Health authorities are always telling us that breakfast is an important meal, setting up our metabolism to burn calories properly and fueling us for the day ahead. But with our super-busy lives, how many of us skip breakfast all together or settle for less-than-healthy options like buttery toast or , worse, donuts, pastries, or some type of fast-food breakfast loaded with fat and calories?
Around the RFT offices, oatmeal is a favorite breakfast—that is, when one of us remembers to cook up a pot of steel-cut oats ahead of time. Enter Umpqua Super Premium Oats, individual, single serve cups of quick-cook oats with added goodies like almonds and cranberries that make a fast, satisfying and healthy breakfast.
Add water to the 2.73 ounce- cup of Umpqua Oats, pop the lid on for three minutes and voilá, you’ve got chewy oat goodness. During this ‘cooking,’ the oats really absorb the hot water, so you need to add milk or the oats are too thick. A serving comes in at a mere 300 calories (not including added milk). With nothing artificial added, including preservatives or artificial colors or flavors, Umpqua Oats makes for a healthy breakfast.
Our editors sampled three flavors of Umpqua Oats and, frankly, we liked them all. And the whole oats and other fiber-rich ingredients like chia and flax seeds make this a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast that’ll keep you satisfied for hours.
Vanilla Almond Crunch. This flavor features oats, almonds, vanilla, honey and flax seeds. It offers a pleasant vanilla flavor with the sweetness of honey. Neither the almonds nor the flax add much crunch, though they boost the protein. However, the oats provide plenty of chewiness, a characteristic lacking in other quick cook oats we’ve tried.
Kick Start. Almonds, cranberries and blueberries are the stars of this flavor. It contains whole rolled oat groats, cane sugar, sweetened cranberries, dried raisins, brown flax seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, freeze dried blueberries, cinnamon, and sea salt. It provides 300 calories, 55 coming from fat. With sugar and dried fruit, this one registers 21 g of sugar, which is pretty high, but, surprisingly Kick Start doesn’t taste overly sweet and has a satisfying soft chewiness.
Not Guilty. This unsweetened flavor features freeze dried apples and blueberries and organic chia seeds and weighs in at a slim 245 calories. Other ingredients include whole rolled oat groats and brown flax seeds. Not Guilty has the same chewy texture as the other flavors, but much stronger oat flavor. This is a good choice for folks who don’t like their oatmeal altered with other flavors.
Real Bottom Line: There are plenty of fast, convenient breakfast choices out , but most of them aren’t especially healthful. Umpqua Super Premium Oats, with its organic, nutrieint-rich ingredients, makes a better choice and it’s a quick, tasty alternative that’ll have you eating a better breakfast. And while taking the time to cook up my own oats is less expensive, keeping a few cups of Umpqua Oats in the cupboard — or even popping a few in your travel bag–will ensure we’ll be making good choices even when we’re pressed for time. – Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor