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An innovative (and convenient) way of making porridge, these Uncle Tobys O&G portable cups certainly are easy to use. But do they taste the same as the microwave version? And do they work cold as well? I trialled two flavours: Apple, Cinnamon & Toasted Hazelnut and Cranberry, Strawberry & Sliced Almond to see if they could hold their own against the other oaty options in the morning dash out the door.
How does it work?
The O&G portable cups are basically muesli with a mix of three different grains (oats, wheat and rye) plus dried fruit and nuts where some of the grains have been thickly cut and others thinly rolled. So, they’re kind of half way between muesli (which you would usually have cold) and quick oats (which you would usually have hot). According to the packaging you can either have it hot by pouring boiling water up to the line and letting it stand for 3 minutes, or have it cold by topping with milk or yoghurt.
Naturally I tried both. First I made the Apple, Cinnamon & Toasted Hazelnut cup with boiling water as directed. And while it did mix up to a sort of porridge consistency, it wasn’t anywhere near as smooth as microwave quick oats or traditional stovetop oats. On the plus side, however, this gave it texture, as the grains were still a bit chewy.
Next I had a go at the Cranberry, Strawberry & Sliced Almond cup, adding milk straight into the bowl as I would with normal muesli. While it certainly worked, I did feel a little bit duped as half my grains were more like the ‘dust’ you get in quick oats and without any way of soaking in it they sort of got lost in the milk. Definitely better hot!
What about the taste?
Both cups had a nice fruity flavour although the nuts certainly did shine through as well. However, I found the Cranberry version a tad too sweet, possibly due to the use of sweetened cranberries. Despite this, it actually has a lower overall sugar content – natural plus added - of 7.6 vs 8.6 per cent.
Both were surprisingly creamy (even when I only added water), thanks to having skim milk powder as one of the ingredients.
- Convenient packaging - great for travelling and times you only have access to a kettle, especially as the ‘cup’ acts as its own cereal bowl. All you need is a spoon.
- Nice fruity flavour and a crunch provided by the nuts.
- Creamy, without the need for milk, as there is skim milk powder in the mix.
- A good mix of different grains, which you are able to see and taste.
- Provides nearly 20 per cent of your daily requirement for fibre per serve.
- Low in sugars at only 8 per cent (or 10g or 2½ teaspoons per cup), much of which is coming from the dried fruit.
- Definitely better hot rather than cold, even though the packaging suggests it works as either.
- Sweet to taste with brown sugar being the second ingredient after the grains. Still with 8 per cent natural and added, it’s about the same as what you’d add yourself to plain oats.
- Not as smooth as regular porridge oats.
- Strawberry pieces are cut quite small in the Cranberry cup - you can barely find them.
- All that extra packaging makes them pricier than oat sachets ($2.81 per 50g cup vs less than $1 for a sachet). They also come in a 380g box that works out cheaper, but it does takes away the convenience factor of a single portion.
Both flavours are comparable in terms of nutritional value, containing a good amount of wholegrains and fibre, with the Cranberry version coming out slightly on top in terms of kilojoules or energy, protein, fat, sugars and fibre. To make it a more balanced breakfast though, I would recommend having it alongside a glass of milk or tub of yoghurt for extra protein and calcium.
|APPLE, CINNAMON & TOASTED HAZELNUT||CRANBERRY, STRAWBERRY & SLICED ALMOND|
|Nutrient||Per serve prepared with 80mL water||Per 100g prepared with water|| Per serve prepared with 80mL water
|Fat - Total, g||4.7||3.5||3.8||2.8|
|- Saturated, g||0.5||0.4||0.6||0.4|
|Dietary fibre, g||4.2||3.1||4.3||3.2|
Source: Uncle Tobys O&G pack.
My verdict? A nice tasting, very convenient and nutritious breakfast option, especially when travelling and staying in accommodation with minimal kitchen facilities. Definitely opt to eat it hot, but don’t be fooled into thinking it will have the same smooth texture you get from regular quick-cook oats.
Thanks to Guest Reviewer Megan Cameron-Lee, APD http://thedieteticdegustation.blogspot.com.au