Homemade Instant Maple Oatmeal with Chia Seed

Some like it hot, some like it cold, some like it in the pot, nine days old. And so goes the ditty about porridge.

Our family happens to like our oatmeal hot, especially when we’ve just crawled out of a tent in the middle of the forest. Sometimes I like to go all out with my campfire breakfast, but most days we’re looking for something quick and comforting.

Instant maple oatmeal is a simple breakfast my children beg for both at home and at the campsite – and I’m not talking about the packaged variety. This homemade version of a grocery staple is a recipe to keep in your back pocket year round. It yields a tasty breakfast that is easy to prepare and replaces a popular supermarket item with something much more nourishing.

Homemade Instant Maple Oatmeal with Chia Seed | Simple Bites

This homemade instant maple oatmeal with ground chia seed is one of the best items you can pack for a simple, yet satisfying breakfast. The chia helps to thicken the oatmeal as well as contributes an energy boost for the morning on the trail.

Maple is my boy’s favourite sweetener, and as most grocery stores around here carry organic maple flakes, that was our oatmeal flavour of choice. Substituting maple sugar or raw cane sugar works well, too, and feel free to toss in any add-in such as chopped walnuts, raisins, or flaked coconut.

lake view on our camping trip: Lac Lyster, QC | Simple Bites

We’re home from a three-day tenting trip, where we began our days with a brisk hike before the heat of the day. When you’re trekking to get views like the one above, you’ll be glad you began the day with a hearty bowl of oats, trust me. I never leave for a camping trip without a jar, along with my essential kitchen tools, of course. All you need to do is boil water to enjoy a bowl of maple oatmeal.

Homemade Instant Maple Oatmeal with Ground Chia Seed Recipe | Simple Bites #camping #breakfast

Sufficient to say, my three kids love this instant oatmeal. Noah saw me prepping a double batch last week for this camping trip and begged to have a bowl for lunch!

I’ll keep this short as I have a date with a mound of camping laundry and a bottle of stain remover, but whether you are camping or not, try this easy oatmeal and get a jump on breakfast.

And be sure to stay tuned for a few more camping posts this week.

Homemade Instant Maple Oatmeal with Ground Chia Seed Recipe | Simple Bites #camping #breakfast

Homemade Instant Maple Oatmeal with Ground Chia Seed

This is a recipe to keep in your back pocket year round. It yields a tasty breakfast that is simple to prepare and replaces a popular grocery item with something more nourishing.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast & Brunch
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 183kcal
Author: Aimee


  • 4 cups quick oats
  • 2 Tablespoons ground chia seed
  • 1/2 cup organic maple flakes
  • 3 Tablespoons non-fat powdered milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt


  • In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, combine 2 cups quick oats, ground chia, maple flakes, powdered milk, cinnamon and salt.
  • Pulse about 6-8 times, until the oats are very fine, but not powder (do not make flour!)
  • Add in the remaining 2 cups of quick oats and pulse 2-3 times to combine.
  • Transfer instant oatmeal to a glass jar or airtight container and store in a cool dry place for up to 2 weeks.
  • To make instant oatmeal: add 1/2 cup of mix to a bowl or a mug and top with 1 cup of boiling hot water. Stir, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir again, and enjoy.


  • Maple sugar or raw cane sugar for maple flakes.
  • Flax seed for chia seed.
  • Eliminate powdered milk for a vegan version.


Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2.1mg

What is your quick, hit-the-trail camping breakfast?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. The perfect camping meal!! This sounds great!!

  2. Years ago, when we had kids, my husband and I really stopped dabbling in whole, unprocessed foods, and went in full throttle. The one place we still struggle is when we camp….this oatmeal will be a LIFESAVER for me! We are still buying instant oatmeal for our camping trips and I just don’t care for it. At least we aren’t buying those awful packets of oatmeal any more!! I hope you’ll post a few more camping recipes, I am really loving this series!

    • Kym, eating real foods when camping takes planning and dedication. We’ve been transitioning for a few summers now! Good luck with your move toward unprocessed. Glad this is one more recipe for your repertoire!

  3. Danielle says

    I love this post. Not just because it contains a recipe that I’m sure will come in handy in the future, but because you have a way of making simple look so beautiful with your pictures. It encourages me to stop and be mindful of the beauty around me, even on the days where things don’t seem so beautiful.

  4. This sounds fantastic. I already make an instant oatmeal by grinding a portion of the oats and topping it with maple syrup. But I love the addition of chia (sneak in some extra fibre & omega 3s) and the maple flakes are a great way to moderate over zealous maple pourers. Looking forward to trying your version.

  5. 5 stars
    Perfect! I wish we were camping right now . . . but since that seems like too big of a feat with 3 kids and an infant on my own this summer, I’ll just make this oatmeal for breakfast and serve it on the back patio.

  6. Love the addition of cinnamon Aimée!

  7. I’m so glad you shared this recipe! It looks fantastic and the setting makes me want to drag out our camping stuff. =)

    Eating real food while camping/on the road is a challenge for me, looking forward to the rest of your posts.

  8. Yum! Does anyone know if maple flakes are readily available in the US? I’ve never heard of them. Intrigued!

    • I know maple sugar is available in the US. You can use that instead if you like.

    • A quick Google search turned up Williams-Sonoma maple flakes, but unfortunately, no alternatives or maple sugar in my area (FL). And it’s really not cost effective to get the WS version, since it’s a tiny bottle.

      • Krista c says

        I get my maple flakes delivered through Amazon. i might try coconut sugar as a variation with some coconut flakes 🙂

  9. How great to have a homemade instant oatmeal! Love the photos too!

  10. Love this idea! So great to have homemade oatmeal and the chia seeds are such a great addition!

  11. Love adding chia seeds to oatmeal! Fun photos!

  12. Save even more time in the morning and boil the water the night before while getting ready for bed. If you have a really nice thermos it will still be plenty hot to make oatmeal in the morning. I’m single, so with mine I also have enough water for a cup of tea and to wash my bowl and spoon.

  13. Now this I could live on camping or not!!

  14. Can’t wait to see more camping pics. These photos here are just beauties. This homemade instant oatmeal is such a smart idea. And love the tip from a fellow commenter about the thermos. I need to take you guys camping to learn the ropes.

  15. Krista c says

    5 stars
    I love this oatmeal- my whole family does. I am thinking of some variations to mix it up a bit. I might try coconut sugar and flakes, but looking for some other great ideas.

  16. 5 stars
    Love this idea and just whipped up a batch for our Kootenay camping trip with our toddler next week for Canada Day–BC Rockies and this oatmeal sound great together! Thanks Aimee!

  17. 5 stars
    I just made this as a taste tester for a long camping trip next week – it’s so delicious and easy!
    The texture is more like the instant sachets than regular porridge – but I prefer it anyway!
    I’m going to put chopped dates in with the hot water, for sweetness and fiber.
    I’m a student, always in a rush and I’ve got a pretty limited grocery budget, and this sort of thing makes such a difference in my day!
    Thanks so much 🙂

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