Short-term food storage and DIY long term food storage help ensure food security for your family, especially during emergencies. As you preparefor food storage, you might consider storing a number of different food items.

One of the food items that should be a part of yourshort-term and long-term food storage is oats. Since it has a low glycemic index and lots of fiber, it is very satiating and has the power to give you a boost ofenergy.

However, if you are reading this, you may not know how to store oats effectively for long-term use and that’s why we are going to break it all down for you in this blog post.

Keep reading to learn techniques to easily store them, identify if your oats have gone bad, and more.

Oats Storage Methods

How to Store Oats?

There are many different types of oats, but today we are going to discuss the two primary forms of oats you can use to make oatmeal: dried oats or dried oatmeal.

Dried Oats or Dried Oatmeal

Dried oats and dried oatmealhave very different ways that they store best as well as differing shelf-lives.

Dried oats such as rolled oats stay fresh for up to 30 years if they are stored properly in an airtight container with oxygen absorbers. For example, you can use airtight glass containers or Mylar bags.

A cellar or a basement would be the best place to store your airtight containers with dried oats and other long-term food storage items, as you should keep the airtight containers away from light and moisture.

Dried oatmeal on the other hand won’t have as long of a shelf-life even after storing it in airtight containers. This is because dried oatmeal will have other ingredients that affect its shelf-life, such as dry fruits, dehydrated fruits, nuts, or sugar.

Dry rolled and ground oatmeal in bowls

Overnight Oats or Cooked Oatmeal

The only way to extend the shelf-life of overnight oats or cooked oatmeal isto store it in the freezer. Once you have prepared overnight oats or cooked oatmeal, you need to portion it out, freeze the portions in freezer bags, and then store them in thefreezer.

Frozen overnight oats or cooked oatmeal must be consumed within six months of preparation/storage. Reheating it is faster than making oatmeal from scratch, making it a convenient addition to your short-term food storage.

Signs Your Oats Have Gone Bad

If you tried your best to store oats for short-term or long-term use, you should know that your oats are still prone to spoilage! Storing them properly is almost as important as recognizing the signs that indicate your oats are spoiled, so let’s dive into these 4 signs that your oats have gone bad.

Visual Signs

Look carefully, do you notice mold growth in your oats? Or do you see tiny insects?This indicates that your oats have gone bad,and you need to throw the whole batch away.

Foul Smell

Your nose is probably more receptive to any foul odor and smell than you might realize.Now, when oats are exposed to oxygen and moisture, they might see growth of microorganisms. This will result in a foul smell. If you detect an unusual or yucky smell, your oats arespoiled, and they need to be thrown away.


Overnight or cooked oatmeal has an especiallyhigh chance of spoilage. So, if you find that your oatmeal tastes different than usual, especially if it is in an unpleasant way, trust your gut asyour oats could be spoiled.


Changes in texture are another sign of spoilage. If you find unusual clumps in your oatmeal or notice a stringy texture, it is indicative of spoilage. You must avoid consuming spoiled food, so toss any oats that seem to have texture changes.

Two Oats Recipes to Try Out!

Oatmeal Pancakes

Oatmeal pancakes could be a great breakfast for your family! The recipe we are sharing with you is filled with good carbs, fibers, and proteins, giving you all the essential nutrients you need to kick off the day.

To make oatmeal pancakes, you need the following

  • ¾ Cup wheat and rolled oats respectively
  • 1½ Cups buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 ½ Tsp baking powder
  • ½ Tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter

Rolled Oats

Mix these ingredients to create your pancake batter. Heat a nonstick pan and add a little butter. Pour your oatmeal pancake batter into the pan. You can decide the size of the pancakes as per your liking. Once you see bubbles, flip the pancake to cook it from the other side. Servepancakes hot with butter and maple syrup along with any fruits of your choice.

Mango-Ginger Overnight Oats

You might already know how to make basic peanut butter overnight oats or cinnamon overnight oats. However, just to amp up the flavor of your overnight oats, you can try the mango-ginger overnight oats recipe.

You will need the following to make this delicious recipe. This will make 4 servings.

  • 1 1/3 Cup water
  • 2 Cups instant oats
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2/3 Cup unsweetened coconut milk (or any other milk you prefer)
  • ½ Tsp ginger, grated
  • 2 Cups frozen mango

All you need to do is take 4 pint-sized jars. Pour ½ cup of oats into each jar. Mix your water, coconut milk (or your choice of milk), ginger, and honey. Pour this mixture into each jar over the oats. Add ½ cup of frozen mangoes to each jar. Chill it overnight in the refrigerator. The oats will get soft until your morning breakfast.

Apart from these quick oats recipes, you can also use oats to make apple crumble, zucchini bread, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and so much more!

yummy oatmeal

Bottom Line

Oats are a great grain to store in your short-term and long-term food storage. Store your dried oats in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, and store your overnight oats in freezer-bags and jars short-term so you can keep your oats fresh for the morning.

You can buy Wallaby Mylar bag bundles and other preparedness essentials on our website! We have everything you need to keep your oats and other staples fresh for decades.

Head to our site to get started, or contact our expert staff today to evaluate your food storage needs.