Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Instant oatmeal taste test

Casa Kelly’s 2013 New Year’s resolution is healthier living — nutritious eating, physical activity, and enlightenment of the mind. The easy part for shopper Eve is the eating. Out go the chips, in come the fruit, veggies, nuts. Out cold cereal, in oatmeal. But the kids have grown accustomed to the quickness of cold cereal, and Patrick’s an old-fashioned-oats type of guy. He says instant oats are mushy and flavorless. So, I set out to find an instant oatmeal that would please everybody.

I hit the stores and snatched up all the instant oatmeal I could find, and then Pat and I sat down for some tasting.

“For the oatmeal ignoramus, the options in the stores are puzzling,” I admitted. “Instant oatmeal, quick oats, old-fashioned oats, and then you add in the multigrain options — it becomes dizzying. I stuck with oats that come in individual-serving packets. And all except one are unsweetened varieties.”

“Good. They’re all way to sweet,” answered Patrick.

“‘All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast,’” I read a quote from John Gunther off the first box of Nature’s Path Organic Hot Oatmeal Original ($3.99 for eight packets at Sprouts).

“But these oats would ruin the most leisurely breakfast,” countered Patrick. “They cook up like a big ball of gooey kindergarten paste. You’d have to add a good deal of milk to loosen it up. Kind of a salty finish, too.”

Several brands failed the gooey-paste test. “Some raw-grain flavor here,” offered Patrick, trying the Essential Everyday Original Flavor ($3.69 for 12 packets at Albertsons), “but at the same time, gooey.”

Some oats failed the texture (or lack thereof) test. “Almost completely homogenous,” noticed Patrick, trying the Glutenfreeda Instant Oatmeal ($5.29 for six packets at Sprouts). “I don’t like that at all.”

Then there were the packages that were short on oatmeal flavor. “Can’t really taste much oats in this,” complained Patrick after a steaming spoonful of Wild Harvest Organic Instant Oatmeal ($3.99 for eight packets at Albertsons).

“And this Trader Joe’s Oatmeal Complete looks like gruel and has no smell nor flavor,” he added ($2.99 for eight packets).

After a while we hit some winners. “My favorite aroma so far,” I noticed, smelling the BetterOats Good ’N Hearty Classic with Flax ($1.99 for eight packets at Albertsons).

“A rich, oatmeal flavor,” added Patrick, “and just a hint of flax. This would make delicious oatmeal cookies.”

Another keeper: Organic Mom’s Best Naturals Plain Grain Multigrain Hot Cereal ($2.39 for five pouches at Sprouts). “The packet doubles as a measuring package with a fill line,” noticed Patrick. “Super hearty, large flakes, it’s hard to believe it came out of a package.”

The Quaker Instant Oatmeal Original “tastes like my old-fashioned oats, not like instant oatmeal,” Patrick happily noted ($4.69 for 12 packets at Albertsons).

The Safeway Kitchens Original Flavor oatmeal looked like dry baby food flakes ($3.79 at Vons for 12 packets). “A little watery, but I do like the oatmeal flavor,” offered Patrick.

The 365 Organic Instant Oatmeal ($3.49 for eight packets at Whole Foods) cooked up a little gooey, “but I like the way it smells and the oatmeal flavor, and it has a little bit of chew to it, not just mush,” Patrick admitted.

“You slipped in a sweetened one, you sly one,” said Patrick, winking at me and tasting the Bakery on Main Maple Multigrain Muffin ($5.29 for six packets at Sprouts).

“Not for me, for the kids,” I winked back. “Do you like it?”

“I’m sure the kids would love this, but the sweetness of it makes me wince,” Patrick said. “It’s 70 percent sweeter than I’d ever sweeten my own oatmeal, but there is a hearty oatiness to it.”

Our last nibble was from Eco-Planet Gluten Free Instant Oatmeal ($5.99 for six packets at Sprouts). “This one smells different...good, but not exactly like oats,” said Patrick.

“That’s ’cause it has quinoa, millet, puffed amaranth, brown rice, sorghum, and buckwheat in it, along with whole oats,” I answered, reading the box.

“Mmmmm,” said Patrick, shoveling in a heaping spoonful, “I lub it.”

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies, uncovered

Nudity does more to advance an actress’s career than it does the plot
Next Article

Imagine a pedestrian-friendly Kearny Mesa

Hard to consider history in 30-year plan

Casa Kelly’s 2013 New Year’s resolution is healthier living — nutritious eating, physical activity, and enlightenment of the mind. The easy part for shopper Eve is the eating. Out go the chips, in come the fruit, veggies, nuts. Out cold cereal, in oatmeal. But the kids have grown accustomed to the quickness of cold cereal, and Patrick’s an old-fashioned-oats type of guy. He says instant oats are mushy and flavorless. So, I set out to find an instant oatmeal that would please everybody.

I hit the stores and snatched up all the instant oatmeal I could find, and then Pat and I sat down for some tasting.

“For the oatmeal ignoramus, the options in the stores are puzzling,” I admitted. “Instant oatmeal, quick oats, old-fashioned oats, and then you add in the multigrain options — it becomes dizzying. I stuck with oats that come in individual-serving packets. And all except one are unsweetened varieties.”

“Good. They’re all way to sweet,” answered Patrick.

“‘All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast,’” I read a quote from John Gunther off the first box of Nature’s Path Organic Hot Oatmeal Original ($3.99 for eight packets at Sprouts).

“But these oats would ruin the most leisurely breakfast,” countered Patrick. “They cook up like a big ball of gooey kindergarten paste. You’d have to add a good deal of milk to loosen it up. Kind of a salty finish, too.”

Several brands failed the gooey-paste test. “Some raw-grain flavor here,” offered Patrick, trying the Essential Everyday Original Flavor ($3.69 for 12 packets at Albertsons), “but at the same time, gooey.”

Some oats failed the texture (or lack thereof) test. “Almost completely homogenous,” noticed Patrick, trying the Glutenfreeda Instant Oatmeal ($5.29 for six packets at Sprouts). “I don’t like that at all.”

Then there were the packages that were short on oatmeal flavor. “Can’t really taste much oats in this,” complained Patrick after a steaming spoonful of Wild Harvest Organic Instant Oatmeal ($3.99 for eight packets at Albertsons).

“And this Trader Joe’s Oatmeal Complete looks like gruel and has no smell nor flavor,” he added ($2.99 for eight packets).

After a while we hit some winners. “My favorite aroma so far,” I noticed, smelling the BetterOats Good ’N Hearty Classic with Flax ($1.99 for eight packets at Albertsons).

“A rich, oatmeal flavor,” added Patrick, “and just a hint of flax. This would make delicious oatmeal cookies.”

Another keeper: Organic Mom’s Best Naturals Plain Grain Multigrain Hot Cereal ($2.39 for five pouches at Sprouts). “The packet doubles as a measuring package with a fill line,” noticed Patrick. “Super hearty, large flakes, it’s hard to believe it came out of a package.”

The Quaker Instant Oatmeal Original “tastes like my old-fashioned oats, not like instant oatmeal,” Patrick happily noted ($4.69 for 12 packets at Albertsons).

The Safeway Kitchens Original Flavor oatmeal looked like dry baby food flakes ($3.79 at Vons for 12 packets). “A little watery, but I do like the oatmeal flavor,” offered Patrick.

The 365 Organic Instant Oatmeal ($3.49 for eight packets at Whole Foods) cooked up a little gooey, “but I like the way it smells and the oatmeal flavor, and it has a little bit of chew to it, not just mush,” Patrick admitted.

“You slipped in a sweetened one, you sly one,” said Patrick, winking at me and tasting the Bakery on Main Maple Multigrain Muffin ($5.29 for six packets at Sprouts).

“Not for me, for the kids,” I winked back. “Do you like it?”

“I’m sure the kids would love this, but the sweetness of it makes me wince,” Patrick said. “It’s 70 percent sweeter than I’d ever sweeten my own oatmeal, but there is a hearty oatiness to it.”

Our last nibble was from Eco-Planet Gluten Free Instant Oatmeal ($5.99 for six packets at Sprouts). “This one smells different...good, but not exactly like oats,” said Patrick.

“That’s ’cause it has quinoa, millet, puffed amaranth, brown rice, sorghum, and buckwheat in it, along with whole oats,” I answered, reading the box.

“Mmmmm,” said Patrick, shoveling in a heaping spoonful, “I lub it.”

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Thai Joints rule in the Heights

Pick up or delivery, Thai fans have it good on Adams Avenue
Next Article

Ocean Beach trash altruist

Cameron Reid covers Niagara and Narragansett, Sunset Cliffs to Abbott.
Comments
1

If you're not dead set on instant oatmeal, the bulk bins have organic rolled oats for $1.49 a pound at both Sprouts and Whole Foods (and probably other places also). We have this almost every morning and it tastes great and doesn't take long (5 minutes tops, probably closer to 3).

We usually add some maple syrup, cinnamon, poppyseeds, or other flavors to mix it up.

Love the idea and hope it goes well for the family!

Feb. 15, 2013

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close