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Instant Breakfast Cereal

Is there anything out there, warm, like oatmeal or cream of wheat that is worth trying?

In an effort to eat healthier, I just tried the Instant Cream of Wheat and that is some nasty stuff!!! Do people really eat this?

Have you tried any product you would recommend? I need something that I can easily, discreetly eat at my desk.

I do mix it up with hard boiled eggs, cottage cheese, cold cereal, but I was looking for something warm.

Thank you

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  1. I quite like "Quaker" maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal. As long as you can boil some water at work you're good to go. I add nuts(walnuts, almonds etc) and raisins or other dried fruit. You can check out the nutrition facts on the box to see if it suits your lifestyle..

    1. hey millygirl,

      do you have access to a microwave? could you make/bring stuff from home? i find the instant stuff to be pretty revolting! but homemade is delish and also keeps well.

      5 Replies
      1. re: lilaki

        Ha ha....yup revolting pretty much sums it up.

        I think you are probably right lilaki. Sounds like that is my best option.

        petek, I don't care for the smell of the maple brown sugar flavour. A co-worker makes it on occasion and the smell really turns me off.

        1. re: millygirl

          there's a ton of different threads in the home cooking board about all the various oatmeal options.

          another option you can consider (if you're looking into the homemade thing) ... baked oatmeal. make it at home, bring it to work, nuke ... voila!

          1. re: lilaki

            baked oatmeal is a great option - hot or cold, many flavor possibilities. DH likes it for a grab and go breakfast.

          2. re: millygirl

            "and the smell really turns me off."

            But it's "natural AND artificial" flavours!!!! :D

            1. re: millygirl

              Banana nut Muslix + milk. Heat in microwave. It's probably not very healthy but I think it tastes pretty good! (I had this more often when I was in school, not so much now)

          3. You can get instant, unflavored oatmeal, in one big bag as opposed to the single serve packets, and flavor it yourself w/ dried fruit, fresh fruit, spices, honey,vanilla, etc.

            1. Hi millygirl, have you tried bulgar?
              They have great texture and are super easy to prepare.
              I like to pour some almond milk over it and refrigerate overnight. Microwave them for breakfast next morning and mix in some nuts, honey and berries. I love my oatmeal too but this one is hard to beat.

              1 Reply
              1. re: happycamper

                Bulgar is great! I love how it keeps its chewy texture so well.

              2. Tim Horton's oatmeal is surprisingly good. I get it plain (you can get it with fruit or brown sugar/maple topping, but I like the nutty taste of plain oatmeal) and then chop up a banana in it that I bring on my own. When you put the banana slices in right away, they warm up and melt in a delightful way.

                1. There are tons of recipes for chia seed porridge. You add milk, cinnamon, and whatever fruit you like and just put it in the fridge overnight. It's awesome!

                  1. Eating Instant oatmeal is like eating warm sawdust soup. Try Thermos Oatmeal instead.

                    1. First, don't buy instant cereals. They are universally either gross or full of sketchy ingredients and additives.

                      Overnight oats are amazing- use rolled oats (not instant) and then you can warm them up in the morning. This article has the basic how to plus a bunch of ideas for add ins. I like mine cold with added chia seeds, frsh fruit, and a little maple syrup

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                        I eat this often, in the summer I have it cold. Just had a bowlful this morning made with vanilla unsweetened almond milk, squirt of agave, dash of cinnamon and nutmeg, chia, banana, and blueberries.

                        1. re: BeeZee

                          I like it cold in the summer too- but the OP seems to want a hot breakfast so she can easily microwave in the morning and then add her fruit and such.

                        2. I second the idea of buying plain instant oatmeal and seasoning it yourself - you can make up individual serving packets to keep at work. Things to add - dried fruit (cranberries, apples, apricots, berries), toasted nuts or seeds, spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg), almond milk powder, brown sugar, etc.

                          Or check out a good Asian grocery - there are various just add water Chinese porridges that can be quite tasty, with various grains and nuts, and very different from western porridges. Rice porridge is a staple breakfast item, and there are various other grains mixed in.

                          1 Reply
                          1. Black Sesame Barley instant cereal mix by some company in Japan, whose name I cannot remember right now.

                            My mom loves the stuff. I think she would wear it, if that was an option.

                            1. Instant oatmeal is just ground up rolled oats .
                              But why not cook real oats or cream of wheat or whatever and warm up in the microwave?

                              1. You could also soak muesli and briefly microwave it.

                                1. If you have a Trader Joe's near you, you might try their instant oatmeal. To me, it has a better texture than Quaker and doesn't seem as sweet. Apple Cinnamon is my favorite.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. Whole Foods has an unflavored instant oatmeal with flax seeds that I like. You can add your own sweetener, dried fruit, whatever.

                                    1. Last weekend I made a double batch (2 servings) of steel-cut oats, plain. I ate one and put the second in the fridge. Pulled it out today, added a little milk, heated it for 30 sec, added blobs of almond butter and peach jam, heated for another 30 sec, and ate it. YUM. I think this will be my go-to plan now, as eating freshly made oatmeal (regular or steel-cut) in the summer makes me too hot. :o

                                      1. You're getting a lot of encouragement to make it at home and take it with you. I posted an "overnight steel cut oats" recipe some time back. We've also tried it sucessfully with stone-ground grits.

                                        For your consideration:
                                        We do overnight steel cut oats in the crock pot. We read somewhere of turning the crock pot into a type of double boiler by putting an oven-safe bowl in the crock pot, and surrounding the bowl with water. Someone thought there might be a risk of something cracking, so we follow their hint of wadding up some small pieces of aluminum foil under the bowl or putting a small saucer under the bowl. Nothing has cracked yet/ not worried about it.

                                        Overnight Crockpot Steel Cut Oats

                                        Before you go to bed...

                                        The water in the crockpot should come up to a little more than halfway up the outside of the bowl. Bowl should be able to hold 4 cups of liquid. Make sure the lid still fits on the crockpot. Measure out one cup of steel cup of oats. Pour that into the inner bowl. Now, add 4 cups of water to the inner bowl; stir it in. Maybe yes, maybe no, for a little salt. Put the lid onto the crockpot, set the unit on low (I learned to check that its on 'low' and not 'warm!') Go to bed, and the next morning, its perfect! In the morning, you can stir in a little milk or some dried fruit or raisins or some thawed out frozen blueberries or brown sugar or nothing! [AND spoon it into that thermos, millygirl! You're on your way...]
                                        We do this 1- 2x a month.

                                        A "grits" thread on Chowhound in 2012 also got us experimenting... Crockpot overnight grits recipe. Our liquid of choice was chicken broth and it gave a wonderful flavor. We now make it with less liquid than a recipe might call for because my wife wants a batch that can be scooped like a scoop of ice cream. I added sage to the recipe, since my wife wanted it to remind her of stuffing. We had grits like this in a restaurant overlooking the Nantahala River in North Carolina- a great memory in itself. We're pretty close to replicating the recipe in our own kitchen. Delicious!!!

                                        Florida Hound

                                        1. Get 10-minute farina/cream of wheat. MUCH better than instant or quick cooking, and you can cook it up in advance and rewarm it (that will then be virtually instant). It can be hard to find in supermarkets, so I get it online (yes, this is 10-minute farina - it's very cheap, sold by the pound; 2 lbs goes a long way). Perhaps surprising to many, farina includes the germ of wheat.


                                          1. We do overnight-virtually-any-grain! Basically, put the grains, milk/yogurt/whatever, toppings in a covered container overnight. (We use Mason jars.) In the morning, you can either eat it cold or nuke it a little to warm it up. Works great!

                                            1. Two options: freeze good oatmeal in ice cube trays. Defrosts quickly and well. Or, go with Bob's Red Mill's quick cooking steel cut oats. Very good texture.