Categories
Audio Posts In English

I tried instant oatmeal from 6 brands, including Trader Joe’s and Quaker. The best one was a hit with me and my kids.


Boxes of oatmeal on a counterI tried instant oatmeal in maple-and-brown-sugar flavors from Bob’s Red Mill, McCann’s, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods 365, Kodiak, and Quaker. 

Ted Berg

  • I tried oatmeal from Bob’s Red Mill, McCann’s, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods 365, Kodiak, & Quaker. 
  • My family didn’t like the Kodiak instant oatmeal, nor did we love McCann’s Irish oatmeal. 
  • The Bob’s Red Mill instant oatmeal was the unanimous favorite for me and my kids. 

Instant oatmeal can make for a great quick breakfast, with fiber, protein, and carbohydrates to get you moving in the morning.

But oatmeal is a multibillion-dollar market, so most supermarkets sell it in many flavors, brands, and varieties. To see which instant oatmeals are actually worth buying for breakfast, I tried six varieties with my family of four and ranked them.

I purchased the maple-and-brown-sugar flavors from each brand and prepared all six according to the instructions on their packages, choosing the water and microwave options.

Here’s our instant oatmeal ranking, from our least favorite to our top pick.

6. Kodiak protein-packed oatmealKodiak protein oatmeal box next to empty packet and bowl of oatmealIt was nice that the Kodiak oatmeal had protein but we didn’t love the flavor.

Ted Berg

Kodiak is a bit of an outlier among the oatmeals I tested in that it includes added pea protein, whey protein, and milk protein.

Each serving of oatmeal has 12 grams of protein, about three times more than the other varieties I tried. It also featured the largest and least ground-up oats and required the shortest cooking time — as little as 30 seconds in the microwave.

But once it was hot and ready, it gave off a smell strangely reminiscent of chocolate milk, and the oats swam in a sludge that tasted mostly like melted protein bar.

This was undoubtedly our least favorite of the oatmeals we tried, but I could see it being a decent option for someone who wants extra protein in the morning.

5. McCann’s instant Irish oatmealMccanns Irish oatmeal box next to empty packet and bowl of oatmealThe McCann’s instant Irish oatmeal I tried had an almost butterscotch taste.

Ted Berg

I had high hopes for McCann’s instant Irish oatmeal because I enjoy the brand’s traditional oatmeal. The picture on the package also looked promising, with its thick, hearty oats.

But the maple-brown-sugar flavoring was overpowering, both too salty and too sweet at once, and it tasted distinctly like butterscotch.

My 3-year-old took one bite, declared it “not for me,” and was from there, unwilling to taste any more oatmeal.

4. Quaker instant oatmeal Quaker maple and brown sugar oatmeal box next to empty packet and bowl of oatmealThe Quaker instant oatmeal was on the thicker side.

Ted Berg

Quaker is pretty famous for its oats and oatmeal, but I wasn’t entirely sold on this variety. For starters, I was a little turned off by the clump of dried sugar and seasoning that came out of the packet with the oats.

Once it was cooked, the oatmeal’s texture seemed a little gelatinous, and my 6-year-old called it “too thick.” With a little milk mixed in, he liked the flavor, which was still a bit too sweet for my taste.

3. 365 by Whole Foods Market organic instant oatmeal Whole Foods 365 Oatmeal box next to empty packet and bowl of oatmealThe 365 by Whole Foods Market organic instant oatmeal box has a bowl of oatmeal loaded with toppings on the front.

Ted Berg

The serving suggestion photographed on the front of the box of Whole Foods’ house-brand instant oatmeal does not include much oatmeal. The oatmeal is topped with pistachios, granola, apples, honey, and a dollop of what might be yogurt.

After trying the oatmeal on its own, I could see why someone might want to gussy it up: It’s very plain.

It had the finest ground of the six oatmeals I tried, with a texture almost like cream of wheat. It’s only slightly sweet, with subtle flavors of brown sugar and maple. My 6-year-old called it “too thin.”

2. Trader Joe’s instant oatmealTrader Joe's oatmeal box next to empty packet and bowl of oatmealThe Trader Joe’s oatmeal would’ve been even better if it was thicker.

Ted Berg

My kids gave Trader Joe’s entry a very spirited thumbs-up. I liked it, too. It’s sweet and creamy, with a distinct maple flavor that’s not overpowering.

Like McCann’s, Trader Joe’s oatmeal had a hint of butterscotch flavor to it, but in this case, it wasn’t unpleasant.

I thought it could stand to be a hint thicker and enjoyed it more when I later made it with milk instead of water.

1. Bob’s Red Mill instant oatmeal Red Mill oatmeal box next to empty packet and bowl of oatmealMy family really liked Bob’s Red Mill instant oatmeal in the brown-sugar-and-maple flavor.

Ted Berg

Bob’s Red Mill instant oatmeal was the consensus favorite in my household and the runaway favorite for me.

Made with flaxseed meal, Bob’s Red Mill’s oatmeal includes less than half as much added sugar (5 grams per serving) as any of the other brands I tried (10 grams to 13 grams per serving).

It’s only lightly sweet, with a mild nuttiness that’s absent in all the others, and only a touch of maple. It’s delicious, if a bit unexciting, on its own, and a perfect palate for mix-ins.

Of the six oatmeals, it’s the only one I could imagine eating daily since I’d quickly get tired of the ones with bolder flavoring.

Read the original article on Business Insider