Airport Almond Butter Oatmeal

The best part of waking up in a weird place is this on-the-go oatmeal in your bag.

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Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Dosha: Kapha, Pitta, Vata

As I type this, I’m 30,000 feet up in the air (which seems to be the only time I find to write recipes + share things with you here. Yipes.) I’m headed to California to ride 300 miles in 3 days w/250 amazing culinary professionals all to help put healthy, delicious food on the tables and in the mouths of American children everywhere on ChefsCycle for NoKidHungry. I’m so excited to get there; it’s been a big year of fundraising since we were all together last. And, I’m so excited to use my cycling legs for this purpose. And I know that my fellow ChefsCycler’s are excited too (I’ve been watching them pack on Instagram.)

What’s amazing to me is that I haven’t seen more snacks. (We’re going to ride 300 miles! We’re gonna be HUNGRY! And we all already love food!) Lots of helmets, spare kits, rain jackets, special new socks and fancy cycling team jerseys and stretching tools that look like medieval torture devices are all evidently making their way into suitcases bound for Santa Rosa. Maybe it’s because I spend so much time packing to cook/ride and play on bikes that I don’t think much about “the kit” anymore. (It’s true that the kit is important! SO important – I’d be amiss not to say that I certainly picked up this and these for the trip.) But, when I formulate my packing list, I’m much more focused on creature comforts these days. My favorite lotion to slather on after long rides to soothe muscles. A Turkish towel to wrap up for the pool. Headphones and a book to decompress after a long day of riding/socializing. A box of this to recover from lots of miles and potentially lots of wine. And, snacks. Lots of favorite snacks and staples to make early mornings, late nights, hectic weeks on the road a bit more bearable.

I don’t remember when my gourmet oatmeal packs started making their way into my carry-on, but it’s basically become one of my survival kit items and one of the best “recipe hacks” I have and love to share. Having the packets always packed and on hand means I never have to suffer over a mediocre plate of airport eggs + toast before an early morning flight or cry tears of mediocrity over a piece of Sbarro pizza late night. And, even when the timing isn’t brutal, I have a little ritual snack that is satisfying, grounding and makes me feel like I have my sh*t together when I’m bouncing from place to place (which is just the inspiration I need to ACTUALLY GET MY SH*T together when I’m on the road. Fake it till you make it, they say.)

Recipe Notes

NOTE: This recipe is portioned to make a single Gourmet Granola pack so be sure to multiply the recipe for however many suit your current travel needs. I usually have AT LEAST 3 gourmet granola packs ready at all times.

  • Make it your own: This recipe can be adjusted to suit your particular preferences. If you like a bit more chia seeds in your granola, go for it. Prefer honey to maple syrup? Great! Maybe you have an apple that needs to be eaten before you return and not a banana? No problem. The goal here is to make fueling up on-the-go quick, easy, and flavorful so you can get where you’re going without feeling drained before you even get there.
  • For the crunchy topping: Pack along your favorite accoutrements to give your granola some texture and crunch. I like cacao nibs, hemp seeds and almonds but any nuts, or favorite granola, or toasted seeds will do just fine.
  • On salt: When I travel I always have a little tin of Jacobsen’s Sea Salt. Highly recommend for all your travel needs.
  • On sweetener: These Bee Local Honey Sticks and Untapped Maple Syrup Packets are a few travel-friendly options I always keep on hand.
  • On nut butter: My favorite is Justins almond butter which is available at most grocery stores. They have lots of flavors in case you don’t want to bring along additional sweeteners. Most grocery stores also carry tons of fun, packable nut and seed butters if almond is just not your thing.

Flavor Notes

Flavors are FUN, yes, but they also are the mechanisms by which our bodies nourish themselves. Flavors basically tell our bodies what the food is giving us – on a nutritional and energetic level. Our bodies then prepare enzymes to break those components down, assimilate them, and turn them into fuel for our vibrant lives. We can’t eat just one flavor and get all of the things we need, so learning to track the flavors in our foods helps us to be sure that we’re really getting all of the things we need in our meals. This particular recipe has three of six flavors. The more flavors we can enjoy in any meal or food, the happier and more balanced our bodies will be. If you’re wanting to learn more about how the flavors we eat fuel our bodies – energetically and nutritively, check out this little blog post.

  • SWEET: oats, maple syrup, honey
  • SALTY: sea salt
  • SOUR: N/A
  • ASTRINGENT: chia seeds

Airport Almond Butter Oatmeal

The best part of waking up in a weird place is this on-the-go oatmeal in your bag.

makes 1 gourmet granola pack


Active Time: 5 minutes


Serves: serving


to pack up at home for EACH serving of gourmet granola:

  • 1 snack or quart size Ziploc bag
  • 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 2-3 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 2-3 heaping Tbsp your favorite crunchy toppings (SEE RECIPE NOTES)
  • a few pinches flaky sea salt (SEE RECIPE NOTES)
  • 1-2 packets favorite almond butter (SEE RECIPE NOTES)
  • 1 packets maple syrup (optional)
  • 2-3 favorite honey sticks (optional)
  • 1 banana (if you're packing one from home)

at the airport:

  • 2 medium or large-sized hot cups (one empty + with hot water)
  • 1 appropriately sized hot cup lid
  • 1 banana (if you'd still like one and didn't pack from home)
  • 1 spoon
  • napkins


  • 1Preparing your pack/s at home

    In each Ziploc baggie, combine 1/2 cup oats, 2-3 Tbsp chia seeds,  and 1-2 Tbsp of your favorite crunchy toppings (I like cacao nibs, hemp seeds, whole almonds, etc.)

    Add a pinch of flaky sea salt and close the baggie tightly.

    Pack baggies somewhere in your carry-on that is easily accessible along with your almond butter, sweetener of choice, and a banana, if you have one. Fresh bananas can also be purchased from most airport kiosks in case you didn’t have one to bring from home.

  • 2At the airport

    Find yourself a coffee shop, restaurant or even a First-Class lounge and kindly ask your server for two hot cups – one empty and one filled with piping hot water. Also ask for a spoon, and a banana if you didn’t bring one and are still hankering.

    On your way out, grab an appropriately-sized lid and a few napkins too.

  • 3Assemble your oatmeal

    Find yourself a reasonable place to sit and pour the contents of one oatmeal baggie into the empty cup and add water – just until the oats are plumping.

    Add sweetener and almond butter to your liking, then top securely with the lid. You can also add the banana here if you like.

    Discard the water cup along with any water you didn’t use, as well as any extra sweetener or nut butter IF you have any.

    Let your oatmeal sit, covered with the lid, for the time it takes you to walk to your gate, check Instagram, a few emails, or whatever.

    When you remove the lid, your way-better-than-airport-kiosk-oatmeal will be ready to enjoy!

    Don’t neglect to realize that: if you ask for a cup tray for your hot water (and probably coffee) from the coffee shop, you can carry your oatmeal fixings all the way to your gate and enjoy making a gawk-worth bowl of oatmeal right in your seat. Trust me, someone will look at you and know that you’re smart as a whip.

    PLUS, you’ll start to feel right at home, wherever you’re going. And, you’ll arrive full of yummy, whole foods that fuel whatever you’re up to when you get there. Enjoy!

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