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Wellness / May 18, 2016

Recipe: Quick Oats Trail Breakfast

Written by: Jan Bennett

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So why do so many of us still rely on energy bars? Sure, they’re quick and easy— but they’re far from satisfying, and they do very little to warm the body and soul on a cool morning.

This recipe is almost as simple, doesn’t require much fuel to prepare, and provides enough energy to last well through lunch.


Feeds 1

  • 1/3 cup quick 3-minute steel cut oats
  • 1 tbsp whole milk powder
  • 1 tsp brown sugar–to taste
  • ¼ cup granola–stored separately
  • Dashes of salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice–to taste
  • Dried fruit—as desired.

Basic nutrition breakdown*:

  • 484 calories
  • 14g fat
  • 66g carbs
  • 17g protein

*Nutrition information varies per brands and flavors

Pre-trail prep: 

Combine steel-cut oats, whole milk powder, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice into a freezer or vacuum-seal bag.  


Follow the instructions provided on the packaging of your chosen oats. Once the oats are cooked, add the granola and dried fruit.

Some notes on the ingredients

I choose steel-cut oats over rolled oats for a few reasons. I just prefer the texture, for one.

Steel-cut oats also have the added benefit of a lower glycemic index (a measure of a food’s effects on blood sugar), which can be important when out on the trail. Easily digested, high-sugar foods give a quick energy boost—but a meal that sticks with you for hours can be the difference between a good day and a great day. Steel-cut oats also provide extra fiber, which can be invaluable on adventures that last longer than a few days.

Additionally, I opt for whole milk powder instead of skim milk powder for the added calories and fat. I’m not looking for low-calorie, low-fat alternatives out on the trail—I generally need all the energy I can get. A crucial macronutrient, fat also provides energy for the brain and aids in clear thinking.  

The addition of granola gives the oats a nice, crunchy texture.

On longer, more demanding journeys, I like to include a package of dehydrated scrambled eggs on the side for additional protein and calories. Depending on the brand, this adds 240 cal, 15g fat, 9g carbs, and 16g protein.

about the author

Jan Bennett

An adventure seeker at her core, Jan Bennett has always been drawn to the outdoors and being active. Completing three different wilderness expeditions before graduating high school, Jan has always been at home in the wilderness. Even though she has a degree in Technology Management and a minor in Business, Jan took the leap and left corporate America in 2015 in order to persue her cycling passions. On any given day, you can find Jan in Dallas, Texas preparing her mind and body for the next outdoor adventure.

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