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Taste-Off: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

My favorite kind of taste test to conduct is a face-off between two like items, whether they're sausage breakfast muffins or fruit and nut milk chocolate bars. So when a kit arrived from Better Oats challenging me to compare its oatmeal to that of Quaker Oats, of course I couldn't pass it up. Our taste-off's surprising conclusion, and other observations, when you keep on reading.

Since both of the oatmeal packets in the taste challenge kit were apple-cinnamon flavored, I was, quite fittingly, able to compare apples to apples. For Quaker's instant oatmeal — the breakfast standard in this country — all I needed was to stir in half a cup of boiling water; a minute later, I was eating a liquidy bowl of oats studded with sprinkles of cinnamon.

Better Oats had less instantaneous results; it called for half a cup of water as well, but needed to be microwaved for two minutes. The finished product couldn't have looked more different: it was darker, dense with grains, and not soupy at all, with visible chunks of apples.

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PartySugar and I put our palates to work. Neither of us loved the Better Oats — its consistency was so thick and chewy, I felt a little bit like a horse eating it — but we were shocked to discover how artificial Quaker's apple cinnamon tasted after following it with a bite of Better Oats. In the end, I'll still take a bowl of Irish steel-cut oats over either any day, but if I had to pick, I'd reach for the Better Oats. What's your favorite oatmeal?

Comments
wunami
wunami
Please consider doing taste tests blind in the future.
GummiBears
GummiBears
I live for steel-cut oatmeal. Anything else is just slop in my opinion. True steel-cut oatmeal takes a long time to cook, but I have bought a mini-crock pot and prepare it the night before and in the morning, I have some hearty oats.
Little-Miss-Jay
Little-Miss-Jay
I like quaker oats, but I buy the reduced sugar kind. I also zap it in the microwave for 20 seconds after adding boiling water so it's not a soupy. Quaker apple cinnamon oatmeal with almonds sprinkled on top for protein is my standard breakfast. http://imlittlemissjay.wordpress.com/
katieb82981
katieb82981
That test seems kind of unfair. I'm not the biggest fan of Quaker Oats, but, if I eat it, I always eat in the microwave, which lets the oats cook a little better.
tigr3bianca
tigr3bianca
I'm not picky about the brand but I use old fashioned oats cooked in soy milk and add in blueberries, cinnamon, and almonds. I think the Better Oats may have needed more liquid when cooking. I find that less processed oats need more liquid and cooking time to become softer.
msdecember
msdecember
believe it or not... i prefer shoprite brand... i have perfected it in the microwave and i add honey, cinnamon, wheat germ, walnuts, and milk. YUM!
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