The Creamiest DIY Instant Oatmeal

Created by Laura Wright
No ratings yet

The creamiest DIY instant oatmeal is an easy, healthy, and waste-free way to fix up a wholesome breakfast on the go. Very customizable!

An overhead shot of a bowl of oatmeal, topped with sliced peaches, sunflower seeds, and a dollop of almond butter.
Image shows open kitchen shelves with jars of grains, seeds and spices, as well as copper pots.
Images show rolled oats being ground up on a food processor.
Image shows a spoon in a jar of coconut milk powder.

We are in deep with summer and all of its tomatoes and zucchini, and I know that no one is really DYING for a recipe like this, but I think you might thank me later when Fall creeps in, school is back, and we’re all transitioning back into that cozily embraced routine. I held a poll on Instagram asking whether you wanted this recipe or a summery pasta and while the pasta had more votes, way more people messaged me privately about the oatmeal. So I’m overruling the popular choice for now. Again, I have a hunch that you’ll thank me later.

My favourite ingredient lately is coconut milk powder. Lots of people use it as a “creamer” for coffee, and it really is nice blended up in fancy superfood/regular food lattes. You don’t have to remember to soak nuts or have raw nut butter on hand or anything. Just plop a spoonful of this lovely powder into your beverage, whisk or blend it really well, and you’re good to go. It’s also amazing in smoothies and great to have around for curries and stews if you’re like me and you always THINK that you have cans of coconut milk around but you actually don’t. Since I’ve been loving on this stuff, I’m always looking for more ways to use it!

When we go camping, we usually do oatmeal for breakfast a couple times. Previously, I would pack up a little container of the rolled oats with nuts, seeds, and spices. Then at camp I’d mix it with hot water and some nut butter to make it rich and creamy. The last two times, I packed oatmeal in the style of this recipe and it was way creamier and honestly better in terms of a more pure and clean flavour. Also, we still served the oatmeal with nut butter and other stuff on top because I love my healthy fats.

You might be wondering: does it taste really coconut-y? I honestly don’t think so! Maybe I’m blind to the flavour of coconut because I consume so much of it (SO much lol), but I just find this oatmeal to be pleasantly creamy in a neutral way. Also, the addition of cinnamon and vanilla powder really helps overtake any coconut flavour. I’ve been using Herbologie’s True Cinnamon lately and it’s just so fragrant, bright and sweet. A true game-changer when you’re dealing with such a simple food like oatmeal.

Anyway! If you need to change up your desk breakfast or you’re seeking a healthy and cozy routine as you think about heading back to school, I think this super creamy DIY instant oatmeal may be just the thing. Way tastier and definitely less waste than those little packets/cups. Keep a little private reserve of maple syrup in your desk drawer and you’re set ;)

Overhead shot of oats and spices in a bowl, before being stirred together.
Image shows DIY instant oatmeal mixture packed into jars.
Images show DIY instant oatmeal packed into jars.
An overhead shot of oatmeal in a glass jar, topped with sliced peaches and sunflower seeds.

The Creamiest DIY Instant Oatmeal

The creamiest DIY instant oatmeal is an easy, healthy, and waste-free way to fix up a wholesome breakfast on the go. Very customizable!
No ratings yet
The Creamiest DIY Instant Oatmeal - The First Mess
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Servings 6


DIY Instant Oatmeal Mix

  • 3 cups rolled oats (certified GF if necessary) divided
  • cup coconut milk powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Optional Add-Ins

  • chopped dried fruit
  • chopped nuts or seeds
  • granulated sweetener of choice
  • ground spices like cardamom, nutmeg or ginger
  • maple syrup, for topping


  • I found that the amount of water needed to prepare the oatmeal changed depending on what kind of vessel I was using. In a wide bowl, I used about ½ cup. In a taller jar, I went with ¾ cup. Also, everyone likes a slightly different texture with oatmeal. Start with ½ cup and go from there!
  • There is no substitute for coconut milk powder in this recipe! You can find it through Thrive Market. For my Canadians, I’ve purchased it at Bulk Barn before and you can also get it through Natura Market online.
  • I love vanilla powder for smoothies, adding beautiful little flecks to baked goods, elixir-style drinks, and (obviously) in this oatmeal! This wonderful ingredient can be found online.
  • I still like to sweeten my oatmeal with maple syrup once it’s prepared, but you could certainly add a spoonful of coconut palm sugar (or whatever dry sweetener you like) to each serving of the mix.
  • I tend to like a bit of chew with my oats and find that 2 minutes is just right, but if you like yours completely soft, I’d allow more time.


  • In the bowl of a food processor, add 1 ½ cups of the oats. Pulse the oats until you have a coarse meal. Some of the oats with have ground as fine as flour. Transfer the ground oats to a large bowl.
  • To the ground oats, add the remaining rolled oats, coconut milk powder, cinnamon, vanilla powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Using a ½ cup measure, portion the dry oatmeal mix out into 6 jars/other reusable containers.
  • To prepare, add ½ cup – ¾ cup boiling water (see headnote) to dry oatmeal mix. Stir to combine and then cover with the jar lid or a small plate to “cook.” Wait 2 minutes. Once the time is up, stir the creamiest DIY instant oatmeal once more. Top with nut butter, fruit, maple syrup, and anything else you like. Enjoy immediately.
09/08/2018 (Last Updated 25/10/2022)
Posted in: autumn, breakfast, coconut milk, creamy, gluten free, nut free, oil free, quick, refined sugar-free, snack, spring, summer, sweet, vegan, winter


Recipe Rating

  • Andy

    This is a great template for homemade instant oats! I mixed up a big batch to portion out for backpacking/camping breakfasts and it worked perfectly. Here’s my adjustments:

    -added 6T chia seeds
    -added 6T hemp hearts
    -subbed coconut milk powder for powdered goats milk (couldn’t find coconut locally)
    -added 6T granulated turbinado sugar

    Serving size ended up being 2/3c mix: 3/4c boiling water. Just loose enough to make cleanup easy.

    To each portion I added 1 scoop (25g) whey protein, a handful of homemade trail mix, and a squirt of peanut butter or ghee. Everything the body needs to walk all day.

  • Annick

    Can I add chia seeds to this recipe?

    • Laura

      Yep! You could add 1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds here.

  • Sus //

    Laura! We’ve used this recipe 4 times so far this summer when camping! Its amazing, such a good food hack!

    I also make a batch to take to work then all I need to do is to add hot water and voila ACE DESK BREAKFAST!!

    Thank you!!

  • Cassie

    Oooh I always have coconut milk powder on hand too. More recipes with it would be great – thanks! I’ve picked it up at Loblaws too (in the ‘International Foods’ section).

  • JS

    Just made/brought this on a camping trip. Was fantastic. Used heated almond milk instead of water. Everyone loved it. Thanks!!

  • Jill

    This is a great recipe for backpacking breakfast, thank you!

  • Sarah

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this! I am on a huge oatmeal kick lately despite these hot temps. Off to the Bulk Barn now! :)

  • Anita

    My Indian grandparents use coconut powder in curries all the time! Smart to use it in a homemade instant oatmeal recipe. I will definitely be trying this for camping breakfasts and early work mornings.

  • Julia Graham

    Just ordered some coconut milk powder on-line to try this ASAP!!!

  • The Modern Proper

    This sounds so intriguing! And while it probably will be very useful this fall as my kids start back to school and we are barely squeezing breakfast in, I do love the idea of using it for camping as well! I have so many friends asking what to eat on camping trips, only to find myself unable to give them very much variety. Instant oats from the store are great but why not make them that much more nutritious and make them at home?!

  • Jo

    I have so much coconut milk powder leftover from camping and it usually just sits in my cupboard until I go camping again. I love this idea!

  • Ruby

    This is so genius! As soon as some of this heat burns off and I’m into cozy warm breakfasts again, I am giving this a try. I’ve never tried coconut milk powder, but like you I already consume SO much coconut (my partner says I’m going to turn into one someday, lol) so what’s another form of it to consume? :)

  • Lisa Jennings

    Wish I could give this a positive review. I had to resort to using the microwave to get more than soup consistency. I did not divide final product in to jars. Just assumed since you said use 1/2 cup measuring cup to divide that a serving was 1/2 cup. Put the least amount of boiling water with that in a small bowl covered with a plate. Even after several minutes it was soup consistency. My daughter enjoyed it once microwaved but the oats still did not seem cooked. I will play around with this and see if I can make it work for us.

    • Laura

      I am so sorry to hear this. If you prefer softer and super thick oatmeal, I think that grinding all of the oats in the food processor (rather than just half) might be a good strategy going forward.

      • Lisa Jennings

        Thank you for the suggestion! I will try that next time.

  • Carolyn

    Yyassss!!!! I wanted the oatmeal recipeI’ve never heard of coconut milk powder before cant wait to check it out! Thanks!

  • Theresa

    Definitely gonna have to try this recipe out. I’ve been loving oatmeal recently and this looks real good!!

  • dana

    this is major. LOVE!

  • Diana

    The best thing I do with coconut milk powder is to take it with me on red-eye flights to Europe. I pack home made granola too, and since they’re dry foods, they are not a problem with security. I just asked the flight attendant for hot water to reconstitute the coconut milk, and my fab breakfast was ready. I won’t lie, I felt pretty smug lol.
    And I want to mention I found coconut milk powder both at No Frills and the Superstore!

    • Laura

      That’s brilliant! I would feel smug too ;) Appreciate the No Frills and Superstore tip too.

  • Hannah

    Awesome!! Would this mix also work well for overnight oats? I’m thinking the coconut milk powder might just get lumpy, but I’m not sure…

    • Laura

      The liquid does need to be warm for the coconut milk powder to properly dissolve. I think you may end up with chunks with a typical overnight oats setup unfortunately.

  • Ashley

    Yum! There are so few recipes using coconut milk powder – I need to try this with summer fruit!

    • Laura

      I’m honestly surprised that there aren’t more recipes using it online. Here to change that hopefully ;)