water into the bag, but other than that issue I find it’s a whole lot less messy. Kind of hard to get all the food out of a bag as opposed to the pot though.

        • Andrew Skurka March 20, 2015 at 7:36 pm #

          1. Can’t simmer
          2. Have to carry around a dirty plastic bag.
          3. It’s easy to clean a pot.
          4. It’s more pleasant to eat out of a pot.

  3. Katherine March 8, 2015 at 5:33 pm #

    Yes, this is a good, basic recipe to work off of! My variation is oat bran instead of rolled oats, maple sugar crystals instead of cane sugar, and + almonds.

  4. Tara March 8, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

    I like chopped dates, chia seeds, and coconut, but my kids are really partial to craisins in their oatmeal.

  5. Todd March 8, 2015 at 7:38 pm #

    My favorite oatmeal is pretty much as your’s, except I don’t cook at all. I add boiling water to the oatmeal, but don’t boil it. I use quick oats so they are plenty soft, but when you don’t boil them the consistancy is quite different. I find they don’t get so gummy. Another advantage is the bowl or pot is much easier to clean. Since the starch isn’t dissolved it doesn’t set up like glue when cooled. It’s not the same texture you are used to, but I like it better.

  6. Rich March 8, 2015 at 11:15 pm #

    I add chopped pecans, ground toasted flax seed and home dried banana chips,but remove the sugar.

    I do freezer bag style to eliminate cleanup. Andrew, what is your pot clean up procedure?

  7. Doc March 9, 2015 at 9:55 am #

    Anything sugary usually gives me terrible heartburn, which is pretty debilitating on the trail. I love having oatmeal because it’s simple and filling, but it’s not caloric enough on its own. On my last outing, I ended up squiring about a tablespoon of olive oil into my oats to close the caloric gap a bit, and it turned out pretty darned tasty. It’s now my standby for backpacking breakfast.

  8. Andrew June 11, 2015 at 8:27 am #

    I have been thinking about your excellent post on breakfasts and I am really impressed, but something was bugging me. Now, I am not a chemist and I am just guessing here but…. Oats are great but they need simmering to release the calories, I would be surprised if one absorbed 25% of the calorific value of the oats in the picture looking quite in tact and so passing straight through you without releasing all or most of their energy. As digestion requires energy (in the form of calories from the bodies resources) the less the body has to do to digest the food, the more is going to be available to the body to walk and think etc. The picture looks fine if you are working in an office, but for maximising calorific value I would say a 5 minute (min) simmer is required to break down the oats, you will also find that 2 1/2 cups of water is required to one cup of oats otherwise the oats become thicker and stickier and require the body to supply more water to digest them, with more water the oats will be more easily digested (with the benefit of suffering less indigestion) and requiring less energy to digest (having less fibrous structure) so getting more energy from the meal. What i mean to say is cook your oats more thoroughly or you may find they are a hiker “just passing through”. Think baby food and get it all, think granola bar and get fruit and fibre, but less calories. I would be honoured if you would try it and let me know if it makes any difference.

  9. Billy Wade September 17, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

    Hi
    Coconut oil is superior to butter for many reasons,
    MCTs are called the fatless fat in sports circles as
    they give you the enrgy of fat but are not stored as fat in your body.
    Way better than butter. google MCTs

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