What can I do with instant oatmeal?
March 19, 2020 7:22 PM   Subscribe

While cleaning out my cupboards, I found a kg of instant oatmeal. It turns out I don't like to eat it as a hot cereal. What else can I do with it?

I tried reconstituting the instant oatmeal with hot water as directed and found the texture very different from regular oats. It sort of dissolves into a smooth, stiff paste unpleasantly reminiscent of raw bread dough.

(I know many people in the U.S. consider raw dough a treat, but I do not enjoy it.)

I usually eat steel-cut oats boiled into a porridge that still has some hint of individual grains, or else rolled oats soaked briefly in milk like a cold cereal.

Is there any way to prepare instant oats that produces a texture like either of those? Or else to hide it entirely in some other food? Maybe I can slip small quantities into soups as a thickening agent?
posted by meaty shoe puppet to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I put small quantities into smoothies. Extra fiber...
posted by Tandem Affinity at 7:24 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

If you have a food processor, try processing it into oat flour and substituting it for some of the regular wheat flour. I've done this with cookies but I imagine it would work with bread too.
posted by needs more cowbell at 7:26 PM on March 19 [6 favorites]

Great to add to a bath if you have itchy skin. Just put in a sock or nylon so it doesn't get all over the bathtub.
posted by crunchy potato at 7:32 PM on March 19 [2 favorites]

Cookies! I like no-bake chocolate oatmeal cookies.

I also use it as a thickener for veggie burgers.

Nth-ing needs more cowbell. Blended dry oatmeal is also a substitute for breadcrumbs.
posted by rw at 7:35 PM on March 19 [10 favorites]

Since you like the cold rolled oats in milk, I'd try preparing the instant stuff the same way and see if the texture is any better. You could also try seeing how much instant oatmeal you can mix in with regular oatmeal before you start noticing the consistency.
posted by yeahlikethat at 7:37 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

Cookies or quick bread.
posted by bunderful at 7:41 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

I like tossing in handful of (un-prepared) oats to a bowl of yogurt to add a little texture. I think instant would probably work fine for that purpose.
posted by eponym at 7:43 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

Make granola bars!
posted by skye.dancer at 7:43 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

Overnight oats? Put it in yogurt, smoosh it down, and maybe wait half an hour instead of the customary overnight?
posted by societypages at 7:55 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

Some people mix it into rice and other grains for extra fiber.
posted by whitelotus at 8:26 PM on March 19

cookies and breads.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:51 PM on March 19

There's the instant oatmeal pancake recipe I posted last year.
posted by ShooBoo at 9:44 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

This no bake oatmeal cookie recipe is a family favorite that uses instant oats if they don't have other flavors mixed in
posted by metahawk at 11:10 PM on March 19 [1 favorite]

A more self-indulgent suggestion: Atholl Brose?
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 1:34 AM on March 20

I blend some into my protein smoothies.

I make oat flour with the blender for banana bread, and as a bonus toss a handful of the whole, unblended oats into the batter for a nice hearty bread.
posted by sweetpotato at 6:34 AM on March 20

Put a third of a cup or so into meatloaf or meatballs. Seriously. The oats will dissolve and won't be noticeable on their own, but they're an excellent binder. My meatloaf always comes out perfectly solid and sliceable.
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:39 AM on March 20 [1 favorite]

Meatloaf or meatballs instead of breadcrumbs.
posted by wwax at 7:06 AM on March 20

Mix with melted butter and use it as the crisp for apple crisp.
posted by shadygrove at 8:02 AM on March 20 [3 favorites]

Banana Oat Yoghurt Muffins! I add blueberries or chocolate chips as well.
posted by cholly at 1:18 PM on March 20

Do you have an Instant Pot?


(Once tried this with almond butter instead of peanut butter and raspberries instead of chocolate chips, and it was gooood.)
posted by bunji at 1:43 PM on March 20

The famous Nieman-Marcus cookies use 5 cups, and will totally work with instant.
The make enough for an army, though, so you might want to have them.
posted by Kreiger at 7:53 PM on March 20 [1 favorite]

In Scotland, they make oatcakes, which are barely sweetened, if at all, kind of dry, and I love them. Easy to make. They're traditional, so recipes vary a lot.
posted by theora55 at 6:38 AM on March 22

What brand is it? I agree with the milk solution, or at least adding a bit to the bowl so it's not a paste. Without seeing its dissolved state myself, it honestly just sounds like a bit more liquid could help.
posted by lesser weasel at 12:59 AM on March 26

Another option is trying your hand at making homemade oat milk, which seems to be all the rage as a nondairy milk lately. There are a bunch of recipes online. If the simplest ones aren't good I would try blending in some kind of oil and maybe some sugar, especially if you're trying to use it in coffee.
posted by needs more cowbell at 4:26 AM on March 27

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