Oatmeal was my go-to breakfast as a kid. My sweet Grams used to always have my favorite- Quaker’s Fruit & Cream variety pack- on hand and ready to make before school on any given weekday. She loved me so much that she didn’t even make me eat the disgusting Bananas & Cream flavor. I was spoiled rotten and ate only the blueberry, strawberry, and peach flavors, knowing somehow the banana would magically disappear while a full, new box would appear. If for some reason we were out of oatmeal, Grams would lovingly make us Mickey Mouse pancakes, chock full of chocolate chips. Did I mention yet I was spoiled…? She always reiterated the importance of a good breakfast, one that would “stick to your ribs” and keep you full until lunch rolled around. My Grams was an incredibly special woman, and I miss her every. single. day.
I carried that “stick to your ribs” sentiment into adulthood and very much advocate that a well-balanced breakfast is the best way to start the day. Fast forward 25 years, though, and my tastes have changed just a smidge from what I used to enjoy as a kid, both out of preference and necessity. I really, really missed the convenience of those handy packets of oatmeal, but I avoid processed foods and prefer not to have my daily sugar intake maxed out before my morning snack (no judgement intended). I am not always the most punctual person in the mornings, so having something I can grab and run out the door is a must…
My husband bought me an Instant Pot about 6 months ago, and it has really helped add some of that convenience back into life. I can now make a large batch of oatmeal on Sunday afternoon, with less than 5 minutes of hands-on time, and eat a warm, nutritious breakfast every day of the work week. Not even joking, the most time consuming part of this recipe is cutting up the apple.
Gluten-free old-fashioned oats are tossed into the Instant Pot with plenty of vanilla almond milk, diced apples, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Apple juice (the good kind, without added sugar) rounds out the liquids while really ramping up the fruitiness factor, and we throw in some Craisins, maple syrup, and a dash of vanilla extract for good measure. Mix it all up, set it to high pressure for 5 minutes, and walk away. Just walk away, and return in around 15 minutes to perfectly cooked, chewy yet creamy, smells-like-cinnamon-heaven oatmeal.
Spiced Apple Cinnamon Cranberry Oatmeal
Spiced Apple Cinnamon Cranberry Oatmeal (adapted from Carrie’s Home Cooking)
1 1/2 C gluten-free old-fashioned oats (Bob’s Red Mill is our go-to)
1 1/2 C apple juice (We LOVE Simply Apple)
3/4 C vanilla almond milk
1 1/8 C water
1 large apple, peeled and diced (I used a Honeycrisp)
1/2 C Craisins
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add all ingredients to your Instant Pot. Stir well.
- Make sure your pressure valve is sealed.
- Set to pressure cook on High for 5 minutes.
- When the timer goes off, immediately release the pressure by turning the valve to vent.
- Once the soft whistling stops, remove the lid and stir.
- Enjoy immediately garnished with additional apples and walnuts -OR- let cool slightly and portion 3/4-cup servings into 5 resealable containers.
- NOTE: You will need to add a few splashes of almond milk prior to reheating in the microwave. Add approximately 1/8 to 1/4 cup almond milk to the oatmeal and microwave for 1:30 to 2:00 minutes. Stir well.
This oatmeal really is a great way to start the day. It keeps me full all the way till lunch- no creeping hangry feelings whatsoever. Know what else is a great way to start the day, ESPECIALLY in the fall? Seeing a beautiful sunrise and taking in all the incredible, natural beauty that surrounds us every. single. day. ❤