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Can I Freeze Dry Oatmeal Cookies?
I LOVE cookies. I don’t think there is a big enough font for that. But I’m also trying to the keep weight off that is always trying to creep on. Even with a great food storage, I’m not going to want to gain weight if I’m in a survival situation. No clothing store to run off to to buy bigger pants. When you do freeze dried oatmeal it makes them into a cookie like version of itself. Keep reading.
That’s where these cookies come in handy.
If you’re a person who is watching your health or your weight, you’re probably someone who also wants to watch either in a survival situation. No one wants to get sick when they’re trying to stay alive. Well, what if you could have freeze dried cookies OR delicious oatmeal from the same product?
Yeah, that’s what this recipe is all about.
Why Weight Watchers or WW Crockpot Apple Oatmeal Cookies?
Before we get into the how, let me breakdown the why. I believe a lot of people who prep long term want to still be healthy or HAVE TO be. If you’re a diabetic, that’s not going to go away just because the food supply chain is down or the power is out more than it’s on.
We need to be careful of our healthy, especially when medications might be harder to come by.
Eating healthy shouldn’t only be a priority when we’re living a convenient lifestyle. This is why you’ll see me featuring keto recipes/dishes as well as other diet options – like paleo, WW, or low glycemic index. In this post, I’m specifically covering a Weight Watchers friendly version because my mom is a WW member and I like to try to have things on hand for her in case of emergency.
This has oats, apples, milk. All low, low points. If you want to keep sweeteners out of it or use a no sugar sweetener, use Truvia brown sugar substitute, or unsweetened apple sauce in place of the sweetener.
How Do I Freeze Dry Oatmeal?
Well, first, I prefer my oatmeal to be prepared. This is an ongoing debate across most freeze drying communities. There are some great debates on why all over the place.
But for this post, I’m going to talk about why I prefer my oatmeal prepared.
Cooked oatmeal is finished oatmeal. It won’t give you a stomach ache if you eat it right out of the freeze dry container. Some times raw oats will give me a belly ache and it feels like a rock in my stomach. Plus, it’s not flavored well. Raw oats taste like… well, raw oats.
If you have your oats prepared, then when you add water to reconstitute it, it doesn’t have to cook. Or, better yet, you can just eat it like a cookie and have it recon in your mouth. I love freeze dried ice cream for this very reason!
Can You Freeze Dry Oatmeal
Yes, you definitely can. And here’s how.
When I freeze dry this recipe, it’s been completely cooked and cooled. I also pre-freeze in my freezer overnight. Since doing the video below, I’ve started using silicone molds to make the cookies in better shapes and to have a better presentation, but if you know me at all, you know that usually doesn’t matter to me. No time.
When you freeze dry this recipe, you’ll end up with cookies you can eat as is or an awesome apple oatmeal dish you can serve for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or any other name for a meal you can come up with.
- I use apples in the recipe below, but let’s be clear. Any fruit you like with your oatmeal would be delicious. Just keep in mind, it will get soggy. I highly prefer apples, but I’ve done blueberries, strawberries (not my favorite, but a lot of people love freeze dried strawberry oatmeal), peaches, bananas (pass), and raisins. I’ve even added raisins to the apple ones because, YUM.
You choose what you want to do. You won’t make a wrong decision, until you don’t like it. Then it’s a wrong decision.
- Also, any milk is fine. If you’re lactose intolerant or prefer not to use cow milk, then use almond milk, cashew milk, whatever you prefer. If you’re a huge milk fan, then by all means, go for the whole milk, 2% or skim. I wouldn’t do buttermilk or heavy cream because of the increased fat content, but other than that, you have a lot of leeway in what you use for your milk.
- Oats can be interchanged as well. I love rolled oats, but steel cut are delicious here, too. You can even use instant, but you won’t want to do a crockpot with those.
How Do I Freeze Dry Fruit Oatmeal
Okay, so now that we’ve covered all of that, let’s talk about the importance of not putting too much liquid in your crockpot fruit oatmeal. When you’re cooking it – especially with apples, you’re going to have extra liquids as the apples cook on the bottom of the crockpot. This is the best, because your oats are absorbing all that yumminess. If you have too much liquid, it will make it difficult to add to the molds or even to load onto a tray. Let’s not even talk about the easily breakable parts AFTER it’s been freeze dried. The last thing you want to do is have a ruined freeze dried oatmeal product.
I’ll add more pictures as I work my way through my calendar and do oatmeal again. There’s a video below on how to reconstitute this delicious treat.
How Much Oatmeal Can I Do In My Freeze Dryer?
- Small Freeze Dryer – 1-1.5 lbs per tray
- Medium Freeze Dryer – 1.5-2 lbs per tray
- Large Freeze Dryer – 2-2.5 lbs per tray
WW Friendly Oatmeal Freeze Dried Cookies
- 1 Crockpot Use the size you're comfortable with, adjust recipe accordingly
- 1 Cutting Board
- 1 Apple Slicer/Knife Either one. You need to be able to cut and core your apples
- 4-6 medium apples I prefer honeycrisp/pink ladies, chop these up, skin or skinless - your choice
- 2 cups milk your choice, I like almond, but anything works great here
- 2 TBsp sweetener honey, sugar, Truvia brown sugar substitute, brown sugar, your choice
- 1 1/2 tspn butter optional
- 1/4 tspn salt
- 1 tspn cinnamon I love me some cinnamon
- 1 cup rolled oats steel cut work great here, too
- Chop up apples, layer on bottom of crockpot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients with the milk going on last.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or warm overnight.
- Add to the freeze dryer trays and freeze overnight.
- Place in the freeze dryer with appropriate settings.
HOW DO I FREEZE DRY OATMEAL?
Many people think it’s next to impossible to do the freeze drying for themselves. This is far from factual. Freeze drying at home is made easy by Harvest Right. They sell three different sizes of freeze-drying machines that do everything in the machine – except prep and package.
That’s up to you.
For all intents and purposes, here at Freeze Drying Mama we use the medium sized freeze dryer. You can check out the sizes offered at Harvest Right here.
What this machine does is first freeze the items on stainless steel trays to -41 degrees or lower. This takes about 10 hours or so.
Then a vacuum pump turns on and creates a vacuum inside the drum. This is the drying stage and will vacillate the heat of the tray up and down to a pretty warm temperature. This makes the frozen items release any water in them in vapor form. The vacuum sucks the moisture to the drum. This collects in ice form on the inner circle of the drum.
Then there’s the final dry which is essentially the same thing, but with a time associated with it and an end in sight!
WHAT SETTINGS DO I USE TO FREEZE DRY OATMEAL?
On the Harvest Right freeze drier – this works on all sizes – after putting the trays inside the drum on the shelves, I put in the drum cover (if you don’t have a drum cover, no worries) and then tighten the handle as I lock it shut. On the computer touch screen, I selected START > LIQUID > NOT-FROZEN > CONTINUE. After inputting the settings and making sure my drain tube is closed, I walk away.
COMMON QUESTIONS AROUND FREEZE DRYING OATMEAL
How Long Does It Take To Freeze Dry Oatmeal?
I have a habit of saying it’s going to take as long as it takes, because it’s true. Mine typically take about 36 hours – but that was back in Idaho. I live in Missouri now and things are supposed to be a whole lot more humid. The times haven’t changed much since we got here, though, so I’ll update you as needed. This also depends on how dense you pack your oatmeal and how much liquid is in it. So, long answer short – it’s going to take as long as it takes.
What Is the Best Way To Store Freeze Dried Oatmeal?
Oh, I love this question. Ultimately, I love mylar bags. They’re my favorite way to store anything freeze dried, but a lot of people make great cases for mason jars. As long as you have the item completely freeze dried and stored in a lightless, airless, air tight container with an O2 absorber, your item will be just fine.