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Continuing my theme of reviewing whatever I happen to be eating, I thought I'd review Quaker Oat So Simple porridge pots.
Tuesdays involve an early start for me, and this Tuesday morning I had barely any time to do anything, let alone having breakfast at home. At home my breakfast of choice these days is generally porridge with a banana, or failing having any bananas, porridge with a touch of golden syrup. I like porridge any way really. Made with milk is best, but I'm happy to make it with water if necessary.
I went into Tesco when I arrived in Carlisle with the main purpose being to buy some apples for my desk at work. However, I thought I'd have a look in the porridge section. Being new to porridge (only had my first last year), I have to admit I had never had 'instant' porridge of any sort before today.
---The porridge pots---
There were three flavours available in Tesco, but I opted for the original, so that I could use it as a comparison should it be nice enough to try the others, and also because it had the fewest calories. The pot did cost 99p which is undoubtedly expensive. They were on offer, 5 pots for £4.50, which is still very expensive.
To make the porridge, I followed the instructions on the pot - opened the lid (peeled off the foil bit), stirred the dry oats, added boiling water up to the blue line on the inside of the pot, stirred for 15-20 seconds, left for about a minute (meanwhile making my coffee), stirred again, and then ate.
---The eating experience---
It looked like there were less than 50g of oats in the pot. However, I ate my porridge with a teaspoon, and it seemed to last a while. The porridge has a slightly sweet taste which will be due to the sugar - but not overly so. I feel that it makes it just sweet enough to not NEED anything else with it.
For me the porridge had just the right consistency, but for those who like it a bit more watery, I'd suggest adding a bit more water! Aside from the slight extra sweetness it tastes pretty much the same as the porridge I would make at home (when made with skimmed milk). I have tended to use Quaker Oats anyway at home, however now I'm trying out the supermarket own brands, mainly because I tend to bake a lot of flapjacks so get through oats quickly.
Like all porridge this should fill you up, and it satisfied me until I returned from my appointment and got to the fruit in my desk.
---What's in them---
Ingredients - quaker rolled oats (70%), skimmed milk powder and sugar. They may contain traces of wheat and barley, and are produced in a factory which uses egg, soya, nut and sesame ingredients.
Each pot contains 187 calories (9% of GDA), 10.6g sugar (12%), 2.5g fat (4% of which saturates 0.6g (3%) and 0.14g salt (2%). Just about perfect for breakfast I'd say.
Don't microwave the pots, all you need to do is add boiling water. Note that the pot might be hot to hold (warning on the pot). This kind of goes without saying as there's boiling water in it!
On reflection, although I enjoyed my porridge pot, I don't think I will be trying the other ones in the near future. This is simply due to the cost. I will however be purchasing some of the Quaker Oat porridge sachets and intend to try the different flavours of them - we do have a microwave at work. In fact, at my old work my colleague regularly did porridge in the microwave and it created a lovely smell which made us all quite jealous!
Of course it would be even cheaper to just make porridge using normal oats (although I always do mine on the hob at home), but I think I want to try the sachets for work.
I would highly recommend these if you should be in a situation where you have access to a kettle, but no access to a hob or microwave, crockery, or a sink to wash things up in - this is probably the case for some people at work. I guess these are like the Pot Noodle of the Porridge world. Otherwise though I'd recommend going for a cheaper option unless you have money to throw around and think it's worth that extra cost to save on some washing up.
If nothing else though, writing this review has made up for the sheer extravagance of buying one of these pots!
Oat So Simple is a sub brand of Quaker Oats.
Quaker Oats have been around for over 100 years and have been making porridge for this long. Quaker use oats which have been grown over the winter by farmers in the UK. They say it their specialised milling process which makes their oats so delicious as they remove a lot of debris and unwanted flora before the oats are prepared for packing. Their original porridge oats are still available in large free flowing boxes.
Oat so simple was previously (and is still) available in 8 flavours in boxes of 6 sachets and a variety box with 9 sachets. Recently they have introduced the new Oat So Simple in pots. They come in 4 flavours: Original, Golden Syrup, Sweet Cinnamon and Apple and Blueberry.
~~~How to make~~~
These new pots are easy to make and can be ready in 2 minutes. You simply boil the kettle, stir the oats to lift any product which may have settled, fill the pot to the fill line which is easily seen about half way up the inside of the pot, stir continuously for around 20 seconds. Replace the lid (I just replaced the foil lid loosely as from past expereince plastic lids can be tricky sometimes and I knew the porridge would be hot) for about a minute. Stir again and it is ready to eat. The pot wasn't too hot to handle and I could hold it while I ate it no problem.
I have porridge every day for breakfast, boring I know but I love it, it keeps me full, it is low fat and a cheap option compared to some other cereals. I am a teacher and need my energy to stay constant until lunchtime. I normally have the Quaker oats in a large free flowing box, which I cook in the microwave with water. My daughter wanted to try these quick pots so I bought a couple while they were on special offer last week. She hated hers and the dog ate it. She is a porridge lover but does not have it as often as me so I thought she was just being fussy. She wasn't!! It tasted bland, plasticy and nothing like the original oats I love. What a let down! Yes it was quick, yes it was handy (I had mine as an evening snack which I often do) but not a shade on the original oats which really are very nearly as quick to make as this pot was. I won't be buying them again, special offer or no special offer.
Not being able to face breakfast first thing in the morning, my options are limited when I get to work, no toaster, microwave or kitchen at all. So after a few days of getting a fast food breakfast, and getting pretty sick of it, I stumbled upon these Oat so Simple pots of porridge. They are 50g and cost approximately £1 (so if you can get them on a deal in Tesco, so much the better) and they are perfect (especially during the winter months).
You peel off the foil lid, fill up with hot water to the line, stir and then put the lid back on for two minutes whilst it 'cooks'. It's a very easy way to get a healthy breakfast in the morning.
It doesn't need milk as it contains powdered milk, and it is quite high in sugar (10.9g per pot which is 12% of your daily intake), so it wouldn't be as healthy as making 'proper' porridge at home with rolled oats, but it is low in salt and saturated salt.
Furthermore, it actually tastes nice, especially if you remember to stir it so it doesn't go lumpy (which I have forgotten to do on occassion).
I was going away on a camping trip and was looking for some quick and easy breakfast solutions to take with me. I came across these in a supermarket for about £1 each and thought they looked perfect. My options were original, golden syrup, and apple and blueberry. I have so far tried the original and the golden syrup.
The pots are made of a thin plastic, with a cardboard label around it with the nutritional info, ingredients, and the all important 'fill' line with the instructions. It has a tear away film lid, and a plastic clear lid on top that is to be replaced when making it.
The instructions are simple enough. Fill with boiling water to the line, stir for 30 seconds, put the lid on, and leave for 1 minute. After this minute stir again and you have a steaming pot of porridge. I found the portion size was perfect, not too much or too little.
The golden syrup version was lovely on its own, and the original was also very tasty with a spoonful of sugar added. I also put some jam in, which was very nice.
As a convenience breakfast, or just a snack, these are fantastic. Great for camping, work, on the go, or just at home. they are a little pricey to but lots of but great for when you need a quick ready to eat pot of something warm.
I love porridge for breakfast, but I've recently started working earlier and I just can't face eating breakfast at 6am, before I leave home. As a result I have been looking for a convenient, quick, easy and satisfying breakfast that I can take to work with me, to eat later in the morning.
I found Quaker Oat So Simple Express Pots in my local Co-Op for 98 pence per 50g pot. I bought the plain version, but they are also available in Golden Syrup and Apple & Blueberry flavours. The pot is made of thin plastic, with a cardboard sleeve around the body of the pot, displaying all the information I would expect to find. On the front the label tells me that I just need to add hot water for 'perfect creamy porridge', and that it will only take 2 minutes. On the back of the label is the list of ingredients, allergy advice, instructions and nutritional information. The lid of the individual pot is made of thin foil, like a yogurt pot, which can be easily peeled back without ripping. On top of this foil lid is a clear plastic top, which clips neatly into place. All the plastic, and the cardboard label, can be recycled.
Quaker Oat So Simple Express Pots really are easy and convenient to make. The label advises that the ingredients should be gently mixed with a spoon first, then add boiling water up to a clear line on the inside of the pot, stir thoroughly for 15 - 30 seconds (I find I need to make a little effort to ensure that all the oats at the bottom of the pot have been thoroughly stirred in), the plastic lid should then be replaced and the pot left to stand for 1 minute. It is then ready to eat after a further quick stir.
This porridge is made of rolled oats, which are much smaller and finer than some of the more coarse traditional steel-cut varieties available, but it still manages to make a hearty porridge. The porridge made from rolled oats is smoother, and with a slightly milder, less obviously oaty taste. It doesn't have the robust, almost nutty, taste that traditional porridge has, but it still manages to deliver a warm, comforting, natural tasting hit to the stomach. The mixture also contains skimmed milk powder, which produces a surprisingly rich and creamy taste, rather than the powdery, synthetic taste that I sometimes associate with powdered milk. The ingredients list also states that sugar is included, however, I can't detect any sweetness, and I find I need to add a little something to sweeten it; usually half a teaspoon of honey, a little chopped banana or a couple of strawberries. I do have a sweet tooth though, so many people may be happy to have it straight. When made according to the instructions it produces a thick porridge, which suits me as I prefer a thicker consistency, for those that like thinner porridge this can be easily achieved by adding a little more water.
As for the appearance, well, what can I say? Its porridge, therefore it looks like slightly greyish lumpy cement, or wallpaper paste. Porridge isn't a beautiful food, but it is truly satisfying, and I don't even think about eating again until lunchtime when I have had an Oat So Simple Express Pot for breakfast. I have a very healthy appetite, and although these pots aren't large, they contain enough for me to feel I have eaten a good breakfast. Each pot provides 187 calories, 2.9g fat and 31.3g carbohydrate. I find these great for breakfast if I have been for a run in the morning, and they would be ideal for anyone watching their weight.
I enjoy the porridge from these Oats So Simple Express Pots, I find it tasty, satisfying, rich, creamy, and it definitely has the comfort factor. Despite this, it is not as flavoursome as traditional steel-cut oats, and probably wouldn't appeal to porridge purists. Despite the convenience, unfortunately, I struggle to justify the price to myself as I know I can buy a big bag of porridge oats for less than a pound it feels wrong to spend nearly as much on one portion. Although I will continue to buy these pots for the convenience they offer when I am having breakfast at work, I will buy them with a slightly guilty feeling, and I will certainly be on the look-out for special offers.