Product: Love Grown Foods Blueberry Banana Walnut Hot Oats – $2.49+
We all know by now that every day during the workweek, my lunch consists of one thing and one thing only – gluten-free oatmeal.
I have tried a lot of gluten-free oatmeal out on the market. Some I have liked, a couple I have loved, some I tolerated, and some…I just couldn’t bring myself to finish.
When it came to gluten-free granola, I was no stranger to the awesome and amazing lure and taste of Love Grown Foods. They definitely had the best out on the market. That’s why I continue to buy it. And I probably always will. My pantry is never without one of their varieties, for sure. They are perfect with my fruit and Greek yogurt parfaits on non-gym mornings. My love affair with Love Grown Foods started early. And it has only grown ever since.
Rewind for a moment now to December 2012. I noticed an announcement from Love Grown Foods that was declaring the release of a brand new product. Much to my delight…it was their line of Hot Oats. You got it…gluten-free oatmeal. I was beside myself. I couldn’t wait to try it. I just…I just had to. If their granola was on the top of my list, surely their oatmeal had to be epic.
And between the launch and the beginning of May 2013…I could only sit and wonder. I was extremely jealous of every post I saw via Twitter of Facebook of people enjoying their Love Grown Foods Hot Oats. Why? Because I just could NOT find it in this area. No shocker there, right? It happens all the time. A gluten-free company I trust and love announces a new product. I get all excited and then spend up to as much as a year trying to find it in the Louisville, Kentucky area. It’s aggravating and frustrating and makes me one unhappy gluten-free camper.
However, one store in my area must have felt my pain. Because I was out at my local Fresh Market in Louisville, just scouting the aisles as I tend to do…and lo and behold…in the cereal aisle, the clouds parted and a ray of sunshine illuminated the shelf upon which the little cups of Love Grown Foods Hot Oats were sitting. Okay, not really…but it makes for a much better story. The fact of the matter is…I FINALLY found them! At long last! YAY!! That…was the good news. The bad news was, my already strict budget for gluten-free grocery shopping was reaching max capacity…so I could only purchase one of them. JUST ONE! After all this time.
So…that decision was to try the Love Grown Foods Blueberry Banana Walnut Hot Oats. Because all those ingredients were things I absolutely love in life. So…why not?
Today…at lunch…I got my first taste of hot loving!
Making this oatmeal is so easy. It makes the others that I eat feel so labor intensive. Pull back top halfway, pour water up to line inside container, microwave for about 60 seconds (adding 10 to 20 seconds depending on how thick you want your oats). Let sit for 2 minutes. Then…devour.
Told you it was easy.
I did all of this, putting my oats in for an additional 20 seconds because I dislike soupy oatmeal, and took it back to my desk at the office to sit for two minutes. I somehow managed to find some way to occupy myself so that I didn’t go nuts waiting for it to reach the point of doneness for consumption by…me. Two minutes…that seemed to take forever. Anticipation was killing me. And then…it was time.
I peeled off the top and gave the oats a good healthy stir. They had set up to perfection. Nice and thick without being chunky and overdone. YES! Getting the consistency of the oatmeal right is a challenge in and of itself…but this made it so easy to get just right. Creamy and thick and just how I liked them. Lunch perfection if you ask me. Throughout the oats, I could see the blueberries, the bits of walnut, and, yes, even some banana. My little spoon scooped up a heap of the hot oats and I indulged in my first taste.
OH. MY. HOT. OATY. GOODNESS.
Love…LOVE…LOVE this! Here’s the thing…not only was the consistency to my liking, it wasn’t overly sweet, it had the right amount of each of the components listed as the flavor on the front. And all of it worked together. Every last ingredient. It was a little savory, a little sweet, and wasn’t a little too much of any of it. Perfectly balanced. The dehydrated fruits rehydrated to perfection in the microwave as it warmed. The blueberries were soft and ripe. The walnuts added a nice hint of savory flavor. The banana…well…it’s banana and therefore always wins. And the oats…creamy and steamy to perfection. I can’t wait until I have enough room in my food budget to try another of the four flavors.
And for those of you who don’t know…the flavors that Love Grown Foods currently offers in their line of Hot Oats are: Strawberry Raspberry, Apple Cinnamon, Peach Vanilla Almond, and (of course) the Blueberry Banana Walnut.
So, now that we know these offer a spoonful of hot love in each bite…what about those pesky nutrition facts?
A serving is a single container of the hot oats. More than enough. It was really filling. In fact, these oats kept me feeling full longer than any of the others that have come before it. I approve. One serving of the Blueberry Banana Walnut Hot Oats serves you up 240 calories (which is a bit higher than other gluten-free oatmeal out there…but…yeah…don’t even count calories here…this is love…and you can’t put a calorie stamp on love!) and 4.5 grams of fat, of which a good percentage comes from the healthy fats contained in the walnuts. So fear not. The sugar content might seem a bit high at 12 grams, but brown sugar is one of the ingredients…and fruits naturally have sugar in them. I give this one a pass. As for fiber, you get served 5 filling grams of it and you also will be devouring a protein power-punch of 7 grams. This gluten-free athlete (who craves protein due to also being vegetarian) approves. Mightily approves.
And as I mentioned ingredients above…you’ve pretty much heard them all – certified gluten-free oats, brown sugar, banana, walnuts, blueberries, and cinnamon. That’s it. Nothing fake here. All real ingredients. All real good for you.
I encourage you, and even implore you to seek out Love Grown Foods Hot Oats at your local natural food stores or grocery stores. If they don’t have them, talk to customer service to see if they can order in the products. I hope my budget eases up a bit so I can afford to try another one. Because if the rest of the flavors that are out there come close to the amazing and awesomeness of the Blueberry Banana Walnut version, well…I might be in for a lot of budget juggling in my future.
Love Grown Foods continues to prove that putting a lot of love and care into the development, production, and taste of a product can pay off. I’m hooked. And now I just want more Hot Oats in my life. And stat.