Help me find some fabulous oatmeal!
December 4, 2009 6:43 AM   Subscribe

Where can I find instant oatmeal packets in interesting flavors?

As part of my Secret Santa office gift this year, I want to include several individual instant oatmeal packets in different flavors--but a step or two up from the usual Quaker Oats-type brands. The catch--I need to have them in hand by next Friday 12/11. Any ideas of actual stores that may carry these (I'm in suburban Chicago) or online sources?
posted by bookmammal to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Check Trader Joe's.
posted by nitsuj at 6:50 AM on December 4, 2009

I'm really surprised that I can't find more options for you, so I started researching homemade options:

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (scroll down to the "Taste of Home" bit)
Chai Oatmeal (another option, and another)
Chocolate Oatmeal (you could add chocolate chips)

Other suggestions: whatever dried fruit you have on hand (cranberries, cherries, raisins), with whatever nuts/seeds you have (sunflower seeds, walnuts, pecans), and appropriate spices (cinnamon, brown sugar, ginger). I wonder if you could do something with shredded coconut, or, say, Raisinets or M&M's?

As for presentation, you could make a batch and put it in a Mason jar and print directions, or make a basket with smaller jars with different varieties, or, if you want to be super low-key, put individual portions in small paper bags and tie/staple/sew them shut. You could include small jars of honey, syrup, or jam, as well as packets of sweeteners.
posted by runningwithscissors at 9:06 AM on December 4, 2009 [3 favorites]

My wife is a fan of McCann's Irish Oatmeal which we've found in several places in the Chicago area. Jewel or Dominick's may have it, I believe we've gotten some from Trader Joe's, but we've also found them at Treasure Island stores (mostly located in Chicago proper), as well as Whole Foods.
posted by borkencode at 10:19 AM on December 4, 2009

Kashi is a health food brand, carried in most regular grocery stores, target, etc. They mostly have regular flavors like brown sugar, apple cinnamon. But they're better and less sweet than quakers.

For interesting flavors Monkey Brains are tasty kid-oriented oatmeal. Blueberry, Raspberry, etc. And they are bright blue, but all natural. Could be a fun gag. Whole Foods carries these, you could call your local store first and check if they stock this brand.

Actually, if you just go to a whole foods, they've got a nice selection of store brand instant oatmeal.
posted by fontophilic at 10:43 AM on December 4, 2009

Kashi oatmeal is made with ingredients like grape juice and tea, and may taste odd to people who aren't expecting that. I've tried two flavors and didn't like the weird aftertaste.

I'll second Trader Joe's, but homemade is a really good option. I regularly take plain Quaker oats and jazz it up with a spoon of sugar or stevia, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and dried fruit (usually cherries or raisins). I like runningwithscissors' suggestions.
posted by cmgonzalez at 11:37 AM on December 4, 2009

do you have anyting like Grocery Outlet near you? It's like the Big Lots/TJ Maxx/Tuesday Morning of groceries selling overstocks. They often have weird one offs or experimental flavors that failed (blue ketchup, mango Almond Joys, peppermint count chocula etc...)

Hispanic and Asian markets might have some non-traditional flavors as well.
posted by vespabelle at 12:32 PM on December 4, 2009

There is a vendor that sells granola at the Downer's Grove farmers market in the summer who I'm pretty sure has exactly what you are looking for. I can't remember their name for sure, but they run a health food store in Westmont, so maybe you can find that shop.

I think it might be the Lil Mad Cafe Gourmet Shop, but I could be wrong...
posted by achmorrison at 5:18 PM on December 4, 2009

Where are you having trouble doing this? I hate to answer a question with a question, but I tear my hair out trying to find unflavored oatmeal and hot cereal packets. The selection fontophilic describes is what most stores carry. Are you going to a store that has boxes of all unflavored oatmeal?
posted by Lesser Shrew at 6:09 PM on December 4, 2009

The oatmeal sold at Starbucks is a fairly standard looking instant oatmeal with optional goodies added to it. I'd experiment with add-ins to standard oatmeal, perhaps different kinds of freeze-dried or dried fruit, maybe even flavored non-dairy powdered creamer (this will probably require some experimentation, but you'll be sure of getting your dietary fiber).
posted by lhauser at 3:45 PM on December 5, 2009

« Older Helping a first time Canadian home buyer!   |   Is there something like for the... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.