As cool winter weather settles over Southwest Louisiana, our morning appetites turn to warm comfort food. Oatmeal often finds its way into our breakfast bowls, though we may not always have time to cook oats the old-fashioned way. Instant oatmeal to the rescue! Here’s a roundup of several brands you’ll find in lake area cereal aisles.
Quaker may be considered the quintessential oatmeal brand. And deservedly so. This breakfast staple has been around since 1877! While most are familiar with popular flavors such as maple brown sugar and apple cinnamon, Quaker continues to reinvent the brand. They recently sponsored a "Bring your Best Bowl” contest. Finalists included these three daring flavors – Vanilla Chai, Apple Cheddar Rosemary, and Lemon Ricotta Pancake. The winner will be announced in February. While very popular, Quaker Instant Oatmeal contains more artificial fillers and flavors than some of the healthier options. 150 calories, 2 grams fat, 30 grams total carbs, 3 grams fiber, 4-5 grams protein. Found most anywhere oatmeal is sold.
Kathleens’s Quick Oats offers an all-natural instant oatmeal with a very short ingredient list. The Ancient variety contains whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, flaxmeal, hulled hemp seeds, and chia seeds. That’s it. Other flavors include Brown Sugar, Cinnamon Raisin, and Oats & Quinoa Crumble. 170 calories, 4 grams of fat, total carbs 29 grams, 4 grams fiber, 5 grams protein. Recently found at Big Lots for $2.00 a box. (A bargain!)
Bakery on Main Oatmeal and Muesli comes from a dedicated gluten free, non-GMO, kosher, natural foods bakery in Connecticut. They feature fun flavors like Strawberry Shortcake, Apple Pie, Maple Multigrain Muffin, and Blueberry Scone. Each variety’s ingredient list includes healthy ancient grains – chia seeds, flax meal, quinoa, and amaranth. Kudos for natural ingredients, high fiber, and protein, but demerits for excess sugar. 200 calories, 3 grams of fat, 37 grams total carbs, 5 grams fiber, 6 grams of protein. While a bit trickier to find locally, it can be ordered online at bakeryonmain.com.
Also called porridge, McCann’s Irish Oatmeal has a rich texture and nutty flavor. It comes in Regular, Apple Cinnamon, and Maple Brown Sugar flavors. 100 calories, 2 grams of fat, 19 grams total carbs, 3 grams fiber, 4 grams protein. Can be found at select Kroger and Market Basket stores.
One of the healthiest instant oatmeals on the market is Nature’s Path Organic. Also non-GMO and vegetarian. It comes highly recommended on the Eat This Not That website and includes several tempting varieties including Optimum Power Blueberry Cinnamon Flax. 160 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 30 grams total carbs, 3 grams of fiber, 9 grams protein. Sold at Kroger, Albertson’s, Big Lots, and Target.