What health food blogger out there isn’t an oat fan? I admit I’m not a rebel in this department. I do love a warm bowl of oatmeal, especially on those cold fall and winter mornings. But, I stopped buying those instant oatmeal packages years ago because they are usually just too darn sweet. Both my husband and I do like a little sweet and some good carbs in the morning, but too much sugar is like a shock to the system; not a good way to start the day. To combat the problem, I would fill our bowls with an extra 1/3 to ½ cup of plain bulk oats (often rolled, sometimes quick). This added a bit of roughage and cut the sugar factor down significantly, but really, was it worth it?
Then I discovered Erewhon’s Organic Instant Oatmeal.
Even the sweetened varities contain just 4 grams of sugar per packet! Of course the variety pack seemed like an obvious first choice to sample. It included each of the following flavors (10 packets in total):
This one received a big thumbs up from me and my husband (the more difficult and sugar-loving one to please). It had a mellow warm maple flavor, but was MUCH less sweet than your average Quaker variety. Definitely an excellent option for those who want just a touch of sweetness in the morning, or for tots, when you don’t want to start them out with loads of sweets.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I have something sugary in the morning, it seems to stimulate my sweet tooth throughout the whole day. Amazingly, I felt completely satistifed after this breakfast, not a sugar craving in site.
Ingredients: Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Dehydrated Maple Syrup, Organic Spices, Sea Salt
This one was good, but we both preferred the Maple Spice. The apples were little dried bits throughout that softened after doused with boiling hot water. This was even a touch less sweet than the Maple flavor, but that was okay for me. The only disappointment was that the apple and cinnamon flavors just weren’t strong enough (keep in mind I am a cinnamon-aholic). I added raisins (didn’t have dried apples on hand) to up the fruity factor, which was excellent. Perhaps Erewhon’s Cinnamon, Raisin, and Flax Oatmeal is a flavor I should invest in.
Ingredients: Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Dehydrated Apples, Organic Dehydrated Maple Syrup, Organic Spices, Organic Rice Flour, Sea Salt
It doesn’t get much simpler than this: Organic Rolled Oats plus Organic Oatbran. Yep, that’s it. Call me a dork, but I somehow expected the bran of the oats to be darker, like wheat bran. I know that just isn’t logical. Anyway, it was much creamier than I expected (even more so than the flavored varieties with just rolled oats), and still had that fair oat color (great way to sneak bran in on unsuspecting husbands and kids). I didn’t notice a strong difference in taste, but I did like the opportunity to enjoy this oatmeal savory style. I enjoyed mine relatively plain, with just a pinch of salt and a few generous shakes of cinnamon.
On my second bowl, I went for the gusto and tried what so many bloggers talk about, adding some almond butter (or peanut butter) to it. I stirred it in, and while the flavor was good, the texture was just plain awful in my opinion. Perhaps I shouldn’t have stirred it in? No matter. This is a really nice baseline fiber-rich cereal, and I love the complete lack of sugars! Of course, my husband added some brown sugar to his, but not too much!
Ingredients: Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Oat Bran
I think my only complaint is the portion size. It is normal for all instant hot cereals, but 130 calories just isn’t going to cut it for my breakfast. I ate two servings each morning (making the package last only half as long) to fill me up, but it did weigh a bit heavy on my stomach. I think one serving with a good dose of fruit or perhaps some winter squash would be a better fix.
Logically speaking, I’m not going to rely on instant oatmeal for our daily breakfasts, but these packets are the kinds of things I like to pack along on trips, since you can actually carry them on in luggage, and all you need is hot water and a mug to prepare them!
This is a third party review by Alisa Fleming, author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide & Cookbook. For more information on this product, see the U.S. Mills Website (the makers of Erewhon Cereals). Erewhon Cereals are also available to order online via Amazon for a discount.