Take-along Oatmeal Cups

If I were a Mom and had to make breakfast for my little chiclets every day, I’d make them these take-along oatmeal cups.

I’d put cute notes on them like, ‘I’ll love you forever and always’, ‘The world needs what only you have‘, and ‘I’m so proud of you

My kids would roll their eyes at the notes, embarrassed by their Mother’s love, but deep down they’d feel loved, appreciated, and go out to conquer the world with a full tummy.

And, if I were trying to encourage them to get excited about making their own breakfast, I’d line up a bunch of bowls with fun toppings like goji berries, pumpkin seeds, apricots, chocolate, flax and cookie crumbles and have them assemble their own cups.

And hey, if you don’t have a pack of wild children to feed… you could just make these for yourself, too.

This recipe was developed for Happy Days Goat Dairy. For the goat cheese version of this recipe, click here.

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5.0 from 4 reviews
Take-along Oatmeal Cups
Recipe type: Gluten-free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Nut-free
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
Customize homemade oatmeal packets for a healthy, homemade, on-the-go breakfast.
Optional add-ins
  • Hippy flip: pumpkin seeds, goji berries, flax seeds
  • Chocoholic: chocolate chunks, brown sugar, flax seeds
  1. Begin by assembling your cups. The recipe above makes 1 serving. Feel free to make as much, or as little as you want.
  2. Place a serving of oats and powdered milk or substitute into each jar.
  3. Top with whatever you have handy. Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, homemade cookies, etc.
  4. When you're ready to eat, add 1 cup water and microwave for 4-5 minutes. Be careful, the dish will be hot when you take it out of the microwave!
  5. If you don't want a warm oatmeal, add 1 cup non-dairy milk the night before and leave to sit in the fridge. Enjoy cold in the morning.
    To make a microwave-free version of these oats: replace the rolled oats with quick flakes and pour hot water over the mixture instead of microwaving it. Allow to sit for 2-3 minutes before enjoying.

    It’s fun to lay out a bunch of the different toppings you plan to use for your oatmeal, especially if you’re planning to do this activity with your children, friends, or heck… your husband. Things like dried fruits, nuts, seeds, and sweets are great!

    Prepare a 750mL jar, or a couple of them if you plan to make a big batch.

    Begin assembling your jar by adding oatmeal, then your choice of powdered milk or powdered milk substitutes from the list above.

    Now it’s time to customize! Add a bunch of different toppings and get creative with the flavors.

    Screw the lid on tight, and store in the pantry for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, just add 1 cup water and microwave for 4-5 minutes.

    Homesick heart

    I’d be flat-out lying if I said I was enjoying myself in Montreal. It’s beautiful here, our house is nice, the neighbors are great, but it doesn’t feel like home.

    This move has been more challenging than I thought it was going to be. I’m lonely, sad, and a downright sloppy mess at times. I understand these things take time, require patience and an open mind but I keep feeling like this change was wrong for us and that we’ve messed up our lives somehow even though deep down inside I know that’s not true. Thankfully, my previous employer asked if I’d be interested in coming back to Calgary for a couple of days to help the team. Perfect, right? Ah universe, you’re so awesome.

    I’m hoping that a couple of days back home will…help. I’m not sure how, it may make me more sad, but I’m willing to risk it if it means getting a big hug from my Dad.

    My flight leaves in 45 minutes and I can’t wait. See you on the West coast!

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    Comments | Leave Your Comment

    1. My bf loves oatmeal and has the crummy pre-packaged processed kind at his work to snack on. I think I’ll make him up a half dozen of these to keep on hand :)

      I’m sorry your feeling so homesick! It always takes me months for a new place to feel like ‘home’. Everything happens for a reason and it appears the universe knew you needed a few days back at home right now – enjoy the trip!

      • Kevin is the same way – he’ll eat whatever he’s given. When he worked at an office, he’d always start the day off with a muffin and coffee, then a pastry in the afternoon. Then he’d complain about how crappy he felt all the time! Sheesh. Good call on replacing what your boyfriend has with these cups! I’m positive he’ll thank you for it.

        You’re right, all it needs is time (but I have to say hanging out on my parents lawn in the sunshine here at home sure feels mighty good!

    2. my dad used to write notes on a napkin every single day of middle school and I used to hide them from friends but secretly look forward to them. I hope your trip back goes smoothly and you find some peace visiting home… big moves and changes take a lot of adjusting… patience is so key.

      • Aw, that’s so adorable! Also cute that you’d hide them. My mom still hides little notes in my luggage, purse, anything she can find, when I come to visit. It’s so lovely!

    3. Ok, until you have your own kiddos, can I be an adopted one so you can give me those notes and send me to school with all these goodies?! ;) I hope you have a great time back in Calgary. I totally know where you’re coming from on the homesickness front. Like you said, the universe has a way of making things happen when they’re supposed to, and sometimes it’s just a matter of time. You can do this girl!! :)

    4. I love these little oatmeal cups. Hubby and I have a road trip to Chicago next week and you have inspired me to make a few of these for the drive. I wonder if I just hit a drive-thru and grabbed a cup of boiling water, if I could just pour it in to soften the oats a bit. What do you think?
      I am sorry to hear you are feeling homesick, but I am glad to hear you are acknowledging it and letting it out. So much better than bottling it up and pretending it isn’t happening. Enjoy your trip home and be good to yourself. xoxox

      • I betcha you could replace the rolled oats with quick oats and do the hot water thing. 99.9% sure it would work.

        Oh I’m letting it out alright. I need coconut water to replenish my electrolytes I’ve been crying so much. No sense bottling it all up, I was never any good at that.

    5. Hey, Leanne!
      Sometimes moving is very difficult.
      I left my country to be with my boyfriend (now husband) a few years ago. I found a job in which I could speak English and my own language, married him and everything seemed perfect. Then he got a job offer in another zone of the country where jobs (except cleaning) for non native speakers are difficult to get. Moving was very difficult, even more than leaving my country. I learnt the language, but I’m still far away from a native speaker level. Making friends is difficult as well, a bit because of my introvert personality and a bit because of the language (I don’t get jokes and stuff like that).
      So, yes, it’s not easy. But I would do the same again.
      If I can make a suggestion, join a French language class to learn or improve your French. You’ll meet new people and probably many of them will also speak English, so you can make real conversation with them and not only the sort of basic talk you do in language class. Once you learn a bit, you can pick up a new hobby, or sport and soon you’ll have a whole bunch of new acquaintaces and friends. You seem to me an extrovert and cheerful person, so it should not be that difficult.
      Good luck!

      • Thanks for your support and comments. Kevin and I toyed with the idea of joining a French class but haven’t really pursued it. Honestly, we’ve been cooped up in the house quite a bit which probably isn’t helping the situation much. I love the idea of joining the class so we can make friends and begin to feel like we’re part of the community. Thanks for sharing your story, it’s always great to hear from those who have had similar experiences and feel good about the choices I’ve struggled to accept. Thanks again :)

    6. I don’t usually comment but I had to say that you are not alone on feeling sad and lonely in a new place. I left BC for the US about 4 years ago. It took about a year to feel okay. It was complete culture shock for me, so I think that it took a little longer to get used to be away from home. You can do and you have a great partner and superb doggies to make it work with you! Love the oatmeal cups :)

      • Thanks a bunch for your support. Yes, culture shock is a tricky one, isn’t it? Montreal is SO different from small-town Airdrie, Alberta. Thanks for sharing your experiences and encouraging me to continue on!

    7. oooh that looks good momma. I’ve never heard or (or seen) powdered goats milk. Where can I get some of that?

      • Thanks! I included a link to Happy Days Dairies where the powdered goats milk can be purchased. Otherwise, I’m not sure where else carries it. Happy Days also has a page that displays where to purchase their products and if that doesn’t work, they’re really responsive on Facebook if you can’t find it in your area. Good luck!

    8. Sorry, your feeling homesick. As for not Montreal not feeling like home it will take a while. We moved across country with my husband, and it took almost a year to feel like home. I felt, I was on an extended visitation. Then one day driving to work, I had this feeling that I was home, it just hit me. I don’t know why or how but I had some inward belief and a sense of calm ( I know this is my home now). Take care and enjoy your trip.

      • Thank you, Zana! Good to know it’s okay not to feel normal right now. Sounds like I have a ways to go! Thanks for sharing your story :)

    9. Those jars are ADORABLE! The oatmeal looks great too :) I set up an Oatmeal Station in our kitchen just for Matt’s morning oats; he’s obsessed!

      Sorry to hear you’re feeling down about the move :( Maybe treat it like a vacation for the first few weeks, and by then, you might start to feel like you never want to “go home.” And you don’t have to!

      • Kevin’s all about the oatmeal station, too. His eyes get all wide when he sees all the pretty colors and flavors. It’s the simple things… haha

        Love the idea of thinking of it as a vacation, I’m going to try that!

    10. These oatmeal jars are perfect for busy mornings! My boyfriend and I are going to love the convenience factor I’m sure. So easy to prep a bunch all at once!

      When I was going away from home for the first time by myself, my mom took my journal without me knowing and put those little notes of Love and encouragement spread throughout. I want to tell your family to do the same for you!! Adjusting to a new place is HARD, but we get through it eventually. Skype can be your best friend, as are the little things that remind you of home; pictures, artwork, a comforting meal. Ask Kevin for extra hugs, that never hurts :)

    11. Extra hugs are essential, aren’t they? Too sweet that your Mom did that for you, I bet you appreciated each and every word she wrote. How sweet! Thanks for your suggestions :)

    12. This is such an amazing idea! I am obsessed with mason jars! Also, so stinking adorable.
      I am glad you were honest about the challenges of the move. I had a really hard time adjusting when we first bought our house. I started having night terrors which sound a bit hilarious but weren’t in reality. It took me kind of a long time to adjust to living in a new place. I am honestly not sure why, but a lot was changing in my life at the time (new house, wedding) and I guess it was a bit overwhelming. Change can be tough, but you are awesome and I know you will adjust with time. Have an awesome trip back!

      • Thanks for sharing your story, Alissa. Definitely sounds like there were some massive changes going on in your life at the time. Great to hear that you moved passed them and settled into your new life. There is hope for me!

    13. Dont know the circumstances of why you moved to Montreal but wanted to chime in. We moved for a new job, big money, beach town, built a new house. 1 yr later, we moved back to our original town… Never looked back. Life lessons all along that journey. I think it takes courage to stay and it takes courage to pack up and go back. People thought we were crazy but, you only live once so I say be true to yourself and don’t be afraid to admit if a choice isn’t what you thought it would be. P.s. oatmeal in jars are perfect for my two kids! We do this on canoe trips but never thought of sending on their lunches. Will send hot water in thermos and use quick oats

      • I agree with you, Catherine. Just as much courage is required to accept that the change just wasn’t right for you. That must have been a challenging call for you and your family but sounds like it just needed to be done. We can’t win em all!

    14. Leanne, you are so incredibly strong that I know you will get through this! Right now, I can’t imagine what it would feel like to move across the country – permanently. Of course I *think* I know what it might feel like, but I’d never truly know until I was in that situation. I’m sure it would be extremely hard to be so far away from your family, but I remember one of your posts (I believe it was about getting on the plane to India) where you talked about how scared you felt when you got on the plane and thought that maybe you had made a wrong and crazy decision, but then you reminded yourself that when you scheduled the trip, you knew in your heart it was what you wanted. Do you get that feeling about this move? And it’s great that Kevin is there with you. Like someone else said, extra hugggsssss!!! :)

    15. Leanne, this must be such a hard and emotional time for you. You have made so many bold moves this past year and this move to Montreal is probably the icing on the cake!

      My husband and I moved to Korea this year and it has been the hardest time of my life. I’m super close to my sisters and family in New Zealand and I found that life without the traditions, routines, love and hugs that families bring can be hard. On the other hand it has really consolidated and strengthened our marriage, nothing like being alone and not knowing the language to really bring you together.

      I also can relate to wanting to hibernate a bit…The communication and language barrier ( more like a wall) makes ordering coffee, doing the groceries etc quite the mental and emotional chore. I am coming out the other side and things are slowly feeling more ‘normal’.

      A few quick tips:
      – Get ‘Viber’ – It’s a smart phone app that means you can text and send pictures instantly and it’s free
      – Create ‘safe’ routines and places for those days when you just want to cry. I always went to the early morning movie sessions on a Saturday. It got me out of the house and I could zone out for a while.

      Hope you feel better after your trip. I’ll be thinking and praying for you :)

      • Wow, what an experience that must have been! Thanks for sharing your story. I love the idea of safe places and also the point you mentioned on feeling like hibernating. That’s definitely the stage I’m in and good to know that’s normal. Thanks again, Diney :)

    16. Leanne, your recipe is brilliant! I’ve never thought of using mason jars to make this portable! Eureka! I’ve done old fashioned outs in the microwave for years, nuking it at defrost (3) for 10 minutes so it doesn’t boil over.

      Your wonderful readers have done a great job of normalizing the periods of not-feeling-at-home that are common when making a new place your home. Anything you can do to meet new people can help. One advantage of having lived in a small town is you’re more likely to be comfortable starting conversations with people you don’t know. Some will be unwilling to talk–rather than seeing that as a failure, recognize that their disinterest saves you from investing time in people who don’t suit you, or are in some way unworthy of your friendship. That person’s reality is theirs, not yours. Keeping the lines of communication with family and friends also helps–and work companions, too! As you are now doing!

      Don’t know if this is useful, but when I’m lonely I make sure I’ve got a happy or interesting book to read–like the reader who suggested going to the movies. You go, girl!

    17. So these jars are adorable. I make overnight oats almost every night for the next morning’s breakfast. I am intrigued by the idea of using coconut flour and water – does that work? I bought coconut flour on a whim, well, not really a whim…I wanted to start using it in my baking but didn’t realize that it requires almost an entire carton of eggs per 1/4 cup flour…
      Have you tried the coconut flour option yourself with the oats?
      On another note, welcome to Montreal!! I was born and raised here and am pretty much in love with my city. I understand that it is hard to move to a new and unfamiliar place, but you’ll come to love it. When did you move in?

      • Hi Alison – yes, coconut flour works with oats! Very well in fact. I like adding about 1-2 tablespoons to create a creamy consistency. It also does wonders in shakes, too.

        We moved to Montreal at the beginning of September, so we’re pretty new to the city.

    18. What a wonderful idea! My baby is too young for it but I hope that one day I can show her my love by preparing somthing as fun as the oatmeal in jars. Haha and I love the names you gave the recipes- it made me laugh. Thank you for that.

    19. Hi Leanne!
      About two an a half years ago I had to move to Montreal for school. I moved alone. It was torture of the worst kind. I don’t speak French so I felt completely isolated from the rest of the world. I could see how beautiful the city can be and how much there is to see and to do, but that never helped. It all felt distant and cold. Sometimes I missed home so badly that I felt like jumping out of the window of my apartment if it meant I could get there quicker. I had urges to run to the bus terminal and just go without looking back.
      And then two years later school was finished. When I left Montreal I suddenly felt that I really miss it and that at some point, I’m not sure when, it became mine.
      They say it takes about 3 years to make a place your home. To find not only all your favourite cafes and corners to hang out, but also find friends and a real support network.
      It takes a long time, but it gets really really good! Mtl is a special place. So I hope you hang in there and things get better soon.
      Felt like I had to say something, because the feeling of missing home you describe really resonated, with me. But to add to that, I’m a huge fan of your blog. And so is my husband even though he doesn’t even know that!

      • Thank you for sharing your story. It’s so great to hear from others that have gone through similar experiences and have come out on the other side. It’s comforting to say the least.

        Ha, also love that your husband doesn’t know he’s a fan. Too funny! Many don’t ;)

    20. Hi Leanne

      Sorry to hear you’ve been feeling home sick. I guess it’s natural when you move away from your family. I’ve moved a lot but I haven’t lived near my family since I was 17 so I’m used to it now. Because I’ve moved every year I never really get settled anywhere enough to miss it when I move and end up getting excited about the next move. Moving for me is a bit addictive.

      Last time I moved we planned to finally settle and the key for me was to make friends quickly. I joined some groups online that bring friends together and made some very close friends through that. That really helped a lot as I felt like I had a support group immediately.

      It does take time though. It seems to take about a year to get settled anywhere.

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