What did you have for lunch?
I had oatmeal.
I know, it’s a breakfast food, but guess what? I’m a rule breaker.
If you could have this, wouldn’t you be a bad girl too?
And guess what?
It’s super heart-healthy in addition to being super tasty.
Do you think I should ask more questions?
I was hoping you would say yes!
Well anyway, before I give you the super-easy-probably-shouldn’t-even-call-it-a-recipe recipe, I thought I’d share the stats on a few popular restaurant oatmeals and store-bought brands:
|Serving Size (g)||Calories (kcal)||Fat (g)||Saturated Fat (g)||Fiber (g)||Protein (g)||Sodium (mg)|
|McDonald’s Fruit and Maple Oatmeal||253 (wet)||290||4.5||2||5||5||160|
|Starbucks Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats||40||150||2.5||0||4||5||0|
|Quaker Oats, Steel-Cut||40||150||2.5||0.5||4||5||0|
|Quaker Oats, Old-Fashioned||40||150||3||0.5||4||5||0|
|Quaker Oats, Quick Oats||40||150||3||0.5||4||5||0|
|Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Original||28||100||2||0||3||4||75|
|Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Strawberries and Cream||35||130||2||0.5||2||3||180|
Let’s talk about this.
First of all the McDonald’s oatmeal: Yikes! Here’s what I notice. The serving size is based on wet weight whereas all the others are dry weight so you can’t really tell if there’s more of it from the serving size. When you look at the calories, you think, it must be a bigger serving than the others. But then look over at the fiber and protein – pretty much the same as the next 4 on the list. Take a look at the ingredient list and you’ll see that the extra calories come from fat and added sugar, not a larger serving:
McDonald’s Fruit and Maple Oatmeal: Oatmeal (Whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, food starch-modified, salt, natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, caramel color), Diced Apples, Cranberry Raisin Blend, Light Cream
Next on the list is the Starbucks Oatmeal, and Quaker’s Steel-Cut, Old-Fashioned, and Quick Oats. These 4 all have pretty much the same nutrition stats which is great news for the Starbucks Oatmeal. I couldn’t find an ingredient list for it, but given the name and the nutrition profile, I’m guessing it’s just a combination of steel-cut and old-fashioned oats. The ingredients for the other 3 are simply:
Quaker Oats, Steel-Cut: 100% natural whole grain steel-cut oats
Quaker Oats, Old-Fashioned: 100% natural whole grain rolled oats
Quaker Oats, Quick Oats: 100% natural whole grain rolled oats
Okay, on to the Quaker Original Instant Oatmeal. The serving size is 28g (1 package) instead of 40g (1/2 cup dry). What this means is that calories, fat, saturated fat, fiber, and protein would be similar (but not identical) if the products were compared gram for gram. But did you notice the sodium? The Instant Oatmeal also has more calcium, iron, and vitamin A. This is because these ingredients were added along with oat flour, caramel color, and guar gum. Check out this ingredient list:
Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Original: WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, OAT FLOUR, CALCIUM CARBONATE, SALT, GUAR GUM, CARAMEL COLOR, REDUCED IRON, VITAMIN A PALMITATE.
And the moment you’ve all been waiting for.
Here’s the ingredient list for the Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal:
Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Strawberries and Cream: WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, SUGAR, FLAVORED AND COLORED FRUIT PIECES (DEHYDRATED APPLES [TREATED WITH SODIUM SULFITE TO PROMOTE COLOR RETENTION], ARTIFICIAL STRAWBERRY FLAVOR, CITRIC ACID, RED 40), CREAMING AGENT (MALTODEXTRIN, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, WHEY, SODIUM CASEINATE), SALT, CALCIUM CARBONATE, GUAR GUM, OAT FLOUR, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CITRIC ACID, NIACINAMIDE, REDUCED IRON, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE, RIBOFLAVIN, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, FOLIC ACID.
That list just goes on and on! The serving size is almost the same as the Quaker’s Steel-Cut, Old-Fashioned, and Quick Oats, but why is the protein and fiber so much lower? Even the fat is a little lower which tells me that even though oats are the first ingredient (and therefore the highest content by weight), the second ingredient (sugar) isn’t fat behind. There’s all sorts of other fun stuff in there to add vitamins and minerals, color, flavor, and texture, but wouldn’t you rather eat food with ingredients you can pronounce?
Enter home-made strawberries and cream oatmeal.
My oatmeal recipe looks like this:
|Calories (kcal)||Fat (g)||Saturated Fat (g)||Fiber (g)||Protein (g)||Sodium (mg)|
|Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal||210||3||0.5||5||6||105|
Yes, it has more calories than plain oatmeal but the added protein will help you stay full longer. It also has more sodium than plain oatmeal, but it’s natural, rather than from added salt. The real strawberries provide 70% of the daily value for vitamin C and the yogurt provides 30% of the daily value for calcium too!
Okay, so without further ado, here is my recipe:
Home-made Strawberries and Cream Oatmeal
Start by washing, drying, and removing the stem from 4 large strawberries. Remember why it’s important to wash before removing the stem?
Slice them up. You can dice them into smaller pieces but I’m a fan a big chunky slices. Set these aside.
Then dump 1/2 cup of oatmeal in a bowl. I like to measure my oatmeal because I forget how much it expands so if I don’t measure it, I always end up with way too much.
Pour in 1/2 cup of water.
Microwave for 1-3 minutes depending how your microwave works and how mushy you like your oatmeal.
Add 1/4 dollop of fat-free Greek yogurt. This Chobani stuff is great – check out the ingredient list:
Cultured pasteurized nonfat milk, live and active cultures
It does go on to specify which cultures, but all I need to know is that they act as probiotics to help to keep my digestive tract healthy (read, no icky diarrhea.)
Now forget I said that and start thinking about strawberries.
Yum … Strawberries …
Toss in those strawberries that you so beautifully sliced.
And then you could just eat it like this.
Or mix it all up and enjoy how messy it looks.
But eat it up quick before that dang cat steals any!