The takeaway message from this experience is that when it comes to oatmeal, as with many other foods, your best bet is to purchase it whole, real and plain. Take the reins by flavouring oatmeal yourself and be delighted with a tasty final product that is nutritionally superior, too.
Oatmeal is a whole grain that contains a type of soluble fiber known as beta-glucan, known for its cholesterol-lowering properties. The viscous quality of this fiber also helps us feel fuller longer, making oatmeal a satiating breakfast option. Which kind should you buy? I am less fond of instant oatmeal; it is partially cooked and the resulting texture is very soft. Also, instant oatmeal often contains salt, sugar and artificial colouring. If you’re pressed for time, quick-cooking rolled oats will do the trick; scan the ingredient list for 100% whole grain rolled oats. However, if you have more time on your hands, old fashioned oats or steel cut oats are well-worth the wait; they’re chewy, nutty and delicious.
Another reason to DIY with oatmeal is that most flavoured mixes are laden with added sugars, most varieties offering 2-3 teaspoons per packet. By choosing an unsweetened variety, you can control the amount you need or cut it out completely by using fruit to sweeten your porridge. Nixing the flavoured mixes and doing it yourself is a simple trade-off that is well worth it, especially if it’s part of your daily routine.
Swap popular flavour mixes with these toppings instead:
Are you an oatmeal lover or hater? What’s your favourite oatmeal topping? Have you every underestimated a food product and gave it a second chance?