It might sound dramatic, but making oatmeal mixes in bulk has changed my life recently and I have no idea how it took me so long to decide to start making them. Oatmeal has never been my go-to, but now that it’s so convenient I eat it almost every day and look really forward to it. This cranberry gingerbread mix in particular is so rewarding, with tons of warming spices that are also medicinal powerhouses. Cinnamon and clove have the highest antioxidant contents of all spices and this recipe is packed with both. Every 1 cup serving of the cranberry gingerbread oatmeal contains 60% the daily value of fiber (which 97% of Americans are deficient in!). I find myself repeating this in practically all my posts but *fiber is absolutely critical to healthy aging, humans evolved over millions of years eating 100 grams a day and every single process of the body runs better with it*. Fiber is also fuel for the bacteria in our guts, where 90% of serotonin is made. Eat more oatmeal, live happily ever after and save money? Hell yeah
I surprisingly use the angostura orange bitters more for cooking and baking than I do in cocktails, which was my original intention when purchasing. I think bitters in general are such an easy way to add dimension and flavor complexity to dishes and hope to see more people utilizing them in food in the future! It’s an optional addition here but I can’t recommend it enough.
This recipe makes a huge amount and, well, that’s kind of the entire point but be prepared and use your largest vessel possible to be able to really, really stir and blend the ingredients evenly without spilling everywhere. I use my biggest soup pot, put the lid on and shake it.
Cranberry Gingerbread Instant Oatmeal Mix
makes 24 cups
16 cups rolled oats
1/2 to 3/4 cup brown sugar (depends on how sweet you’d like it)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups pecans, toasted then chopped (I do 10 minutes at 375)
4 cups dried sweetened cranberries
1 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 tbsp ground nutmug
1 tsp ground cloves
6 tbsp ground cinnamon
4 tbsp ground ginger
1 tbsp ground cardamom
pinch of kosher salt
optional but highly recommended – 10 drops of orange bitters
In a small bowl, add the brown sugar. Drizzle the vanilla extract over the sugar while stirring, trying to incorporate it as evenly as possible. Do the same with the orange bitters if using. Stir really well.
In a very large bowl (I use my biggest soup pot), add all the ingredients, including the brown sugar mixture. Store the oatmeal mix in a air tight container.
To make oatmeal – I like to use 3/4 cup boiling water to 1 cup of the mix. I make it in a thermos with a lid, so I stir it and then let sit for 3-5 minutes to soften. On the stovetop it goes much faster.