I am not a morning person. I do, however, believe in the importance of breakfast. As such, I am constantly searching for breakfast options that are nutritious and filling, but quick to prepare. My absolute favourite winter breakfast is porridge. Porridge, whilst being nutritious and filling, does not normally tick the 'quick to prepare' box.
Last winter I got around this by cooking my porridge overnight in the slow cooker. This meant I had a nice, hot, pre-prepared breakfast most mornings. I say most because on more than one occasion I forgot to put the slow cooker on which left me scrambling for something else to eat. At the start of porridge season this year I had an epiphany. Surely I could make my own instant oats. It can't be that hard.
I know you can buy instant porridge oats in boxes, or in little ready-weighed envelopes. But do you realise quite how expensive those options are? A quick perusal of my local supermarket revealed that you will pay 71c/100g for a box of the leading brand of conventional quick oats, and 70c/100g for the supermarket organic brand. Should you prefer to buy the individual packets, which come in a handy box of ten, this will set you back a whopping $1.24/100g. By comparison, I can make my own organic instant oats for 29c/100g. You truly do pay for convenience.
One disadvantage of the individual packets is that the serving size is pre-determined. Not all appetites are created equal, so those small packets would leave me starving by mid-morning. It's also been a long time since I have shopped for instant oats, but there now seems to be a vast array of flavoured and sweetened options. Apparently we have lost the ability to do this for ourselves.
Making your own instant oats is as simple as whizzing rolled oats in the food processor. Literally a few seconds in the Thermomix and I am set for the week. Be careful not to whizz for too long or you will have oat flour rather than instant oats. You should be able to still see small parts of broken oats in the mix.
To make breakfast, simply put 1/2 cup of oats in a breakfast bowl and slowly stir in one cup of hot water. I just use the hot water left in the kettle from making my morning cup of tea. It will look like thin gruel, but stick with me. Give it one minute in the microwave, then stir it again. Add whatever toppings you like. Breakfast is served.
As long as you stick to the 1 part oats: 2 parts water you can make breakfast any size you choose, although you may need to slightly adjust your cooking time with larger serves. Add salt if you like, but I prefer it without. You do need to cook it, hence the microwave, otherwise it just tastes like raw oat soup. But the one minute cooking time is significantly faster than stirring a pot of oats.