Healthy Family Breakfasts
Beating the Breakfast Rush Hour
I was wondering if anyone has tips for making inexpensive oatmeal? I buy family size quick oats, but I long for the yummy cinnamon roll or maple flavor in the individual packets. These individual packets are tasty but also costly. Even the Wal-Mart brand is not cheap. We do like oatmeal so I would appreciate any tips.
Here's a recipe that we tried after my hubby was diagnosed with high cholesterol. It's absolutely terrific, and you can probably omit the cranberries and/or the raisins.
- 2 1/4 cups quick oats or 2 3/4 cups old fashioned oats, uncooked
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 3/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt (optional)
- 3 1/3 cups fat free milk/li>
- 4 egg whites, lightly beaten or 1/2 cup egg substitute
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla
- fat free milk or nonfat yogurt and fruit (optional)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square glass baking dish with no stick cooking spray. In large bowl, combine oats, sugar, raisins, cinnamon and salt and mix well. In medium bowl, combine milk, egg whites, oil and vanilla. Mix well. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into the baking dish. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until the center is set. Serve with milk or yogurt and fruit, if desired. Store tightly covered in refrigerator. Makes 8 servings.
Note: To reheat, place a single serving in microwaveable bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds.
* If you don't want to hassle with a whole recipe, you can just add brown sugar to your plain old oatmeal. With cinnamon and even some grated apples and walnuts, your oatmeal will be transformed. We've tried it all! Enjoy!
Susan in CA
The best assortment of recipes to make your own that I have found online has been right at the Dollar Stretcher site here.
This not only tastes good, but it also helps with weight loss and good nutrition. (I found the idea in a past Prevention magazine.) Add some peanut butter to your plain oatmeal. By adding some protein, you slow the absorption of the carbohydrates and feel full for a longer period of time. You also don't get the sharp rise and drop in blood sugar levels, which results in that famished feeling that you get when you eat carbohydrates by themselves.
Because I'm a vegetarian and lift weights, I use milk to make my oatmeal. I want the extra protein. The fat in the peanut butter makes me feel satisfied and less like you are on a diet. It doesn't take much peanut butter to flavor the oatmeal. Since I prefer crunchy peanut butter, it also adds a nice crunchy texture that you won't get in regular flavored oatmeal. I prefer my peanut butter-flavored oatmeal to any of the store variety, and it's healthier than adding plain sugar and spices! I also find that I don't want sweets as much on the days that I eat some peanut butter.
Quick and Delicious
I got this recipe from the Quick Cooking magazine.
- 1/2 cup powdered nondairy creamer
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Additional Ingredients (for each additional batch)
- 2/3 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup boiling water
- Brown sugar, optional
In a bowl, combine the first seven ingredients; mix well. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months. YIELD: 9 batches (about 1 cup total).
To prepare oatmeal: In a bowl, combine oats and 2 tablespoons oatmeal spice mix. Add enough boiling water until oatmeal is desired consistency. Sprinkle with brown sugar if desired. Yield: 1 serving
Dollar Store Deal
Our local Dollar store sells "Clover Valley" brand Instant Oatmeal in an 8-packet box for $1. Everyone in our house likes it and we think that it is even better (not as sweet) as the major brands from conventional supermarkets.
Ken in Venice, FL
Use Your Slowcooker
Buy the family-size rolled oats (not quick oats) and use your slow-cooker! We do this and it tastes great! Measure into your slow-cooker the normal ratio of one cup oats to two cups water. We add cinnamon (about a teaspoon to every triple batch) and sometimes some dehydrated apple or sliced fresh apple. Turn the slow-cooker on low for about eight hours (overnight) and wake up knowing breakfast is already taken care of in a very yummy way. We have also added brown sugar when in the mood. Why not substitute with maple syrup? This is by far our best breakfast when considering savings, convenience and nutritional content.
Take the Next Step:
- Your groceries cost less when you get cash back! Checkout 51 can show you how!
- We are always finding new ways to help you trim food costs. Visit our food & groceries section each week to get tips for keeping more of your hard-earned dollars in your pocket.
Debt is preventing me from taking a vacation this year or the vacation I'd like to take this year! Tell us: Yes, debt is affecting my vacation plans! or No, we're going exactly where we want to go but we'd love to learn make our trip as inexpensive as possible!
More Money-Saving Tips for Families
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- Sizzling savings: The 10 best deals in July
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- 6 fun, family-friendly kitchen activities that will save you money
- Save money sending your child to college
- 200+ ideas for frugal summertime (or anytime!) fun
- This week's Readers' Tips