Saturday, February 12, 2011

McDonald's Fruit and Maple Oatmeal: Hot and steamy, or just plain ick?

I have been driving by the billboard you see above for quite some time now, and every single time I pass it, I can't help but wonder about two very different things. 1) Who came up with that clever headline, and 2) are those oats any good? You know me, if I'm not eating apples and peanut butter, odds are pretty good that I'm eating a bowl of "hot and steamy" oats. However, I'm a very picky oat-eater. Starbucks, yeah...they make an acceptable bowl. But I'm skeptical about this fruit and maple concoction. I'm skeptical about everything that comes out of McDonald's, really. But in the name of research, I decided it was high time I taste-tested that which the billboard is advertising. So on the way home from the gym yesterday, I found myself here.

At the drive-thru window. And it's a place I haven't been to in forever. One bowl of oatmeal later, I had successfully contributed $2.11 to an organization I probably wouldn't otherwise have contributed to. So it felt weird. And it felt even weirder to drive home with a McDonald's bag in my passenger seat.

Next to my gym bag, of all things. But anyways. That's not the point. The point is that I love oatmeal and I'm willing to taste-test the Golden Arches version just for you. Let's start with appearances because it looks tasty in that instant-oatmeal way (and in the picture on the billboard).

Alas, it does not look anything like the picture on the billboard. I see fruit, I see raisins...I see flavor. But will I taste it?

Yeah, there's flavor. A lot of flavor, actually. Although it wasn't distinctly maple. I'm not sure if it's the cream or the raisins, because oddly enough—this "fruit and maple oatmeal" doesn't have any maple in it. Rather, it's a combination of brown sugar, "natural flavor", barley malt extract...need I say more? No. And if you look at the nutrition information, you'll notice a fairly large amount of sugar within. Exactly 32 grams. Bit of an overload, don't ya think? I do. And I immediately felt it. I had my few bites of this oatmeal on an empty stomach, and I think the sugar went right to my head because I got a fairly decent headache. Could be me, could be my brain. I could be imagining it. And that's enough of that tangent, but really—let's be honest for a second. Does McDonald's have a winner in their Fruit and Maple Oatmeal? I wouldn't go that far, but I also wouldn't call it a loser.

I think I'd order this over a Sausage McMuffin any day. Like, say...if I was on the road and traveling and had no other option. Because really, when it comes to oatmeal, I'd rather just eat my own. It's so easy to make a healthy, extremely tasty bowl that I can't really fathom doing it any other way. Unless, of course, I was on the road and...well, you know.

So tune in tomorrow, I'll share a recipe for one such bowl of extremely healthy, extremely tasty oats. And I'll also announce the winner of the Green Giant prize pack. Exciting! Are you excited? 

Question: Have you tried the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal from McDonald's? What's your opinion?


Rebecca said...

check it...from the NY Times:

TARA said...

I love Mark Bittman! Thanks for sharing the link, Becca! He makes some really great points, and I tend to back him up...

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