Johnny Apple Seed Oatmeal

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Oatmeal is the unsung hero of camping breakfasts. While it’s not as flashy as a cast iron breakfast skillet or a well-prepared egg sandwich, a bowl of warm oatmeal never fails to come through in a pinch. Nothing else is as economical to buy, easy to make, or as fast to prepare. When times are tough or you’re just in a rush, it’s oatmeal that comes to the rescue.

A bowl of oatmeal with apples and seeds mixed in

However, oatmeal does have one weakness: on its own, it’s terribly bland. This can be a major hang-up for a lot of people, especially anyone who has tried to eat a plain bowl of oats on their own. To attempt such a feat is a mistake people only make once in their lifetime. However, oatmeal’s nonexistent flavor is actually its greatest strength. While it’s certainly no masterpiece, oatmeal makes for a wonderful blank canvas.

So a little imagination is required, and here we’ve decided turn to fall for a little inspiration. These days, every roadside fruit stand we pass seems to be overflowing with apples, so decided to start there. Now, fresh apples are one thing, but we were going for more of nostalgic apple pie flavor, so we decided to “enhance” the experience with a seasonal spice mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and clove. Maple syrup, a camp cooking staple, was selected as the obvious sweetener. And finally, a medley of seeds (chia, flax, hemp) were added to bulk up the protein. When blended all together, the mix could hardly be considered oatmeal.

So if you’re looking to reinvigorate your morning bowl of oats, give this recipe a try and bring a little bit of fall into the mix.

Ingredients for apple oatmeal lined up on a cutting board
Michael slicing an apple
Michael adding oats to a pot of boiling water
Michael adding maple syrup and hemp seeds to a pot of oatmeal
Michael with a bowl of oatmeal

A bowl of oatmeal with apples and seeds mixed in

Johnny Apple Seed Oatmeal

4.88 from 8 votes
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Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
2 bowls



  • Heat the water and salt into a medium pot until it comes to a boil.
  • Add the oats, simmer for about ten minutes, or until the oats are tender, stirring occasionally. Halfway through the cooking time, add the apple, spices, and maple syrup.

Nutrition (Per Serving)

Calories: 300kcal
*Nutrition is an estimate based on information provided by a third-party nutrition calculator

If you make this breakfast next time you’re camping, let us know! Leave us a comment below or follow us on Instagram @freshoffthegrid and tag your camp cooking photos #sporkandknife so we can check them out!

Apple spiced oatmeal and seeds in a white and red camping bowl.

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  1. Your body cannot use the seeds unless they are ground up.

    1. Isn’t it what teeth are made for? 😀

  2. I was worried that you put apple seeds in the oatmeal at first! Apple seeds are extremely hard, and they contain cyanide, a very deadly poison. If you eat one or two, you should be fine, but if you eat too much you will feel sick.

    1. Hah, that would certainly be a worrisome oatmeal topping! We were thinking more of the Johnny Appleseed character, but I can see where the title could be confusing 🙂

  3. Will def try your recipe to ramp up our oatmeal while camping. We also like to add craisans, chopped pecans or walnuts to our oatmeal mix.

  4. This was good. I like the suggestion for raisins. For my taste, I will reduce the cloves and increase the cinnamon.5 stars

  5. Pam Bunderson says:

    I make a similar recipe often at home. I use Stevia for the sweetener to cut the calories, but I add chopped walnuts or pecans as well as the apples, chia, and flax. I haven’t tried the allspice, but I will tomorrow! Thanks!5 stars

  6. recently when we went camping in the desert I made the banana pancakes recommened here and it was delicious. I also made the skillet enchaladas and my husband and son loved them! Great ideas, great food.5 stars

  7. I’m going to try steel cut oats (adjust the cook time) with granny smith apple. I will report back at the end of June!