Are Quaker Real Medleys Real Food?

Quaker Real Medley Review

October 16, 2014   24 Comments

I love how Quaker uses the word “real” because it makes you think the product isn’t fake.

At this point, I think we all know great marketing when we see it. A reader asked me to take a look at these instant oatmeal packages and I was excited by the challenge.

From Jennifer:

I was wondering what you thought of Quaker Real Medleys? I tend to eat one of those with some fruit for lunch (yeah, I know I should add in some veggies at lunch somewhere, lol). But for conveniences sake, these do the trick. I like the Peach Almond Oatmeal and Summer Berry Oatmeal the best.

The first thing I do with a packaged food like this (cereal, granola bars, breakfast bars) is look at the grams of sugar per serving. These proved to be very interesting because the peach almond oatmeal – 19 grams of sugar – was not as good as the blueberry hazelnut oatmeal – 13 grams.

Six grams is just over one teaspoon of sugar. I find the blueberry hazelnut acceptable but the peach almond is too high. One of the problems evaluating these types of foods will be addressed by new food labeling standards. Much of the sugar here is due to either the blueberries or the peaches – but how much did they add? Hard to know.

The ingredient list for the blueberry hazelnut:

WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, MULTI GRAIN BLEND (WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, ROLLED BARLEY, WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED RYE), BROWN SUGAR, WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED WHEAT, DRIED BLUEBERRIES, HAZELNUTS, SUNFLOWER OIL, NATURAL FLAVOR, BUTTERMILK, SALT, CITRIC ACID.

and the nutrition facts:

270 calories, 7 g fat, 1.0 g saturated fat, 49.0 g carbohydrates, 13 g sugar, 7 g protein, 5 g fiber, 240 mg sodium, 7 Points+

I like the fiber, but I don’t like the sodium. That seems like a lot for oatmeal.

The concept is great – whole oats, nuts, and dried fruit – and those ARE the ingredients so I deem this real food.

My problem with this, other than the price ($1.50 for one container) was the taste and texture. When I first made it, it was literally like eating GLUE. I decided I had done something wrong (Snack Girl is an idiot at following directions) and read on the package “adjust water for desired thickness”. I added more hot water and it got much better but it still didn’t taste great. It was edible but I wouldn't buy another one.

My thought for Jennifer is that these are good in a pinch but what would be better is to do the “Starbucks” oatmeal on your own.

Here is the plan:

1. Buy instant oatmeal in a large package.
2. Put oatmeal (as much as you eat) into a stainless steel Thermos.
3. Pack up some raisins, chopped dried apricots, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, dried blueberries, brown sugar….
4. Make the plain oatmeal and then add yummy stuff.

I would also add peanut butter because I like an extra dash of protein to my oatmeal.

What do you think of Quaker Real Medleys?


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First 20 Comments: [ see all 24 ]

Another thing she can do is mix up a big batch of the dry ingredients on Sunday and pre-portion them into bags for the week. (Or longer).

on October 16, 2014

Ok, I figure I'm gonna sound a little foolish, but when you say instant oatmeal what is that? Is it a cereal like Kellogs? Would I find it by the corn flakes? I tried to get a cereal with only oats as the main ingredient. I spent half an hour walking up and down, picking up every box and they all said oat this and oat that - but afterwards there was always a "contains wheat" - which I was trying to avoid. I bought a packet of rolled oats, but is that instant oats? Sheesh I need educating.

on October 16, 2014

I always have my own instant oatmeal on hand, made in a big batches. Instant oats, brown sugar, nonfat dried milk, a little flaxseed, cinnamon, dash of nutmeg. Add hot water to 1/4 or 1/3 mix and my kids love it. I add dried fruit and nuts for myself.

on October 16, 2014

I do this for lunch/quick breakfast all the time. Quick cook steel cut oats are my jam. I add dried fruit, nuts, PB2, whatever, and a touch of salt and butter* to a preheated thermos food jar. I put the water in then and let it steep until lunch--the texture is more like overnight oats than fresh cooked, but still awesome and very filling. If you prefer a fresh cooked texture, just add hot water about 15 minutes before you want to eat.

*totally optional, super gratifying

on October 16, 2014

Instant oatmeal is rolled oats ground up a bit finer. Making real oatmeal is so easy; put some in a microwave bowl, twice as big as you think you need, and cover it with water plus a half inch more. Cook it on high power for 3 minutes, stir it, see if it seems done, and if not cook it another minute at a time, stirring each time until you know how long your microwave takes.
If you ground it in the food processor to make instant (and just pulse it a couple times, won't take much) then it cooks 'instantly'.

on October 16, 2014

I like the real medleys esp. the cherry pistachio which IMHO is the best. Regardless if you make your own 'version' or buy it pre-mixed, calorie/sodium/fat count will probably be competitive. Those dried berries and nuts are not w/o their own nutritional #s. BTW, Quaker now has an "instant" steel cut oats oatmeal that is very good. You can buy as packets or in the round oats canister many of us know and love.

on October 16, 2014

I picked up a couple of these for a trip and was shocked when I read the calorie count and points value later. Plus if you ate it every day for a week you'd spend more than it'd cost for the ingredients to make it yourself for several weeks. To me it's not worth it for such a tiny little serving. You pay for convenience in more ways than one. Your suggestions and some of the comment sound like much better options. I'm taking notes. :)

on October 16, 2014

@Griz - instant oatmeal IS next to the cereal. It usually comes in little packets that you add to a bowl - and then add boiling water to "cook" it. It is instant because the flakes of oats are so small that they absorb the water and become soft. Cheerios is made with oats (and no wheat) if you are looking for a packaged cereal.
Thanks for your question!

on October 16, 2014

I like to add a bit of protein, too, but for some reason I just don't like the taste of peanut butter in my oats. Adding nuts and milk adds protein helps. Plus I've added TVP (textured veg protein, a soy product) to my oatmeal, up to about 1/3. I can't taste it and I stay filled up longer.

on October 16, 2014

I just use the quick cook (3 - 5 min.) and take the correct amount and add the correct amount of water and microwave the bowl. Way cheaper than instant and a nicer texture...you can add any flavoring or fruit and nuts to it. Tastes great!

on October 16, 2014

You don't even have to do instant oatmeal if you're willing to let it steep in hot water for several minutes. I do this almost every morning. I bring a microwave-safe container with a tight-fitting lid to work with me. It contains 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats, and any other goodies I feel like adding. We have instant hot water at work, but cold water is fine if you have a microwave.

I pour the water in, let it steep for about 5 minutes or so, stir and enjoy.

It's not gummy or slimy like instant oatmeal is and it's so much cheaper!

on October 16, 2014

My latest breakfast addiction is overnight oatmeal. In the evening, mix together: 1/2 c. oatmeal, 1/2 c. skim milk and 1/2 c. greek yogurt. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Voila'! Your breakfast is ready to go! I sometimes add fruit, too. Once I was out of yogurt so I tried cottage cheese instead. While yogurt is better, the cottage cheese was certainly edible, too.

on October 16, 2014

I, too, like to add veggies to every meal. It's easy to grate some zucchini or add some canned pumpkin with pumpkin pie spices for a tasty treat. I like to mix all my ingredients in a microwave safe container and store in frig until time to eat. It only has to be heated at lunchtime. I always add nuts for my protein and make use almond milk instead of water to prepare.

on October 16, 2014

I'm with Danielle. I keep a box of old fashioned oats at work. I chop a small apple, peach, or banana, add hot water from the coffee machine and microwave just the fruit & water til just soft (apple) or hot (banana). THEN I add the oats and 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts or pecans and let them sit just long enough to get my coffee. Before eating, I add a heaping teaspoon of chia or ground flax seeds, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon & 1/2 teaspoon of local honey. This way the oats are not gummy. You could also sub any dried fruit. This only takes a minute and you can keep all ingredients in your desk.

on October 16, 2014

I'm firmly in the "make it yourself" camp. Actually, this weekend I made a big batch of apple cinnamon steel cut oats: 1 cup steel cut oats, 4 cups water, 2 medium sized apples - peeled and cubed, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp. coconut sugar, 1/2 scoop protein powder. Boil water & oats for 20 minutes, then add other ingredients. Simmer for 10 minutes. Enjoy! This makes 4 servings that I package in small containers and freeze for when I feel like oats. I just thaw out each serving and add maple syrup, nuts and seeds - always delicious and nutritious!

on October 16, 2014

Thanks so much.

on October 16, 2014

Try eating your oats without added sugar. We have "trained" our taste buds to need that extra kick of sweet. Once you free your buds from sweet dependency the fruit, nuts and oats without added sweetness tastes delish on its own.

on October 16, 2014

Funny to me that this appears today. I just made the baked oatmeal muffins from your book last night. Using frozen bananas, blueberries, nonfat Greek yogurt and unsweetened almond milk got the WW point count down to 2 per muffin! I omitted the sweeter all together.

on October 16, 2014

I love the their blueberry oatmeal, so I'm a little sad about your review. However, I'm really excited to try making my own homemade oatmeal. There are so many good ideas!

on October 16, 2014

I find the instant oatmeal to have an artificial taste. My favourite is the steel cut oats done in a slowcooker overnight. Portion it out in containers and add what you want to each and microwave it when you need it. There is a multigrain variety too which is awesome.

on October 16, 2014

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