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The Worst Way To Eat Oatmeal Ever.

If I was forced to stop at McDonalds for breakfast, had a gun to my head and had to choose something real quick without thinking, I’d probably choose oatmeal. But let’s be real here, I’ve never HAD to go to McDonalds.

Oatmeal is one of the most benign health foods in the world. It’s pretty hard to screw it up but that’s exactly what fast food has done. If you make oatmeal at home, it’s easiest thing to make ever – hot water/milk and some oats straight out of your pantry and voila – you’ve got breakfast with soluble fiber, protein, and real whole grains that will keep you full for hours.

But when you buy it on the run and or get it “to go” because pouring hot or even cold liquid over something straight out of your pantry is just too much for your busy life – you get cheap GMO oils that promote prostate and bone cancer, coloring that could be cancerous, nasty preservatives, heart disease promoting transfat, stabilizer causing intestinal distress, and oh boy – natural flavor that comes from who knows what.


The ingredients that are added to oatmeal by places like McDonalds, Panera Bread, Jamba Juice, and Quaker (which Burger King, Dunkin Donuts and other fast food places use) are dreadful. This why you must it a priority to make your own oatmeal, even when you don’t think you have time to make it.

I used to travel for work every single week for a few years and I was never forced to buy oatmeal because I had my recipe for oatmeal “on the go” down pat.

Here’s what I did and still do when time is short or when I’m on the run:

  • I carry a mixture of 1/4 cup instant plain organic oatmeal, 1/4 cup rolled organic oatmeal, and a few sprinkles of organic cinnamon in a ziplock bag.
  • In another ziplock bag, I have one whole date and a few walnuts.
  • When I am ready to make oatmeal – I get a cup of hot water from a place like a hotel, gas station or even Starbucks. (No, this is not stealing because they will gladly give this to you for free and I’ll tip the barista for the free water)
  • I break or cut up the date into pieces and add the oatmeal into the cup of hot water, do a quick stir and let it sit until it’s warmed through and the oats have soaked up all the water and the date dissolves.
  • Before eating, I add the walnuts for a crunchy topping, sometimes I’ll add a packet of almond butter too for a long lasting meal.
  • The cinnamon and date act as amazing (real!) natural flavor and sweetness. The date actually dissolves quite a bit in the oatmeal which leaves a great delicious consistency.
  • Sometimes this recipe varies, depending what I have access to. I like to add banana, raisins, goji berries and/or other nuts. The toppings you can carry in your bag that travel well are really endless.

Thank you for reading – love you guys.

If you know someone who is still buying fast food oatmeal, please share this post with them. You’ll save their health and help them save lots of cash too.


Food Babe

Contest is now closed. Congratulations to Doug J., Nichole , Jackie D. for winning the Country Choice Organic giveaway! Please check your email for details. If you didn’t win – Country Choice Organic is available on Amazon and most natural food stores.

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554 responses to “The Worst Way To Eat Oatmeal Ever.

  1. Thanks for publishing the truth. I have despised the entire “movement” of fast food joints supposedly offering healthy choices. Although I’m guilty of occasionally patronizing these establishments I NEVER deceive myself into thinking I am too busy to eat anything else or that the food I’m getting there is really healthy.

  2. Ah I love their Oatmeal. Because of your blog, 100 Days of Real Food, and another I follow: He and She Eat Clean, I recently bought the “Irish Style Steel Cut Oats” and used it to make a delicious recipe that He and She Eat Clean provide. Food Babe, I think you’d love it because it cooks overnight and is good for at least a week.

    Here is their recipe that I love:

    Although I altered the following based on things I like/and have read from your blog. I used whole milk (pasturized, nonhomonogized) instead of the almond milk and I used sucanat instead of the no calorie sweetener mentioned and cut the recipe in half since I am only one person. Perfection, making it again this week – also I topped it off with raisins and goji berries and took it with my on my beach weekend, it was so perfect!

  3. Love fresh oatmeal for the kids in the morning. You can’t buy organic instant even since it might not contain the crap, but has been processed too much to retain the wholesome goodness of oats. Love your site!! Keep up the great work!

  4. You’ve opened my eyes to so much…I thought I was eating healthy…thanks for posting the truth!

  5. I LOVE oatmeal and will definitely try Country Choice. As soon as I saw that McDonald’s, Starbuck’s, etc. offering their own version of oatmeal, I was scared to think of how sugary they would make it and didn’t even think of the dozen other unnecessary ingredients. Thanks for the info as always!

  6. I would love some free oatmeal. My kids and I eat homemade oatmeal most mornings in the week. =)

  7. I’d love to win some organic oatmeal. My kids like it for breakfast as long as it’s not every single day.

  8. I had no idea oatmeal could be messed up so badly! I always love your posts – full of great useful information!

  9. I guess I’m not really shocked that they could mess it up so bad, but really? Why??? Anywho, I’d LOVE to win the family some new oatmeal to try! We L O V E it!!!

  10. Guess ill be sticking with my grande coffee and asking for some hot water for my own oatmeal!!

  11. So glad you search to find good info. It is so scarey that in today’s world we have to be so questionable about everything we eat. If we eat simple food the better off we are! Thanks Food Babe!

  12. Just subscribed, although I follow you already on Fb. I make oatmeal granola with plenty of cinnamon for breakfast; would love to win organic oatmeal!!

  13. i sooooooo need this for my family!! were i live it is so hard to find any organic food!!!

  14. After a very rough four years with a rare autoimmune disease and a three week coma, I have been trying to learn as much about clean, whole and healthy foods. I have managed to get into remission and off of supplemental oxygen but still have a long way to go detoxing my body fr the various toxic meds I needed to take. Oatmeal has become a staple source of clean eating- hand made w steel cut oats. Country Choice is my favorite- but only newly discovered. Thank you for a healthy option!!

  15. I would love to be able to try this brand of oatmeal. I eat oatmeal for breakfast everyday!

  16. I love the Food Babe and I love oatmeal! I am addicted and crave it every morning 🙂 I am new to all of this and have learned so much already…many thanks!

  17. Yes, we LOVE oatmeal at our home, we eat 3-4 times a week with all kinds of toppings, depending on our mood.

  18. We eat oatmeal in our house a couple of times a week. We have been trying to change over to better foods and this would definitely give us a boost! Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. Just found you thanks to twitter! Have been looking for a great oatmeal for my little ones who LOVE oatmeal!
    Thanks for all you do!

  20. My family loves oatmeal! With a (almost one now!!!!) baby and a military husband who are both always on th go, it’s an easy option! I will have to try this brand! It sucks the “healthy alternatives” are a scam…and especially since it seems it takes more effort to make it unhealthy than to just serve up the REAL, naturally good stuff we all need!

  21. This year my husband and I have gone Plant based. Our children are whole foods based and oatmeal is her favorite breakfast. She loves when I mix it into her parfaits, veggie patties and baked goods.

  22. I am already a subscriber and LOVE what you are doing!!! I have learned so much from you and others like you who are doing their research and putting the information out there for people like me. I live in rural East Arkansas and it is very hard to follow the whole/real food diet here,actually nearly impossible because organic fruits/vegetables and other foods aren’t sold here. I am trying to figure this thing out without having to travel too much. Thanks for all you do!!

  23. oatmeal is a favorite at this house…is there anything wrong with the regular plain quaker oatmeal as far as that particular food goes not the company? there are not many organic choices in my area and i can’t order food online.

  24. When my grandkids ask for “oatmeal” the only ones they know are the Instant kind they get at home. REAL porridge is alien to them. I would like to change that.

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