OK, I found an awesome idea on Endless Crafting, one of the many blogs I follow. This fits so well with my whole homemade is best ideal that I just have to share it - Homemade Instant Oatmeal. Natalie's recipe is simple and I can't believe it's never occurred to me to do this before. This would certainly be less expensive than the prepackaged instant as well.
I love oatmeal in the morning. My kids and husband do not, but I keep hoping the kids will come around. Mornings are generally pretty busy with getting ready for school etc. so instant oatmeal is very convenient. Quaker's Maple & Brown Sugar is my preferred flavor and is what I currently have in the cupboard. A quick look at the ingredients tells me that Quaker is the least offensive of the major brands for instant oatmeal.
However, it still has artificial flavors and caramel color. I generally like to avoid the artificial stuff when I can. It also lists salt and guar gum. I don't have anything against salt or guar gum per say; both are natural ingredients. However, there is more of each of these per package than there is oat flour. This just seems wrong. I suspect that the guar gum is used as a thickening agent and it must cheaper than oat flour because they use more of it. Call me odd, but I think I would rather be eating oats in my oat meal instead of crushed guar beans.
As soon as I use up the stuff in my cabinet, I'll be giving Natalie's Homemade Instant Oatmeal a try. I am not sure why the powdered milk is in there, except perhaps to make it a 'just add water item'. Perhaps I can leave the powdered milk out and just use regular milk to make it instead.