2016: Week 2! Steel Cut Oats & Quinoa Oatmeal “Bricks” Make, Freeze & Microwave–Trader Joe’s Copycat!

oatmeal collage

I LOVE to have a nice warm healthy bowl of oatmeal on a colder morning and my kids like it too.  The combination of the steel cut oats and the quinoa in this recipe keeps you full ALL MORNING LONG!  I added a bit of flax seed and will add chia next time as I as out when I made it this time around. The kids say they when they eat this in the morning they don’t get hungry before lunch (that is some BRAIN FOOD for school!) and I enjoy it the mornings before a long run and it helps sustain my energy the whole way through.

I used to buy the frozen brinks at Trader Joe’s.  At our local TJ’s the steel cut only version is $1.79 a box (just 2 servings) and the oat and quinoa version is $1.99 a box (also 2 servings).  That meant for one morning, 5 of us, I need 2 1/2 boxes.  That’s a lot of freezer space.  So, I decided to experiment and make my own.  It was AWESOME!  I “worked” the very same way, took in from the freezer, popped in in our microwave, boom!  Breakfast!

If you aren’t into quinoa, you can leave it out and just add more oats.  The quinoa really makes it even MORE filling though…

I kept the recipe very simple and it was tasty all by itself and we were all able to customize our breakfast in a few minutes.  But, you could add some items to the cups prior to freezing if you desired.  I personally like to make a game time decision…

Here are a few ways we have enjoyed this so far, let me know if you try any great combos!

-Just like it is, delicious (pictured)–occasionally a couple tablespoons of vanilla almond milk

-With Raisins  and a bit of vanilla almond milk(pictured)

-Added Frozen Blueberries halfway through cooking and then a bit of vanilla almond milk

-With banana slices, walnuts and coconut with a splash of vanilla almond milk (not pictured, child devoured it too quickly!)

So, how do you do it???


1/2 cup quinoa

1  1/2  cups steel cut oats

2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

2 Tablespoons of Flax Seed (or one each of flax and chia if you desire)



  1.  Cook both the quinoa and the steel cut oats according to the package directions–for the quinoa rinse first and then 1 cup water to 1/2 cup quinoa works great.  I do these two at the same time.  Two burners going at once, can you say multi-tasker??
  2. Once they are cooked, combine the oats and the quinoa in a bowl.
  3. Stir in the seeds, maple syrup and brown sugar.
  4. Spoon the mixture into a muffin pan.  Fill them each about 3/4 full. (I used regular sized instead of jumbo as I figured it would cook better in the microwave.  This size is great for the kids or if you’re having some fruit or something along side it. 2 muffins would be about the size of one from Trader Joe’s)
  5. Put the muffin pan in the freezer.
  6. Once the “muffins” are frozen, bring the pan out to sit for about 5 minutes.
  7. Use a fork to gently remove each “muffin” from the pan and place in a freezer safe container or ziplock bag.


  1. Remove 2 “muffins” from the freezer and place in microwave safe bowl.
  2. Add 1 tsp of water to the top of each frozen muffin.
  3. Microwave for 1 minute, break up and stir.
  4. Microwave for 1 minute or 1 1/2 minutes more.  Microwave cooking times vary so you may need to add additional 30 seconds depending on yours.  You’ll figure this out with your first batch:)
  5. Add any mix ins you like and enjoy!  (remember if you add frozen fruit, do this half way through. If you want your mix-ins warm, add them near the end when there is about 30 seconds of cook time left.)







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