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Taste Test of Jamba Juice New Hot Oatmeal With Fruit

Taste Test: Jamba Juice Oatmeal

Because I had a coupon to try Jamba Juice's new oatmeal for a buck, and because Monday in San Francisco started with a serious chill, I decided to mix up my usual cold cereal routine and try this warm treat for a change.

Jamba has been advertising this organic oatmeal generously in its storefronts, and the photos of creamy oats topped with fruit enticed me. You can choose from apple-cinnamon, blueberry-blackberry, or banana, all enhanced with "brown sugar crumble."

As you can tell, the genuine article (at right) didn't exactly match Jamba Juice's description or the photos. To see what it's supposed to look like, and to hear what I thought,


Below, is how the oatmeal is pictured online: a nice little cup of oatmeal, topped with a dollop of seemingly fresh fruit and sprinkled with crumbly brown sugar. But rather than a crumble, I got what looked like brown sugar served with a melon baller — and way too much of it.

The fruit, which I mistakenly assumed would be fresh, was actually a jam-like fruit compote better suited to a cobbler. It was somewhat gelatinous and also quite sugary; now I understand why this oatmeal is 280 to 290 calories, something that perplexed me at first. Though the banana version uses fresh fruit, the apple-cinnamon topping is also a premade "compote."

Too bad, because the oatmeal itself was good: nutty and chewable and rich in earthy flavor. But it was hard to taste with the mixed berry goo invading from the top. I'd much rather have the oatmeal on its own, or topped with real fruit. It was definitely better than instant oatmeal, and the hearty portion kept me full, but I don't know that it was worth $3. Good thing I only paid a buck.

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