I am compensated for the articles I write for SC Johnson but all opinions expressed here are my own.
Have you ever gone to the grocery store and seen those boxes of instant oatmeal packets? Next time you are in the cereal isle, I encourage you to check them out. Look at the price compared to a large tub of plain oatmeal. Flip over the package and take a look at the ingredients. Do you know what all of those ingredients really are? Making your own homemade oatmeal packets is a great way to save money and eat healthier. I decided to put together a few of these DIY oatmeal packets for my husband to take to work with him. He gets bored with plain old oatmeal every morning so I stocked up on a variety of ingredients to include.
The great thing about these DIY oatmeal packets (besides being cheaper and healthier than store bought!) is that YOU get to choose which flavors to include. Choose an assortment of dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and assorted flavors. Here is the basic recipe for making your own oatmeal packets:
For each serving, you will need:
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 2 TBSP dried fruit
- 2 TBSP chopped nuts
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 TBSP ‘add-ins’
- 1 TBSP powdered milk (if desired)
I found that putting the ingredients directly into each plastic Ziploc® bag made it easier for me to make a wide variety of flavor choices. While cinnamon and raisins are delicious, I don’t want to eat them in my oatmeal EVERY morning! I used the Ziploc® brand Snack Bags for this project since they hold the perfect amount of oatmeal and other ingredients for one serving.
When you are making your own oatmeal packets the flavor possibilities are just about endless. Here are a few of my favorite flavor suggestions:
- Tropical Fruit
- Blueberries and cream
- Cranberries and walnuts
- Dried strawberries and slivered almonds
- Golden raisins and cinnamon with ground flax seeds
To make your bowl of oatmeal in the morning, just dump the contents of one plastic Ziploc®bag into a bowl with 1 cup of water. Microwave on high for 2 to 3 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed and the oatmeal is tender. You can top your bowl of oatmeal with a dollop of yogurt or a bit of milk or cream if you want.
Once you are done with your packet of oatmeal you can rinse the Ziploc® bag and reuse. However, eventually, you will need to invest in a new collection of Ziploc® bags since they don’t last forever. Did you know that you can actually recycle your old Ziploc® bags? Up until recently, I did not know this and I consider myself quite the guru when it comes to recycling! Ziploc® bags, when clean and dry, are recyclable at more than 18,000 retail locations – including Target and Walmart. With more than 1 billion Ziploc®bags purchased each year, recycling is an easy way to live a more sustainable lifestyle! If you want to recycle your Ziploc® bags, they go into the same bins as those plastic shopping bags. They are usually located at the front of the store but if you don’t see them available just ask the manager!
The majority of recycled plastic bags become composite lumber. Composite lumber is used for fences, benches, decks, door and window frames, and even playground equipment. The process of recycling actually uses less energy than manufacturing with brand new raw materials. It also helps reduce pollution and help prevent landfills from filling up. So, once you are done using your Ziploc® bags, please remember to recycle them! To learn more about recycling plastic bags, visit: www.plasticfilmrecycling.org.
To learn more about SC Johnson and their sustainability efforts, follow them on Twitter. To find out more creative ways to use Ziploc® bags, check them out on Facebook. Remember, if everyone who used plastic bags recycled them even occasionally, it would divert a lot of waste from landfills and be a huge improvement in our environment!
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— Diane Hoffmaster (@turningclockbac) June 20, 2014