I hate oatmeal. It’s gross. It’s goopy and mushy and just straight up yucky. So why did I feel compelled to by a 10 pack of instant oatmeal 2 weeks ago at the grocery store?
Because I want to like it! That’s why. Nutrition experts say your taste buds change every 7 years, so you should try foods you don’t like occasionally to see if you might like them now. Apparently I defy scientific fact because I have definitely had the same taste buds since age 5. Chicken nuggets – delicious. Cheese sticks – a must have! Oatmeal – bleghhhhhhhhh.
I am, admittedly, a very picky eater. The list of foods I like is much shorter than those I don’t like. But there are a few, simple, healthy foods I don’t like that I keep trying every now and then anyways because life would be easier if I did like them. Like eggs. Or hot dogs. Or oatmeal.
I made apple cinnamon oatmeal, the oatmeal described to me by other picky eaters as “the only kind they will eat.” It was disgusting. I only ate 2 bites. I even tried one of the maple brown sugar flavors afterwards because it sounded yummy and that was no good either. I should have known better but c’est la vie!
Anyways, my attempted foray into the world of oatmeal-eating left me with an open box of instant oatmeal that was missing two packets. Which led to this conversation in my kitchen the other day –
Me: Why do I buy oatmeal I know I don’t like? It’s so stupid.
Roomie #1: Haha you are so picky! Who doesn’t like oatmeal?
Me: ME! I don’t like oatmeal. Will you eat it? Because I won’t.
Roomie #1: Maybe. I mean eventually I will if you don’t ever eat it.
Me: Is it awkward if I donate the leftover packages to the food pantry? I feel bad because I opened the box.
Roomie #1: Umm I’m not sure. Maybe you shouldn’t. They are individually wrapped though. What if you used them for something else? Like oatmeal cookies or something?
Me: You are the smartest person EVERRRRR!!!!
This is how I got the idea to use my extra oatmeal to make cookies or some sort of granola bar. I surfed the web and finally came up with my own recipe for what turned out to be a no-bake-cookie-granola-bar hybrid. I liked the recipe because it didn’t include chia seeds (yuck!) and I wouldn’t have to use the oven. Plus I already had the majority of the ingredients in my kitchen. It seemed like a great way to make sure excess food didn’t go to waste while making something I might actually eat. Here’s the recipe for my extra delicious oatmeal treats:
1 cup of instant oatmeal (any flavor, but I happened to have maple brown sugar)
1 cup Chex rice cereal (which I had left over from making Muddy Buddies)
1/2 cup peanut butter (also hanging around my apartment)
3 tablespoons honey (had to buy this but it was only $1.49)
1/4 cup milk (milk is the best drink ever so obviously I had some in the fridge)
1/2 bar dark chocolate (bought a bar of Lindtt Dark Chocolate for $1.59)
1. Put Chex cereal in plastic baggy and crush so the pieces are small.
2. Mix Chex and oatmeal in bowl.
3. Combine peanut butter, honey, and milk in a seperate bowl. Melt in microwave for 2-3 minutes (until melted). Mix.
4. Combine dry and wet ingredients. Mix well.
5. Break off bit size chunks of chocolate and mix into batter.
6. Make bit size balls and place on cookie tray.
7. Leave try in freezer for 1-2 hours.
8. ENJOY! 🙂
Even though mine came out in kind of weird blobs, they were still pretty good! I have been eating them, which is saying something. Roomie #1 tried one and approved. Roomie #2 seemed like she didn’t trust my cooking abilities (which I can’t say I blame her for) and said she would just take my word that they were good. Not only did these oatmeal treats use up some extra ingredients around my kitchen that otherwise would have gone to waste, they also tasted like a store-bought granola bar but cost a lot less! I made 7-8 treats for $3.08. A box of 6 granola bars at the grocery store is easily $0.50-$1 more than that.
If you have any great recipe ideas that help use up leftover ingredients, please share them in the comments section! I am not a great baker or cook, but I am having fun experimenting in the kitchen. Especially if the recipes save me money 🙂