There is something everyone probably knows about me, and I am willing to admit it to myself as well. I am a food freak. I love to eat out. I love to cook. I just enjoy food to an extreme level. When something is new or noteworthy I give it a try, because it’s a built in excuse.
Recently I decided to treat myself to the new Fruit & Maple Oatmeal at McDonald’s. According to their website the oatmeal looks like:
If you do an image search you will find a few other reviews, and they show pictures of items which are MUCH runnier, and have very few things that resemble fruit. I’m not going to borrow those images, because the oatmeal I bought was beautiful and delicious looking. Much like the above image, sans white ceramic bowl. One reason there is a change in presentation may be because of the way it’s prepared. Of course this isn’t created on site totally from scratch, it’s basically instant oatmeal. From several accounts I have read it’s brought out in a paper cup and water is added the same way tea is created. Then a package of fruit is opened and dumped into the cup. The server stirs everything and presents it to the customer. Personally, I did not see mine being prepared. I was in the drive-thru. However, as anyone who has made instant oatmeal at home knows, adding too little or too much water greatly influences the consistency.
The oatmeal I ate was a perfect mixture, not too runny and not too thick. When I looked down the whole top was covered in fruit. The fruit involved two types of apples (red and green) two types of raisins (normal and golden) and cranberries. Each type of fruit was totally obvious to me and did not taste fake or freeze-dried the way some instant stuff does. Oatmeal I’ve had in the past had apples in it, but I only knew it was apples from the package, these I could name without being told.
Many sites online show the price as $1.99 (American), I think this is a fair price. When I bought mine, it was $2.29. It wasn’t the best deal and really I am not sure why it’s 30 cents more, but I won’t skip it in the future because of this…but it if goes up to $2.50 I just might. Or I’ll complain.
Before I get into too many more details I’d like to share the advertised nutrition facts.
Oatmeal: Whole grain rolled oats, brown sugar, food starch-modified, salt,natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, caramel color.
Oatmeal without Brown Sugar: Whole grain rolled oats, food starch-modified, maltodextrin, natural flavor (plant source), barley malt extract, caramel color.
I believe the version I bought did not have the added brown sugar…if it did, I could not taste it at all! Other things I read online said some stores also offer cream…not gonna lie, I’d probably go for some cream once in a while. Before everyone freaks out about how instant oatmeal is bad for you or it’s better to eat at home and other such statements…I agree with you! Eating at home and fresh made food is fabulous…I don’t have the time, or more so the desire to prepare my food at home. I search for quick and easy options because I am lazy. It’s that simple. Oatmeal trumps greasy, fattening McMuffin or similar food.
My favorite part of the oatmeal? It kept all day. See I have this issue at work where I don’t always have time to sit down and eat. So, I take bites of food all day long. NOTHING drives me more crazy with breakfast food, then how different it tastes as time passes. I am aware food isn’t created to last for hours on end, but it SHOULD! IMHO. I placed the oatmeal hot and smooth on my desk early in the morning. Throughout the day it lost its temperature, but nothing else. It did not get lumpy, it did not get runny, and it did not start tasting gross as items change from food to questionable. At 3:00 I finally finished my food and it was just as good as when I started.
Now, I was planning on doing this long drown out analysis of how much it would cost to create this dish for yourself. Let’s be honest though, there are too many variables and did you read the last few paragraphs? I’m LAZY. I can tell you while at the grocery store tonight I did notice boxes of regular and golden raisins; they were about 4 bucks each. And I know cranberries are often more. Different areas sell different sizes of items though and different brands also change the range. Basically, if you LOVE oatmeal and you want to create your own and you like to store things you made and you need more than what they offer in the fruit department, then yea shopping is your better bet in the long run. However, if you’re like me and you just want oatmeal every once in a while and you want more than the small bits of fruit offered in typical instant this is a good option.
On a final note, if you want in on the gossip of the world…VT Maple farmers had a huge uproar with McDonald’s. The maple in the oatmeal is not real (SHOCK! AMAZEMENT!) this violated VT state laws. If you want to read more about check out this site (a part of CNN) and snoop around.