The Perfect Oatmeal

I’ve been slacking on the blogging side of things (forgive me) but one thing that I’ve been pretty consistent and regular with is eating breakfast. I go through periods where I only eat eggs or only fruit, but recently I’ve really gotten into oatmeal. Oatmeal kick starts my metabolism, stabilizes my blood sugar, and holds me longer than any other breakfast without weighing me down. While working with Justin, I’ve learned that my body responds to oatmeal better than any other breakfast. The weeks where I’m running late and just grab anything to eat in the mornings, I lack energy, am inconsistent with my food choices, and ultimately the scale goes up (oof!).

So now that I know this about my body, I’ve been experimenting with different brands and recipes. Here are my top picks in no particular order:

1. RAW Pure & Simple multigrain hot cereal by Better Oats

It’s fast and super easy to make. The packets pre-measure a serving of organic oatmeal and then you can use the same pouch to measure how much water you need. How many times have you made oatmeal and not known how much water to use? Better Oats has eliminated the uncertainty. Zap it in the microwave and you’re done! I really can’t think of anything wrong with it, besides maybe the price. It’s a little more than you’re average oatmeal but I can’t express how convenient this oatmeal is without sacrificing the flavor.

Unlike traditional oatmeal, it has flax, quinoa, barley, rye, and wheat.

2. McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal

This oatmeal has the best texture. It’s nutty and there’s actually something to chew rather than feeling like you’re eating baby food. You just feel like you’re eating something good for you and pure. The only down fall is that it takes forever to cook so I usually make a big pot on Sunday nights. That way I have it ready for the week’s breakfasts. The oatmeal actually holds well until the end of the week. If it congeals a bit towards the end of the week, I splash a little bit of almond milk to smooth it out.

3. McCann’s Instant Irish Oatmeal

Tastes exactly like the steel cut version, but it doesn’t have the texture and you save about 15 minutes. I packet is 28 grams so I never feel like it’s enough but it’s still a more stabilizing breakfast than a bagel! I don’t have to boil water but rather use the hot water from our office’s water cooler. I love how convenient it is, just miss the texture.

BTW, while I was on the McCann’s site I discovered the have recipes for chocolate chip oatmeal cake, chocolate fruit flapjacks and chocolate oat slices. Mmmm. Not so Lean Girl friendly, but allow yourself a treat once in a while 🙂

4. 365 Organic Multigrain with Flax Instant Oatmeal

It’s similar to the RAW Pure & Simple in taste and texture. It’s just as convenient minus the measuring cup pouch. If you can handle that, this is a safe purchase.

5. Quaker Oats

Quaker Oats- what I consider the original oatmeal because it’s the one brand available in every grocery store. Many of us remember using these oats to make oatmeal raisin cookies. I’ve never made them, but I sure have consumed a lot in my day. You really can’t go wrong with Quaker, but I find this to be the most boring of all.

6. The Perfect Oatmeal from Starbucks

If you’re a Lean Girl always on-the-go like me, this really is the perfect oatmeal for you. If you’re often jumping from meeting to meeting and don’t want to eat fast food, the Perfect Oatmeal is your best choice because it’s just oats and there’s a Starbucks on every corner of Manhattan.

Ask them to make it with water and slice a banana, which they also have available, and you have a great meal. It’s a much better and healthier choice than any other fast food oatmeal…especially the infamous McDonald’s oatmeal.

Where’s the flavored oatmeal? I stay away from the flavored oatmeal because it adds about three to four tablespoons of sugar and other preservatives to each serving. On days where I need a bit of flavor, I add:

  • fresh berries: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.
  • sliced banana
  • 1 tsp of peanut or almond butter
  • cinnamon or nutmeg
  • sliced almonds or a few raw nuts
  • diced apples and cinnamon
  • chia seeds or flax seeds
  • a little shredded coconut
  • splash of almond or hazelnut milk
Question: Do you eat oatmeal? What’s your favorite brand? What are some of your favorite toppings? I love suggestions!
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  • Brianne

    Yay! I’m so glad you like the RAW stuff I got us! 🙂 I do love me some Quaker Oats though! My favorite way to eat it lately is with a banana and a tsp of agave nectar!

    • Not oatmeal related, but did you know there is maple agave nectar? Might be perfect for those whole wheat or pumpkin pancakes!

  • I’m curious to try the flavored RAW oatmeal…will have to check out the sugar content. I’m pretty satisfied with the plain stuff though!

  • Mmm. Fall is such good oatmeal weather, too! Where do you find all these brands — Whole Foods?

    • Whole Foods or any “high end” grocery store will have all of these brands. RAW is probably the one that’s the hardest to find. It’s fairly new in NYC and has only recently started popping up.

      McCann’s – more and more grocery stores have “organic” or “health food” aisles. McCann’s can be found there. Or at least that’s where I find it at my grocery store. The grocery store in Manhattan has it next to Cream of Wheat and Quaker instant oats.

      This is another reason why I like Quaker and Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal. You can find it almost everywhere in the country.

      Lastly, if something is not at your local grocery store DO NOT hesitate to ask. Most grocery store owners buy things that the masses sell or they get pitched on certain brands based on the cost per unit or marketing co-op. Sometimes things are placed in the store not necessarily because it’s healthy or in demand, but because it’s the easy choice after being pitched. Many grocery store owners are willing to order new brands if you ask. Another reason to get to know the people at your grocery store!

  • Love this! I used to get the 365 brand from Whole Foods all the time, and I’ve had the Instant Irish Oatmeal, but usually I just get whole rolled oats from the bulk section at whole foods or Fairway. I never realized there could be such difference! Now I’m curious to check some of these out.

    As I mentioned to you the other day – while I don’t like Starbucks coffee, I do like their oatmeal. It’s just about the healthiest option when I’m in an airport early in the morning.

    • I wish I could buy in bulk! I just don’t have the space in my kitchen/apt!

  • Steel-cut oats are my fave…Live Well has a great microwavable brand!

    • I have yet to try the Live Well kind. Thanks for the tip and I’ll definitely check it out!

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