Tag Archives: oatmeal

Product Review: Quaker Overnight Oats

Hi friends!

With back to school time, we are all trying to get into good routines in the morning. There’s plenty of information out there showing that a good breakfast helps kids at school. But getting that good breakfast in before school can be tricky.

Recently, I heard about these Quaker Overnight Oats cups. They were on sale so I gave a couple flavors a try. This review is unsponsored. I bought these on my own. Quaker has no idea I exist.

We tried two flavors: Toasted Coconut and Almond Crunch; Blueberry Banana and Vanilla.

Overnight Oats

The instructions are very straightforward. Fill to the line in the cup with milk (or non-dairy milk substitute). Close the lid. Let steep in your fridge overnight. In the morning, you get this:

Steeped Overnight Oats

You can eat them cold or the package has instructions for how to heat it up.

Our rating (mine and my husband)? Neither of us were very fond of them cold. I liked the blueberry one cold more than the coconut. Warmed up, they were pretty good. These were very easy and made for a fast morning.

I think overall I give them a 3 out of 5 stars. Maybe I would have liked a different flavor cold more (it does come in 6 total flavors). The biggest downside is I don’t really see the purpose or cost effectiveness. It is very easy to make your own cup of cold overnight oatmeal like this. I have recipes here for that. But even on the webpage for this product, Quaker gives directions of how to make your own.

As for cost, each of these cups cost me $1.50 on sale. Normally they are $1.79. A big container of oats is less than $5 and will give you 15+ servings of oatmeal. You save a little time on measuring the oats themselves. They have thought out the fruit for you.

So in the end, I’m not going to judge you if you like these and use them. You are getting a healthy breakfast. And they are tasty (although in our family’s opinion more tasty if warm). But if you like the idea, you can make them pretty easily on your own for much cheaper.

Cold oatmeal not your thing? Oatmeal in the crockpot is also super easy and makes your house smell delicious when you wake up: Slow Cooker Overnight Oatmeal

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Oatmeal Whole Grain Bread

I woke up it to snowing this morning. After a night of not much sleep and several days of stress with a kid with the flu, it was the last thing I wanted to see. So I took some advice and made some homemade bread and soup. Cold weather screams homemade bread to me for some reason. And there isn’t much better in this world than a grilled cheese sandwich on homemade bread.

This bread is quickly becoming my go to. It sounds a bit odd for sandwiches, but I promise it works. I’ve made it with and without the cinnamon. I think I may slightly prefer it without cinnamon, but it isn’t an overpowering flavor when you use it.

Oatmeal Whole Grain Bread (Makes 2 loaves, 32 slices)

Oatmeal Whole Grain Bread

2 ½ cups boiling water
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
1 tablespoon instant yeast
5 ½ cups white whole wheat flour

1. Combine water through cinnamon in large mixing bowl. Cool to lukewarm (no more than 120 degrees F).
2. Add the yeast and flour, stirring to form a rough dough. Knead with a dough hook for 7 minutes or by hand for 10 minutes; knead until dough is smooth an satiny.
3. Lightly grease bowl. Place dough in bowl. Cover with a light towel or lightly greased plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour, about double in bulk.
4. Divide dough in half and shape into a loaf. Place in lightly greased loaf pans. Cover pans with towel or plastic wrap as above. Allow loaves to rise until they crown 1 inch over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 350. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown. Immediately remove loaves to wire rack to completely cool.

Nutritional Information (Amount per slice):

Calories: 109
Protein: 3 g
Fat: 2 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 4 mg
Carbohydrates: 21 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 220 mg

Recipe notes: I have only made this with white whole wheat flour. If using “regular” whole wheat flour, I would probably split it with all-purpose. The original recipe called for 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour, 4 cups all-purpose. I’ve had no problems just using 100% white whole wheat flour.

Source: slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour

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Slow Cooker Overnight Oatmeal

How are your health resolutions going? Are you going strong or have you fallen off the bandwagon already? No shame either way. I’ve met some of my goals, slipped at others. Here’s the thing I think most people forget: it is a goal for ALL of 2018. So if it takes until December 31 to do it, that is 100% ok.

My #1 advice I can give you if things aren’t going so well is to TRY AGAIN! But before trying again, think about what went wrong. For me, I often make really good goals then don’t set myself up for success. For example, I wanted to eat more vegetables at lunch. But then didn’t buy anything. Oops! So now I bought a bunch of salad stuff that is really easy to throw together at lunch or into my smoothie at breakfast. Magic! I’m eating more vegetables.

Another tip to succeeding is to move decisions from a hard time to an easy time. For example, if you made a resolution to eat breakfast, help yourself out and make things ahead of time. Then, when it is morning and you are rushed and busy it is easy to eat rather than easy to skip it.

This overnight oatmeal is great for that. You mix it and put it in the slow cooker before you go to bed. Then you have warm, healthy breakfast waiting when you get up. This is great for families with a variety of schedules because everyone can just grab some when it is convenient. Just don’t forget to plug in the slow cooker like I did once. That leads to frowns in the morning.

Slow Cooker Overnight Oatmeal (Serves 4-6)

(Sorry no pic right now. Life happens a lot in the morning at my house.)

¾ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups skim milk
1 cup water

1. In a glass bowl, mix ingredients.
2. Place bowl inside slow cooker. Pour enough water around bowl up as high as the oatmeal mixture.
3. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
4. Stir and serve.

Nutrient Analysis (amount per serving):

Calories: 198
Protein: 6 gm
Fat: 1 gm
Saturated Fat: less than 1 gm
Cholesterol: 3 mg
Carbohydrates: 43 gm
Fiber: 2 gm
Sodium: 60 mg

Recipe Notes: It does HAVE to be steel cut oats. I have used the Coach’s oats from Costco, which work well. You could mix everything straight in the slow cooker. However, it is likely to burn/stick to the sides and bottom and be somewhat difficult to clean. Putting it in the bowl keeps that mess from happening. Also, I think it is a gentler cook in the bowl. So I have cooked mine for longer than 8 hours and it is fine.

Variation: Peach Oatmeal

Add in 2 large peaches, sliced (about 2 cups) or 28-ounce can sliced peaches in juice, drained; 1 teaspoon ginger; 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg; and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Nutrient Analysis (amount per serving):

Calories: 222
Protein: 6 gm
Fat: 1 gm
Saturated Fat: less than 1 gm
Cholesterol: 3 mg
Carbohydrates: 48 gm
Fiber: 2 gm
Sodium: 60 mg

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Pumpkin Oatmeal

I waxed so philosophical about hating recipes that only use part of a can of pumpkin. Yet, I frequently find myself making them anyway. Oops. But I’m getting more creative in ways to use up the extra pumpkin.

Pumpkin in oatmeal seems like a logical choice. You already put in brown sugar and cinnamon, which go great with pumpkin. Plus you are now putting vegetables in breakfast. That is always a win. Super fast breakfast that is good for you and delicious. Major win this time of year!

Pumpkin Oatmeal (Serves 3-4)

Pumpkin Oatmeal

2 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant)
¾ – 1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups skim milk
2 cups water
cinnamon to taste (I use about ½ teaspoon)
¼-⅓ cup brown sugar

1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5-7 minutes, per package instructions for your oats. Stir frequently.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 285
Protein: 10 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 3 mg
Carbohydrates: 56 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sodium: 62 mg

Recipe notes: This is a very flexible recipe. Use more or less pumpkin, per your taste. You could use all milk, all water, etc. As for the sugar, I usually add about ¼ cup sugar to my regular oatmeal. I found the pumpkin had a strong taste that needed a little more sugar. You might start with ¼ cup, then add teaspoons in individual bowls for each person’s taste.

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Berry Banana Baked Oatmeal

Growing up, I hated cold cereal and oatmeal for breakfast. I feel sorry for my poor parents looking back. What kid hates eating cereal? I enjoy both immensely now, but I had to find my way. Now, I feed oatmeal to my family almost every day.

For oatmeal, I discovered I just don’t like dousing my oatmeal in milk like my parents did. So you would think this baked oatmeal would be a dream for me. I found eating it just like this was actually a little too far on the “thick and dry” spectrum for me. However, cooled off and eaten like granola over some Greek yogurt, I could eat an entire pan of this stuff.

This baked oatmeal comes together very quickly as far as hands on time. It’s perfect for a holiday morning, like Easter. Mix it up, throw it in the oven, then go enjoy hunting for eggs and trying to keep your kids from eating all of the candy before breakfast. It’s great for a get together too, since it can be served hot, warm, or cold.

Enjoy!

Berry Banana Baked Oatmeal (Serves 8)

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2 cups old-fashioned oats
¼ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg
1 tablespoon peanut butter, optional
1 ½ cups skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups berries, fresh or frozen
1 banana

1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Combine oats, brown sugar, soda, and cinnamon in a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine egg, peanut butter, milk, and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients. Gently fold in berries and banana. Pour into prepared baking dish.

3. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until looks “set”. Serve hot, warm, or cold.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 166
Protein: 6 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 24 mg
Carbohydrates: 30 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 120 mg

Recipe Notes: You can use whatever combinations of fruit you like. Apples, pears, and coconut come to mind as other great ideas to mix in. I liked the addition of peanut butter, but make sure you whisk it in well. I didn’t do the best job, so some bites tasted very peanut and others not at all. As I said above, if you don’t love this as is, try it cold over some yogurt. It’s the best parfait ever.

Recipe source: adapted from Six Sisters’ Stuff

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Overnight Oatmeal

In my last post, I discussed the importance of getting enough protein at breakfast and mentioned oatmeal as a protein-rich breakfast.  However, many people don’t want to cook in the morning or eat hot cereal in the summer.

Overnight oats are a great solution and are fast, simple, and endlessly versatile.  I will give you the basic recipe here plus three variations I have tried.  But you can change up the liquid, fruit, sweetener, and other mix-ins to make it yours.

If you are skeptical (like myself and my husband), don’t be afraid!  It kind of tastes like eating a parfait with less crunchy granola.  We actually don’t mind hot cereal in the summer (interpreted as we eat oatmeal about 5 days a week), but this provides a nice variation to our usual routine.

If you are starting to get ready for back-to-school, this could be a great breakfast to add to your repertoire. Prepping it the night before saves you time in the morning. Your kids can even eat it in the car (if you trust them). And a filling breakfast can help them focus at school.

Enjoy!

Overnight Oatmeal (Serves 1)

Basic Recipe:

½ cup dry rolled oats (NOT quick or instant oats)
½ cup liquid
½ tablespoon sweetener (more or less to taste)
Desired mix-ins

1. Mix oats, liquid, sweetener, and mix-ins in a sealable container. Place in fridge overnight. Stir again before eating, adding additional sweetener or mix-ins as desired.

Recipe notes: The liquid could be milk, juice, yogurt, soy milk, almond milk, etc. I probably wouldn’t sue water, but you could try it if you wanted. It doesn’t look like enough liquid, but it will be. I added more liquid because I was nervous, and I had soupy oatmeal in the morning. For a sweetener, I typically saw honey as I searched online. I’m sure traditional brown sugar for oatmeal would also work. If using a plain yogurt for your liquid, you might want to increase your sweetener amount. Most recipes I saw online said to put in seasonings at night, but add fruit/nuts/nut butters in the morning. I put everything in at night except for the chopped nuts, and it worked just fine.

Other mix-in ideas: cinnamon, chopped fresh fruit, berries (fresh or frozen), nut butter, chopped nuts, dried fruit

Here are my different concoctions. See the basic recipe for instructions.

Peach and Walnut Overnight Oatmeal (Serves 1)

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½ cup dry rolled oats
½ cup peach flavored, nonfat yogurt
½ tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Calories: 400
Protein: 14.6 g
Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 2 mg
Carbohydrates: 62 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sodium: 74 mg

Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal (Serves 1)

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½ cup dry rolled oats
½ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1-2 tablespoons milk (optional to thin it out a little)
1 tablespoon honey
½ cup blueberries

Calories: 326
Protein: 17.5 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 6 mg
Carbohydrates: 60 g
Fiber: 6 g
Sodium: 45 mg

Strawberry Overnight Oatmeal (Serves 1)

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½ cup dry rolled oats
½ cup skim milk
½ tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup sliced strawberries

Calories: 257
Protein: 10 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 2 mg
Carbohydrates: 50 g
Fiber: 6.5 g
Sodium: 55 mg

Source: adapted from many sources online

Low-iodine adjustment:  Use juice or water for your liquid.

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Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars

After I had my baby, I discovered that I needed to snack more than I had previously.  I quickly got tired of my typical grab and go snacks, but I wouldn’t take the time to make something like a sandwich.  I found this recipe, and it hit the sweet spot.  A whole pan was quick and easy to make.  It was a tasty, healthy, and filling snack.  My husband says these look like I unwrapped a granola bar.  It does have a similar taste, only much softer.

Another great thing about this snack is it doesn’t have a lot of added sugar.  A recent study found that people who consumed 25% or more of their calories from added sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those who consumed less than 10% of calories from added sugar.  This recipe has only 7 g of added sugar.  Compare that to a regular granola bar, which has 12 g of total sugar, which is predominately added sugar.

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Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Bars (makes 16 bars)

2 large bananas, ripe or overripe
3 cups dry oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup skim milk
2 large eggs
1/2 cup peanut butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan.

2. In a large bowl, mash bananas. (I usually just use my mixer.)

3. Add dry ingredients (oats through cinnamon) and lightly mix to combine.

4. Stir in vanilla, milk, and eggs.

5. Stir in peanut butter until combined.

6. Pour into prepared 9×13 pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean. Let cool completely. Cut into 16 bars.

Nutritional Information (Amount per bar)

Calories: 163
Protein: 5 g
Fat: 6 g
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 24 g
Carbohydrates: 24 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sodium: 264 mg

Recipe notes: The original recipe called for quick oats and creamy peanut butter. I never have quick oats, and it works fine with regular oats. My bars do look more “oatey” than the original, so that may be the difference. I only buy chunky peanut butter, and I like the little bit of texture. The original suggested serving these with jam on top, which is tasty, but they are good on their own, too.

The original recipe called these “breakfast” bars.  I would think you’d need to eat 2 or 3 of these to make a filling breakfast. I prefer them as a snack.

Source: slightly adapted from letsdishrecipes.com

Low iodine adjustment:  I loved these as a snack on the low iodine diet.  Replace the brown sugar with regular sugar (most of 1/2 a cup) and a tablespoon or so of honey.  Use non-iodized salt.  Use water in the place of milk.  Use 3 egg whites in place of the whole eggs.  Use unsalted peanut butter.

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