Fast, Frugal, Fruit-Flavored Oatmeal (or, how to use up the jam stuck to the jar)

When a jar of jam is depleted to the point that it’s difficult to gather up enough jam for a sandwich or a slice of toast, it’s tempting to just chuck it.  If you’re going to recycle or reuse that jar, though, you need to remove every bit of jam…and if you’re removing it, you may as well eat it, especially if this is not really “jam” but expensive organic juice-sweetened fruit spread…so maybe you stick that jar back in the refrigerator and open a new one to use in your sandwich.  Pretty soon there are a lot of almost-empty jam jars taunting you about how you never get around to scraping them.

Years ago I read in The Tightwad Gazette that the solution to this problem was to fill the jar halfway with milk and shake it, creating tasty strawberry milk (or grape milk or boysenberry milk or whatever).  It sounds good, but I found that cold milk doesn’t dissolve much jam; you still have to scrape the jar, and even then the jam tends to settle to the bottom, so you’re drinking mildly strawberry-flavored milk and then having a lot of cold clots of jam slide into your mouth.  Not so great.

I have now found a solution to the jam-jar problem!

  • Boil some water in your electric kettle or other boiling device.
  • Put some quick-cooking oatmeal in a bowl.  I don’t like to measure stuff before breakfast, but I use about 1/2 cup.
  • Pour boiling water into the jar until it is half full.  Don’t fill it more because you need to leave room for steam.  Hold the jar with an oven mitt.  Put on the lid and shake until all jam is loosened.  Alternatively, leave the lid off and stir the water with a spoon or butter knife until all the jam comes off.
  • Using oven mitt, pour jam-water from jar over oatmeal.  Stir.  If oatmeal is not wet enough, add more water.
  • Optional: Add some dried fruit, some milk, or some fat (butter, flax seed oil, coconut oil) to the oatmeal.

Making tasty fruit-flavored oatmeal and getting the jar clean without wasting water works for me!  Visit Waste Not Want Not Wednesday and Fabulously Frugal Thursday for other waste-reducing tips!

About 'Becca
author of The Earthling's Handbook, about the environment, parenting, cooking, and more!

8 Responses to Fast, Frugal, Fruit-Flavored Oatmeal (or, how to use up the jam stuck to the jar)

  1. 2Momma2 says:

    Good use of every lat bit!

  2. Great idea! i had read about the milk idea which doesn’t always work. Thanks for sharing your tip at Fabulously Frugal Thursday.

  3. Great tip for using up the last bit of jam!! Thanks so much for sharing this on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday:)

  4. Smarter than your average earthling! Seriously, hands down the best name for an (eh-hem), blog, I mean compilation of very intelligent writing that I have ever seen. I will vote for you for president! And I am not even a spammer! Thanks for visiting me at my lamp is full! I look forward to exploring this blog more.

  5. Pingback: Optimal Oatmeal | The Earthling's Handbook

  6. Pingback: DIY Instant Oatmeal: Ditch the Packets! | The Earthling's Handbook

  7. Pingback: Cutting Food Waste at Home and Worldwide | The Earthling's Handbook

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