Sunday, May 3, 2015

Frozen Oatmeal Cups

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day - well, at least that’s what we’re told. Personally, I do feel a lot more energetic throughout the day if I start with some exercise and a good breakfast. Weekday mornings, however, don’t make it too easy to accomplish all that. In the past I would often throw together all the ingredients for instant oatmeal in a microwaveable container and bring it to work. That hardly took any time in the morning to prep, but I got tired of eating instant oatmeal. It is mushier and lacks the hardy texture and taste of old fashioned oats. Determined to still be able to have oatmeal as an option for weekday breakfast, I decided to cook a large batch of old fashioned oats over the weekend, freeze it and enjoy it through the week. The toppings are frozen right into the oatmeal, making it very convenient to grab some from the freezer before heading to work in the morning. This has been working really well for me and its so versatile that I look forward to making new flavors each week!


Ingredients (makes ~10 muffin cups):
1.5 cups old fashioned oats
2 cups water
1-1.5 cups milk
The water-milk ratio is up to you - you can completely eliminate one or the other as well. The package instructions typically ask for 1 part oats, 2 parts liquid. I generally add a little more liquid since it gets absorbed as the oatmeal cools down and then reheating it in the microwave can make it even drier.

Optional toppings: (pretty much anything you put in your regular oatmeal)

White sugar, brown sugar, honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, chocolate chips

Dried fruits - cranberries, raisins, chopped apricots
Berries (fresh or frozen)
Any other chopped fruit (preferably non citrus if using milk)

Nuts and seeds:
Chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, soaked chia seeds, poppy seeds
Granola for extra crunch (I generally avoid this and just use nuts)

Spices and flavoring:
Cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla essence, cocoa powder

Extra nutrition:
Flaxseed/chia seed powder
vanilla/chocolate protein powder (eliminate sweetener if powder is sweet)

Bring the water-milk mixture to a boil on medium heat. Add the oats and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add any spices/flavorings that you plan to use. You may also add sweetener while cooking - I typically add a drizzle of honey/agave as a topping. Take off the heat and let the oatmeal cool down a little.

Divide the cooked oatmeal into muffin cups leaving a little room on top for the add-ins (silicone moulds work wonderfully for this - but you should be able to pop the frozen oatmeal out even without the moulds). Add your favorite toppings. Make sure everything touches the oatmeal so that it sticks. You can push the fruit in a little to make room on top if needed. Put it in the freezer for a couple hours. Once frozen, you can pop them out from the pan and store in an airtight plastic bag or container.

Here are a few flavor combinations that I’ve made so far (and remembered to take pictures of). I'll keep updating this space whenever I make something new/interesting.


The possibilities are endless and it is a lot of fun experimenting! When you’re ready to eat, heat as many oatmeal cups as you like in the microwave. I generally heat up two for my breakfast and it takes about 1-1.5 minutes on high setting to heat up. Add a little water/milk if desired and enjoy a hot bowl of hearty oatmeal.

~ Gayatri


  1. I've been freezing oatmeal on weekends for weekday breakfast for years now but I mostly do it with steel cut oats and usually add toppings while eating. Mine never looked as pretty as yours :) So inspiring, must try your flavour combinations and make this an interesting project instead of a Sunday night chore.

  2. Priya, do you freeze them individually as well? I also froze them without toppings at first, but I kept forgetting to bring sugar/honey to work :P - I need a little bit of a sweetener with oatmeal unless there's fresh fruit. Adding sweetener was the primary motivation behind this ;-) .. and then I decided to just add everything else as well. Hardly takes any extra time, and it is so much fun!


  3. I usually freeze it in the tupperware I use to carry it to the office. I add some brown sugar and a pinch salt while cooking and as far as toppings go, I've used anything from whatever fresh fruit is in stock at home to the trail mix from the vending machine at work!