Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Peaches and Cream Hot Cereal

When it is a hundred degrees outside, the last thing you would think of making is hot cereal. Unless you must to prove a point to a five year old girl and have a few over ripe peaches to use up.

When Natalie went grocery shopping with me earlier this week, she asked me to buy no less than fifty different products she has seen in commercials. Of course, I am not one to purchase pre-packaged, over processed, over sugared and nasty food, no matter how delicious and healthy the advertisement says it is. Natalie tried though, she was very convincing in her pitch but she did not know who she was selling to, in fact, I took this opportunity to sell her on a few of my own ideas.

I used this shopping trip to read labels with her. Every time she asked me to buy something out of my comfort zone, I picked up the item, looked it over and explained why this would not be a good choice. Natalie got really interested in the why behind my logic, and it clicked for her. She knows we do not willingly choose items made with dyes, glutens, and preservatives. Now, she knows the why behind it. Up until recently she thought the store bought stuff was acceptable. I had a duty as a parent to educate her on my views about boxed food.

For example, she practically begged me to buy these overpriced, sugar laden, artificially flavored and colored, individual packets of peaches and cream oatmeal. First, I rarely buy individual packaging on anything- it is the least economical for a large family and it is wasteful in terms of volume. This particular product makes what most people perceive to be a healthy choice of whole grain oats, to be full of crap.

Here are the ingredients for the Quaker Peaches and Cream Oatmeal: Ingredients
WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, SUGAR, CREAMING AGENT (MALTODEXTRIN, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL**, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, WHEY, SODIUM CASEINATE, SUGAR, DIPOTASSIUM PHOSPHATE, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, SALT, SOY LECITHIN, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR), FLAVORED AND COLORED FRUIT PIECES (DEHYDRATED APPLES [TREATED WITH SODIUM SULFITE TO PROMOTE COLOR RETENTION], ARTIFICIAL PEACH FLAVOR, CITRIC ACID, ANNATTO COLOR), SALT, CALCIUM CARBONATE, GUAR GUM, OAT FLOUR, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, NIACINAMIDE*, REDUCED IRON, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE*, RIBOFLAVIN*, THIAMIN MONONITRATE*, FOLIC ACID*.

If you were making peaches and cream oatmeal at home would you willingly add the bogus stuff that is in this product? No, you would not, because it is not necessary and it is in there to make it have a shelf life and a overwhelming sugary sweet and fake flavor.

The nutritional information shows this:
Serving size 1 Packet (35 g)

Amount per serving
Calories 130 Calories from Fat 20
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 0.5g 2%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.5g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.5g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 180mg 8%
Potassium 95mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Soluble Fiber 1g
Sugars 12g
Protein 3g

I told Natalie right then and there that we could go home and make our own peaches and cream hot cereal together. It is so easy to do. It would be less sugar, all natural, gluten free and delicious. When a five year old girl can whip up 10 servings of a healthy recipe in about 4 minutes, why would you even consider buying the above mentioned garbage?

Here is what we did in our quest to eat a nutritious version of peaches in cream oatmeal without buying into the Quaker Oats hype.

Ingredients:

Bob's Red Mill GF hot cereal
(I bought these at BIG LOTS, fyi)
whole milk
sugar
cinnamon
fresh chopped peaches

Natalie and I prepared the cereal according to the directions, but we substituted milk for water, added cinnamon and 2 TBS of sugar of the whole pot. While the milk mixture was coming to a boil, we washed and chopped the really ripe peaches from the Farmers Market. We cut them on a paper plate with a lip, so we added all the juice that escaped into the simmering liquid. Once boiling we added the hot cereal grains

and peaches and cooked until it was creamy and finished absorbing liquid. It smelled so amazing in the kitchen as the cinnamon, peaches and grains were cooking.

I drizzled a bit of maple syrup and milk over the top of each bowl and the kids could not get enough of this.

I made a video of their comments because it makes a valid commercial for Camp Helene's GF Peaches and Cream hot cereal.

I doubt if Natalie will ever ask me to buy the little packets again. Now she knows the difference, and this makes me proud.


PS- you know the ingredients in that Quaker product are full of shit when the spell checker on my computer highlighted about half of them before I completed this post. Not only do I not know what they are, they are not readily recognized by spell check either. I laughed at that too.

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