How To Make Oatmeal On The Go

If I was forced to stop at McDonalds for breakfast, had a gun to my head and had to choose something real quick without thinking, I’d probably choose oatmeal. But let’s be real here, I’ve never HAD to go to McDonalds.

Oatmeal is one of the most benign health foods in the world. It’s pretty hard to screw it up but that’s exactly what fast food has done. If you make oatmeal at home, it’s easiest thing to make ever – hot water/milk and some oats straight out of your pantry and voila – you’ve got breakfast with soluble fiber, protein, and real whole grains that will keep you full for hours.

But when you buy it on the run and or get it “to go” because pouring hot or even cold liquid over something straight out of your pantry is just too much for your busy life – you get cheap oils that promote prostate and bone cancer, coloring that could be cancerous, nasty preservatives, heart disease promoting transfat, stabilizer causing intestinal distress, and oh boy – natural flavor that comes from who knows what.


The ingredients that are added to oatmeal by places like McDonalds, Starbucks, Jamba Juice, and Quaker (which Burger King and other fast food places use) are dreadful. This why you must it a priority to make your own oatmeal, even when you don’t think you have time to make it.

I used to travel for work every single week for a few years and I was never forced to buy oatmeal because I had my recipe for oatmeal “on the go” down pat.

Here’s what I did and still do when time is short or when I’m on the run:

  • I carry a mixture of 1/4 cup instant plain oatmeal, 1/4 cup rolled oatmeal, and a few sprinkles of organic cinnamon in a ziplock bag.
  • In another ziplock bag, I have one whole date and a few walnuts.
  • When I am ready to make oatmeal – I get a cup of hot water from a place like a hotel, gas station or even Starbucks. (No, this is not stealing because they will gladly give this to you for free (and I will continue to do this especially from Starbucks until they stop putting damn caramel coloring in their “perfect oatmeal.” and I’ll tip the barista for the free water)
  • I break or cut up the date into pieces and add the oatmeal into the cup of hot water, do a quick stir and let it sit until it’s warmed through and the oats have soaked up all the water.
  • Before eating, I add the walnuts for a crunchy topping.
  • The cinnamon and date act as amazing (real!) natural flavor and sweetness. The date actually dissolves quite a bit in the oatmeal which leaves a great delicious consistency.
  • Sometimes this recipe varies, depending what I have access to. I like to add banana, raisins, goji berries and/or other nuts. The toppings you can carry in your bag that travel well are really endless.


Because I love Country Choice Organic oatmeal so much for my oatmeal on the go – I’ve asked them to sponsor a giveaway.

You may have seen their delicious organic oatmeal at places like Earth Fare, Whole Foods and of course Amazon (which has the best deal).

Country Choice Organic is a company I whole heartily support because they are an independent organic brand and isn’t spending thousands of dollars against Proposition 37 (the effort to label genetically modified ingredients in CA).

Did you know Quaker’s parent company Pespi Co is giving over a million dollars to block our right to know? They don’t want us to know they are using genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) in almost all of their products.  This is why I am boycotting them and other brands.

Country Choice Organic has offered to generously giveaway a case of their oatmeal varieties to three winners… yes, you heard me, a case of organic oatmeal! That’s oatmeal for at least 3 months, if you are eating it every single day. 

To Enter:  SUBSCRIBE to Food Babe AND leave a comment below by 12pm EST on Friday, August 31st. 


Thank you for reading – love you guys.

Good Luck!

Food Babe

Contest is now closed. Congratulations to Doug J., Nichole , Jackie D. for winning the Country Choice Organic giveaway! Please check your email for details. If you didn’t win – Country Choice Organic is available on Amazon and most natural food stores.

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537 Responses to “How To Make Oatmeal On The Go”

  1. alie

    Hope I win!! Just subscribed. Thanks for all the incredibly useful info!

  2. Tony

    oatmeal is a great breakfast when traveling

  3. Jenny

    We love oatmeal & are thankful for your insightful information! Thanks again Food Babe!

  4. Jill

    I love oatmeal! I eat oatmeal at least 3 times a week. I love to put bananas and dried cranberries in it with a bit of cinnamon. Delish! I hope i win! :)

  5. Nellie G

    Thanks for a great blog! The oatmeal would be a great win!

  6. Connie Trowbridge

    I’ll never understand how it takes just a handful of ingredients to make a food at home, and yet when you go to buy it at a store or restaurant, it has more ingredients ( or toxins) then Elizabeth Taylor had husbands…I have become a fan of oatmeal, and I love to alternate the flavors depending on the season. My favorite is Fall, because that’s when I make Pumpkin Oatmeal. So good, so filling, so healthy. Toxic free.

  7. Jeena

    This sounds so super duper yummy! Going to give it a shot!

  8. Jenna Veenis

    Thank you for all of your wonderful information! If only there was a fast food place with ALL ORGANIC ingredients. You would be the perfect creator :) :) :)

  9. Cecilia tapia

    My fav oatmeal of choice

  10. Cass

    Love this idea! I am new to your blog and am loving it!
    Have you posted what and where you buy staples
    for your pantry/fridge? Who usually has the best deals etc?

  11. Cheryl

    I love oatmeal! :)

  12. Daniela Heyer

    Hi Food babe, I’m suscribed and I have been receiving your updates, but I don’t know why I didn’t receive this one. Anyways, I would like to participate :) I LOVE your blog!

  13. Malisa

    We use oatmeal for so many things every day! Glad to learn about this brand on Amazon! Thanks!

  14. Angela

    Great insight to what seems to be a healthy fast food option, and to what is behind the brands of oatmeal. This article has changed my options that I will make of what brand to buy as well as how I will make my choice for oatmeal on the go a healthier option. Thanks!

  15. Ilona mustafin

    Our household eats steel cut oatmeal 4 times a week!

  16. bonnie guarino

    I love country choice oats!!!

  17. LESLIE

    We found a great way for my husband to grab breakfast on the way out the door. We put oatmeal in a paper to-go cup and fill with hot water. He loves it with nothing added and it helps regulate his blood sugar. We are working on the paper vs. reuseable cup but hey, hes a guy this is easy.

  18. Ruth

    What do you think about Earth’s Best Organic instant oatmeal?

    • Assistant to Food Babe (Krista) (to Ruth)

      It is sweetened and has natural flavors so we suggest making your own – use organic rolled oats and sweeten yourself. Just as easy and you know exactly what is in it. Good luck!

  19. Darcie

    Hey food babe! I love your site but I’m new, and I’m wondering what is wrong with sunflower oil? I’m just concerned because I like cooking with it for its high heat tolerance. Thanks!

    • Assistant to Food Babe (Krista) (to Darcie)

      See my reply to Andrea below!

  20. Sarah

    I’m just curious, why aren’t you highlighting *sugar* as one of the “bad” ingredients in these products? I would suspect that high sugar content in foods is far worse for our health than these other ingredients.

  21. Andrea Kaady

    I am wondering what is wrong with Sunflower oil?

    • Assistant to Food Babe (Krista) (to Andrea Kaady)

      It is not one of Food Babe’s recommended oils because it is a highly processed oil and it is high in Omega 6′s and most of us need more Omega 3′s in our diet. Her favorite oils for high heat are coconut oil or sesame oil.

  22. Lori

    Healthier yet purchase a handy oat flaker, buy some oat groats, and freshly flake your oats the day you need them. I take it a step further and soak my oats for 24 hrs then dehydrate them on low to retain more nutrients Heaven only knows how long some of these already flaked oats have been sitting on the shelves and when the were processed. This way you are getting a MUCH hefty does of yummy healthiness :)

  23. Danielle Morgan

    Thanks for everything you do Vani! I love me some oatmeal but I don’t ever buy any fast food. You just can’t trust it!

  24. Andrea

    Oatmeal can contain a lot of harmful ingredients. We called out Quaker Oatmeal and compared it to Country Choice Organic in our recent (free) e-book: They are amazing! It’s super important to always read the ingredients. Thanks Vani.

  25. Whitney

    I use almond milk, instead of water and I add milled flax seeds, a touch of honey and some cinnamon. It is super yummy!

  26. Khadijah Rombach

    There has been increasing interest in oatmeal in recent years because of its health benefits. Daily consumption of a bowl of oatmeal can lower blood cholesterol, because of its soluble fibre content. After it was reported that oats can help lower cholesterol, an “oat bran craze”.:,**

    My favorite web portal

  27. Smitha

    How about simple truth natural rolled oats?

  28. matt

    i know this sounds weird, but black coffee (i brew my own in a french press) instead of hot water is a great flavor enhancer for oatmeal!

  29. Mia

    What about Trader Joe’s Rolled Oats Oatmeal? They used to sell Country Choice before and we would purchase it but, unfortunately they no longer sell it :(


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