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Instant Oatmeal

Can anyone recommend a good (or acceptable) instant oatmeal?

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  1. I always use the Quaker plain then add whatever other ingredients I like to jazz it up.....dried cherries or cranberries are a personal favorite.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jenscats5

      I really like the Kroger private selection organic maple oatmeal.

      1. re: foodie06

        Kroger private selection is my fave, too. I take it with me when I travel for work. But usually, I just make up a pot of steel cut on Monday, and eat them all week.....

        1. re: jeanmarieok

          The Kroger maple and brown sugar is my favorite, it's better than Quaker instant. I nuke 2 packets in a bowl with milk and when it is done, mix in some chopped nuts and dried cranberries or raisins, yum!

    2. I am so over instant oatmeal, although I do keep a few packets of Quaker or Trader Joe's plain or maple in my desk for emergencies. I've started making a big batch of traditional oatmeal on the weekend (only takes 1/2 hour) and then just nuking some with whatever flavorings I want each day.

      7 Replies
      1. re: DrMag

        Instant oatmeal is good for baking ingredients.

        1. re: DrMag

          Steelcut oatmeal in the slow cooker was a revolution for me. It reheats like a dream, better than regular IMHO.

          1. re: CanadaGirl

            How long do you cook in the slow cooker, I was planning on doing it soon. Overnight? or can it be shorter than that? Is it better or just easier than stovetop, I'm curious.

            1. re: coll

              I find it both easier and better than on the stove. It ends up really creamy, but still has that great texture you only get from steel cut oats. I have only done it overnight. Here's how I do it:
              1. Find a bowl that fits inside your slow cooker. I actually use an 8 cup Pyrex measuring cup.
              2. Add oatmeal and water and/or milk and any spices you like to bowl.
              3. Add water to slow cooker, as high as you can without flooding the bowl.
              4. Cook on low overnight. It will keep for a long time after cooked, so if you have people eating at different times it works. But it also reheats beautifully.

              I suppose cooking on high for longer works. The water bath keeps the edges from overlooking. I always mean to cook extra, but my kids devour it!

              1. re: CanadaGirl

                Oh glad you told me about the water bath. Although crispy edges might not bother me too much. I have an unopened box of steel cut oats that is ready to expire and I refuse to throw it out! I hadn't used my Crockpot (yeah it's that old) in forever, then used it for mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving, and the bacon bourbon dip recipe I found here for Christmas. Even thought mine is smaller than the newer models, I'm really glad I hung onto it.

                1. re: coll

                  I just bought a brand new slowcooker, and it's a CrockPot. Says so right on the front :)

                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                    Well they must know what they're doing! I think Rival owns the name.

        2. They all taste about the same, but Quaker is a good standard.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            My wife often eats this for breakfast, but I think it tastes rather blah.

          2. I've been eating the Quaker Quick Oats, just 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup water and 1 minute 30 seconds in the microwave. Then I stir in natural peanut butter, sliced bananas, and dried cranberries for a very filling breakfast.

            1 Reply
            1. re: alliedawn_98

              I use 1/2 cup oatmeal that I grind in a food processor, and add 1 1/4 cup of 2% milk and microwave for 4-5 minutes on medium. When all of the liquid has been absorbed I add a dash of vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp Penzey's baking spice and occasionally a little bit of honey.

            2. I'm really liking oatbran these days.
              3/4c of water, 1/3c of the oatbran. Mix. Microwave for about 70sec. Stir and let sit for a minute.
              I then top with brown sugar and sometimes raisins, finish with milk. Pretty good and simple to make.

              1. McCann's has the only one that aren't overly mushy/mealy to me. I like the 5 min quick and easy steel cut but they also have a 3 minute irish oatmeal that's good. And the instant irish oatmeal is good, too.

                1. the *very berry* multigrain instant oatmeal from a local store is the key ingredient in my sour cherry oatmeal cookies
                  it's really very good for breakfast and the kid even eats it without complaining. their other flavors are really nice too, not overly sweet. gotta look up the brand.

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: iL Divo

                    remembered to check the brand since I'm eating it for breakfast now.

                    1. re: iL Divo

                      OT, but could you share the recipe?

                      1. re: meatn3


                        here ya go...................

                        "Very Berry Sour Cherry Oatmeal Cookies"
                        Preheat oven 350°
                        3-4 dozen cookies

                        1 1/2- 1 3/4 c flour [that's approx, I don't properly measure flour]
                        1 t baking soda
                        1 t baking powder
                        1 t ground cinnamon
                        1/2 t ground nutmeg
                        1/2 t ground allspice
                        1/8 t ground cloves
                        1 t coarse sea salt [yes coarse, I like the bite of an occasional piece of salt]
                        1 1/2 c regular cooking oats, not quick oats
                        Mix first 7 ingredients together and sift.
                        Add the salt&oats together then add to flour mix.
                        Combine well, set aside
                        1 stick soft butter, not margarine
                        2 large eggs, room temp
                        ¾ c white sugar
                        ½ c dark brown sugar
                        1 T boiling water
                        1/2 t white vinegar
                        1 t vanilla
                        1 t cherry extract
                        1 packet instant oatmeal [the Very Berry Flavored one]
                        1/2 c dried sour cherries, chopped in mini food processor
                        In KitchenAid put the butter and sugars and beat on medium for 2-3
                        minutes until very light and fluffy
                        Add egg beat 1 minute then add other egg beat 1 minute
                        Add vanilla and cherry extracts, water and vinegar, beat until combined, scrape down bowl
                        Mix the instant berry oatmeal into the flour/oat mixture and stir
                        Slowly add to KitchenAid bowl with machine on low just to
                        combine, now add the sour cherries and blend to combine
                        If too dry, add a T of milk at a time until you can gather easily into scoop.
                        Line baking/cookie sheets with parchment
                        Use a small walnut sized ice cream
                        Scoop and place on ungreased parchment paper
                        Set sheet/s in frig to tighten up butter for 20 minutes
                        Place in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes
                        Set for 2 minutes then take off cookie sheet and place on cooling rack

                        1. re: iL Divo

                          Thanks so much!

                          I need to find cherry extract and pick up the instant oatmeal and I should be all set.
                          I have a new range and I have yet to make cookies in it - it will be a tasty test!

                          1. re: meatn3

                            I got the instant oatmeal at a local store, we live in SoCal.
                            The cherry extract I also got at our local supermarket which sells McCormick brand extracts. I've seen it in several supermarkets. Let me know if you can't locate either.

                            1. re: iL Divo

                              I've never noticed cherry extract, but I never was looking for it either. Hopefully it's not limited to certain regions. Worse case I'll drive to Chapel Hill - A Southern Season probably has it.

                              I have a few 8 hour drives in a week or so - these should be nice company sitting in the passenger seat. Enough crunch to feel like I'm doing something, enough sugar to keep me awake and enough fruit and oats to be able to rationalize that I'm being healthy - a perfect combo!

                              1. re: meatn3

                                I'd call a Southern Season and ask them, but if they said no, then you'd have no other reason to go there [so] on second thought, don't call............ :)
                                it's my favorite store EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Ok meatn3, I just called and talked to Amy in the grocery section of a Southern Season. She has 2 kinds of cherry flavoring, one extract and the other cherry oil, both to be used in cooking/baking/candy making etc. So when you go, if you can't find it, ask for Amy. Bet it's by the Lyle's Golden Syrup section. You ought to pick a green tin of that stuff up too, and also their version of molasses, Treacle.

                                1. re: iL Divo


                                  If I go I should figure out how to skype the experience for you!

                                  They changed ownership recently, so I'm curious to see the changes.


                                  When you start planning your trip e-mail me!


                    2. Chow already did the legwork for you.


                      A generic brand came out on top.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Ah, they didn't try my favorite, McCann's.

                      2. I don't get the "instant" oatmeal thing. Regular oatmeal in a microwave takes no time at all, tastes so much better and is cheaper. Is it the portion packets?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Motosport

                          Not everyone has (or wants to have) a microwave so the instant is handy for occasions where there isn't time to make the longer cooking traditional oatmeals.

                          1. re: weezieduzzit

                            I've only seen people make the instant stuff in the microwave because it's quick. Using the stovetop to heat the water would seem to take almost as long as cooking regular oatmeal.

                          2. re: Motosport

                            "instant" oatmeal requires neither a cooktop, nor a cooking vessel. Electric kettle to heat water to boiling, and a large mug for reconstitute & eat. For specific purposes, it does what it's supposed to do. But, if one is ok to use a microwave, then quick oats, with my own dried fruit and choice of spices is my method. Sometimes I pre-portion in tiny ziplock bags or containers, with the fruit and seasoning.

                          3. Kashi "Go Lean" creamy all natural instant hot cereal "truly vanilla" is mostly whole grain rolled oats but includes seven other grains. It is much more interesting than oatmeal and is not gummy.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: GraydonCarter

                              agree graydon, it is good and has substance to it, no mush

                            2. I usually just make mine on the stove top because I have never been able to stomach instant oatmeal.Or you can bake it which is also good.Adding dried fruits and honey gives any oatmeal added boost.

                              1. I traded in my instant oats for steel cut oatmeal. I make a big pot early in the week and refrigerate in portioned bowls to grab and go in the morning. You can also cook steelcut oats in a steel thermos overnight. I do this sometimes to have a nice breakfast in the morning.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: ORtastytravels

                                  How does the thermos work? Directions please :)

                                  1. re: CanadaGirl

                                    CanadaGirl, Enjoy...

                                    Use a steel thermos. Prepare the night ahead and allow to sit overnight. By the morning, you'll have a nice thermos full of yumminess:

                                    1) Boil enough water to fill the thermos (to prewarm it). Pour boiling water into the thermos, cover it and allow to sit for a few minutes. While your thermos is preheating, boil more water for cooking your oats. Pour out the hot water from your thermos.

                                    2) Depending on the capacity of your thermos, use a ratio of 1:3.5 oats to boiling water (ie: if you add 1 cup dry steel cut oats, add 3.5 cups of boiling water). Add oats and boiling water to your thermos. Cover and shake it. Allow to stand for 40 minutes or overnight.

                                    3) In the morning, add salt and other goodies. Enjoy!!

                                    1. re: ORtastytravels

                                      Isn't the thermos hard to clean afterwards? I love non-instant oatmeal, but cleaning the pot I've cooked it in is a hassle.

                                  2. weight control maple quaker is super healthy - eat it every morning, low sugar high whole grain oats cant get much better for you, it is better for you than most kashi hot cereals

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Dapuma

                                      cant get much better for you
                                      it sure can if you remove the two kinds of artificial sweetener and the maltodextrin that's also in there.

                                    2. I haven't found a better one than Nature's Path. I get their box that has several flavors in it. Not only is it organic oats, but some of them have flaxseed and they are sweetened with natural sweeteners like agave, not corn syrup or processed sugar. I think all the flavors are really tasty but the maple nut is one of my faves.

                                      1. I've tried quite a few over the years - Quaker, various organic kinds, different store brands, etc. What I've finally settled on is Trader Joe's Organic Oats and Flax. It tastes fresh and the texture is just a little nutty (not just mushy). It also comes in a cinnamon and spice version that's very good. I prefer the plain because I like to add half a banana or some blueberries to it and I think it's perfect that way. But for the days that I don't have bananas or blueberries on hand, the cinnamon and spice is a nice change.