Yes, You Can Freeze Oatmeal. Here's The Best Way To Do It

Cooked steel cut oatmeal with chopped apples
Cooked steel cut oatmeal with chopped apples - Brycia James/Getty Images

Nothing satisfies morning hunger quite like steaming bowls of hot and creamy oatmeal. Oats are a great source of protein, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals, including manganese, copper, and iron. Whether you enjoy this nutritious breakfast drenched in fresh berries and cream or prefer more savory oatmeal, most oat varieties are conveniently made in under 20 minutes with only water and a trusted saucepan. Yet, if you're looking for a speedier way to prepare your first meal of the day -- one that doesn't require pot-scrubbing at 8 a.m. -- you may want to freeze leftover oatmeal portions for future use.

While oatmeal can be frozen in many different ways, the most effective method for convenient preparation is to freeze oatmeal in individual portions with the help of your muffin tin or silicone molds. Not only does a muffin tin automatically create easy-to-store portions, but you can also customize oatmeal cups with many different flavors and additional ingredients. Individualized oatmeal cups are also easy to store thanks to freezer-safe storage bags and resealable containers. By setting aside some extra time on a slow morning, you can have a wide range of flavorful oatmeal portions ready to be consumed whenever the mood for a fast and filling meal strikes.

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How To Effectively Turn Oatmeal Into A Quick, Easy-To-Prepare Meal Or Snack

Hands holding empty muffin tin
Hands holding empty muffin tin - Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock

You no longer need to devote a morning to making baked cinnamon oatmeal. The best part about freezing oatmeal is that this convenience perk doesn't just pertain to rolled oats or quick-cooking oats. If you're tired of standing over your stove for 20 minutes to make a fresh batch of steel-cut oatmeal, you can also freeze this variety with the same amount of ease. Whichever oats you choose, cook as directed with water and add your favorite sweetener to taste. Cool down oatmeal for roughly 15 minutes before spooning the mixture into greased muffin liners or silicone molds. Each regular-sized muffin cup holds approximately ½ cup of cooked oatmeal.

Add some fun and flavorful freezer-friendly toppings once oatmeal has been portioned into each muffin cup. Some options include mixed berries, diced dried fruit, chocolate chips, and crushed nuts. Leave some oatmeal cups unsweetened if you want to keep your options open. When reheated, you can get creative and add savory toppings like over-easy eggs, sautéed spinach, or kale. Place the filled muffin tin or liners directly in your freezer for roughly three hours. Once completely hardened, remove oatmeal portions with a knife or spatula and place them in freezer-safe bags.

How Long Does Oatmeal Last In The Freezer?

Hand opening freezer door
Hand opening freezer door - HenadziPechan/Shutterstock

Now that you know how to make perfect oatmeal and freeze the leftovers, you may be curious to discover how long this convenient breakfast will last in cold storage. When stored in a resealable freezer-safe bag or container with a tight-fitting lid, these handy oatmeal cups will last up to three months. To prevent freezer burn, squeeze out any excess air from plastic bags.

Three whole months enjoying endless bowls of quick-heating oatmeal may sound like a dream come true, especially when you discover how easy these tasty snacks are to heat and consume. When you need a fast breakfast or simple snack, remove a few oatmeal cups, add them to a microwave-safe bowl, and cook on high for one or two minutes. Halfway through heating, stir your oatmeal a few times to break up residual frozen bits. Alternatively, add frozen oatmeal cups and a small amount of water directly to a small saucepan on your stovetop to move along the defrosting process.

Once your oatmeal has been successfully heated, add more of your favorite toppings and a splash or two of milk to cool down the mixture and add a bit of creaminess. If you typically avoid making oats due to time restraints, think ahead on a slow day and prep some convenient oatmeal cups. Then you can enjoy warm and satisfying bowls of oatmeal for months on end.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.