November 17, 2014 11 Comments
I love oatmeal. It’s nutritious, with plenty of fiber and minerals and Vitamin B1, and has many health benefits. It’s filling. It can be seasoned any way you like. Quick-cooking oats are really easy to make–I don’t even bother cooking them in a pot, just mix them with boiling water in a bowl–and very low-priced, especially in bulk at the food co-op or in a large canister at GFS Marketplace. I have a favorite recipe for oatmeal that includes other healthy and filling ingredients like almond butter, and I also make fruit-flavored oatmeal whenever we finish up a jar of jam.
But in my workplace, I can’t store a lot of ingredients, nor do I have a nice counter space to assemble food. I don’t want to be licking sorghum syrup and almond butter off my filing cabinet! I do have a very nice electric kettle which provides properly boiling water (much better than a microwave) suitable for cooking oatmeal….
At times, I’ve bought instant oatmeal in single-serving packets. They’re okay. Some of the flavors are quite tasty, and a snack of oatmeal is very satisfying. But seeing those plastic-lined packets piling up in my wastebasket makes me feel a little sick. And a packet costs about 5 times as much as a serving of quick oats with embellishments. The giant boxes of packets, with a lower price per serving and slightly less cardboard waste, inevitably are “variety packs” including at least one flavor that I don’t like as well as the others. The less-expensive brands of flavored oatmeal usually include weird ingredients that might not be so healthy, plus a lot of sugar. Some flavors contain dried fruit, but after being stored mixed into the oatmeal it is so dry that it isn’t very appetizing.
Now that I’m a nursing mother again, I’m especially in need of healthy snacks, and oatmeal may increase milk production–it does seem to have that effect on me. A few months ago, Costco had a sale on Nature’s Path organic instant oatmeal with no weird ingredients…and I plowed through those 32 packets in less than 6 weeks. Furthermore, I felt that a packet wasn’t really quite enough food for me now, so I sometimes ate two packets together. I had to find a less wasteful option! Read more…