Can you freeze oatmeal? You can and you should! Especially if your mornings are hectic breakfast is often an afterthought.
We like to prep our food ahead of time and have our meals ready; only needing to be reheated. So oatmeal is a perfect candidate for our everyday breakfast routine when we are getting tired of our frozen eggs or hash brown casserole.
What you will need is your oatmeal of choice, an Instant Pot/Ninja Foodi/pressure cooker, and a muffin pan. We like to use steel cut oats for the boost in nutrition but you can use any type of oatmeal. For this discussion all times will be based on Steel cut oats, times may vary depending on your chosen type of oatmeal.
What’s really great about this particular method of cooking and freezing is it opens up a variety of ways to customize each meal without adding in a ton of time. Essentially, we cook just plain oatmeal to start as a base and then, when we thaw, we can customize with whatever topping we are in the mood for that day.
Make sure your Instant Pot is clean and ready to cook. Pull out your measuring cups and add 5 cups of water. Finally, add 2 cups of steel cut oats. You can also add in a bit of salt to taste if you so desire.
This will make around 6 one cup servings. Add more oats for larger batches. The water to oat ratio is a little more than double the water to oats. For example, in this recipe one cup of oats equals about two and a half cups of water.
You may need to play around with the ratio a bit as you make more batches so your oats are not too dry or too soggy.
Close your Instant Pot and seal the lid. Press the button for manual and set your timer for 4 minutes. This is the time that works for our climate. Depending on your elevation your time may be a little more or less. Again, play around with this until you find the perfect routine that works for you.
You may be thinking 4 minutes is pretty short. Don’t worry. It will likely take 15-20 minutes to pressurize and another 10 or so for your Instant Pot to naturally release the pressure once the timer has gone off. All in all, you are looking at around a 30 minute cook time.
It’s important to let the IP naturally release the pressure instead of flipping the valve yourself because this time allows the oats to soak up more water and become tender and delicious.
Now that you have a pot of cooked oats you’ll want to take out your muffin pan. Once, again, you’ll want to grab your measuring cups and add one cup scoops in each muffin pod (I guess that’s what you would call them).
Stick the entire muffin pan in a large freezer bag. A 2 gallon reusable freezer bag should work well. You want to use a freezer bag so the oats do not accumulate too much water or frost. Now, stick everything in the freezer for a few hours or overnight.
Once frozen, remove your oatmeal from the freezer and pop each puck into a large freezer bag. You can use the same one the pan was in or opt for smaller ones.
When you are ready to thaw, simply place a serving in the fridge overnight or stick it straight into the microwave. Once thawed, you can add cinnamon, fresh fruit, vanilla, brown sugar, whatever you want to customize your easy peasy breakfast.
Can you freeze raw oats? You can. It’s pretty easy too. Just put them in a freezer safe bag. You want freezer specific bags because it is crucial that the raw oats do not have ANY condensation in the bag.
Can I freeze any type of oatmeal? Absolutely! The above method works with freezing any kind of oatmeal. So you can freeze traditional oatmeal, steel cut oatmeal, instant oatmeal, etc.
How long can I freeze oatmeal? Typically, we would say don’t freeze any longer than six months. After that the quality starts to degrade. Anything longer then six months, we recommend observing FDA guidelines for food preservation.