I am SO excited to share this with you! A few weeks ago I was looking for new ideas on Pinterest and came across this post from The Yummy Life about Refrigerator Oatmeal. A few months ago I probably would have been turned off by this recipe because I used to think oatmeal had to be hot. I admit that the idea of cold oatmeal kinda creeped me out at first. However, I was brave enough to try the Oatmeal Parfait recipe from The Hungry Girl Diet book, and my life was changed forever. 😀
Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but truly my entire way of thinking WAS changed, so that’s pretty cool. I absolutely loved the Oatmeal Parfait recipe that layers cold oatmeal (pre-cooked) with fruit and nuts. It is DELICIOUS. So, since I knew that I liked oatmeal that way, I was brave enough to experiment with the Refrigerator Oatmeal.
I was especially excited about the no cooking part. Honestly, cooking the oatmeal is the main reason I don’t eat it more often. I don’t know why, but it just seems like such a pain. It takes so long to cook and I feel like I have to be stirring it constantly so it doesn’t stick. I just get impatient and feel like it’s not worth the effort. That problem is totally solved with the Refrigerator Oatmeal! I can pull it out of the fridge and eat it right away – no prep time in the morning!!!
I need to give complete credit to The Yummy Life for turning me on to this idea. Now that I have the basic formula (Thanks, Monica!), I can experiment and make it suitable for my own tastes and preferences! Please read her post for complete info on the concept behind the recipe and why you use which ingredients. I am just going to share my experience.
Last night before bed, I threw together 4 servings of the oatmeal (2 blueberry and 2 mandarin orange). It only took me about 15 minutes. This is a huge part of why I like this recipe. Frankly, the quicker and easier a recipe is, the more likely I am to repeat it. I put 2 in the fridge and 2 in the freezer.
I started with the recipe from The Yummy Life for Mandarin Orange Refrigerator Oatmeal, and I tweaked it a bit based on what I had on hand. Here are the ingredients that I used:
- 1/4 cup old fashioned oats (not quick oats)
- 1/3 cup skim milk
- 1/4 cup plain, non-fat Greek Yogurt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons whole Chia Seeds
- 1 packet sucralose (generic Splenda)
- 1 Tbsp sugar-free Orange Marmalade
- 1/4 cup mandarin oranges (drained)
Here are the pictures of my prep. Sorry the pictures are not that great. I need to work on that. 🙂
The first picture shows the oats, chia seeds, and yogurt in the jars. Then I added the milk and splenda packet and stirred them up. (You can also put the lids on and shake them up. I found stirring to be quicker, especially since the spoon was already being used to scoop out the yogurt.) Once everything was mixed, I added my final ingredients (marmalade/mandarins for one and blueberries for the other). I stirred them again to get all the ingredients blended. You can see this in the second photo. You can also see that the frozen blueberries turned the batch bluish-purple looking. This doesn’t happen with fresh blueberries, but frozen is what I had on hand. I also wanted to experiment with how frozen berries would work because I find it easier to keep frozen items on hand than fresh. The last picture shows a top down view once everything was mixed together.
This morning when I woke up, all I had to do was pull my jar out of the fridge and breakfast was served! Normally I would eat it right out of the jar, but I dumped it in a bowl so it would be easier for you to see what it looks like once it is done. I had the mandarin orange one this morning, and it was fantastic! I will definitely make this again!
I was totally shocked when I took the time to break down the costs and found that this meal only cost me $.94 per serving!!! Here is the breakdown of the costs:
- Oats – Great Value Brand – $.04 per 1/4 cup
- Skim Milk – Wal Mart Brand – $.06 per 1/3 cup
- Plain FF Greek Yogurt – Chobani Brand – $.26 per 1/4 cup
- Chia Seeds – Bob’s Red Mill Brand – $.15 per 1 1/2 tsp
- Sucralose – Great Value Brand – $.02 per packet
- Orange Marmalade – Smucker’s Brand – $.12 per Tbsp
- Mandarin Oranges – Dole Brand – $.29 per 1/4 cup
I am surprised at how inexpensive this is because I have some name brand products in there. I feel like I could get this even cheaper if I shopped around. I decided I wanted to try this recipe so I bought the first marmalade I could find at Wal Mart, and I already had the yogurt, chia seeds, and mandarin oranges. Once I run out of these items, I’ll have to investigate other options. The Chobani yogurt was purchased at BJ’s wholesale club, so that price is probably not too bad. I’m sure I could save on the chia, marmalade, and mandarins though! Here are pictures of the ingredients I used, if you are curious:
For the blueberry recipe, I used 1/2 cup frozen blueberries instead of marmalade and mandarin oranges. I bought these from Aldi, and they are $.46 per 1/2 cup. The blueberry batch came out to be $.99 each!
So often we tell ourselves that it’s too expensive to eat healthy, but these recipes prove that wrong! The mandarin orange recipe is 213 calories (5 Points Plus), and the blueberry recipe is 203 calories (4 Points Plus). I found the orange recipe very satisfying, and I was full for at least 3 hours. Last weekend I made a double batch because I wasn’t sure a single batch would be enough, and I was STUFFED. A single batch is definitely enough for me. I just have to remind myself of this over and over because society has trained us to think we need huge portions! 😀
Try the refrigerator oatmeal yourself and let me know what you think! The Yummy Life has many other recipes, or you can create your own. Have fun with experimenting! If you try one and don’t like it, you aren’t wasting that much money since these are so affordable. Once you find your favorites, think how much money you can save on your breakfasts!