Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Simply Nature Week - Steel Cut Oatmeal

Hey there, I missed you all. Hope you had a wonderful holiday season. I haven't posted anything in a long, long time. Kudos to the Lady for keeping this thing rolling while I recovered from the Piepocalypse. New Years resolution: post more. Anyway, keeping with this weeks theme, I needed to pick a Simply Nature product. I was going to try the uncured pepperoni pizza but luckily for my cholesterol levels, I couldn't find it in our local ALDI and since the Lady was out in the car waiting, I grabbed Steel Cut Oatmeal in a panic. Eh, I needed something to take to work for breakfast and I do like steel cut oatmeal so in my inaugural 2013 post I give you...Simply Nature Steel Cut Oatmeal!

Is it Nature? Simply.

First a disclaimer - as we probably all know, ALDI and Trader Joe's are somehow related. I think the same multinational conglomerate owns them. I've tried the same product from Trader Joe's and I didn't like it. It was lacking the thing I like most about steel cut oats - the kind of hard toothie snap you get when you bite into a spoonful. In short, it was like rolled oats - mushy. So to begin with, I was a little bit skeptical but this is what happens when you panic purchase.

There's two trays per package and here's what they look like. Well here's what one of them looks like.


I tossed it in the microwave oven for 2.5 minutes. It didn't say cut to vent it so I didn't but maybe I should have because step two is stir and when I peeled back the covering a burst of crazy hot steam toasted my finger. Youch ALDI! Anyway, it wasn't really unfrozen enough to stir but I did my best and popped it back in for another minute. I took it back to my desk, peeled **CAREFULLY** the plastic off the top and stirred it up. Here's what it looks like!

Stirred, Not Shaken.

So it tastes good and it, unlike Trader Joe's, has some snap to it when you chew. My complaint is that there was no and I mean none, zero, zip, not one lick of maple syrup and/or brown sugar taste. In fact, it was so devoid of flavor, I trudged back to the break room and looked at the box to make sure I'd read it correctly. As you can see from in the photo at the top of this post (which why I didn't save myself a trip and just look at the photo I took 5 minutes earlier I do not know) sure enough, maple syrup and brown sugar. Weird. 

I give this Simply Nature Steel Cut Oatmeal an L. It would have scored higher if it actually tasted like brown sugar or maple syrup but it was still a pretty good helping of steel cut oats and it was only $1.49 for two servings.

**UPDATE** The second tray had a faint maple/brown sugar smell to it but, just like the first one, no discernible maple/brown sugar taste. It's so strange. If anyone tried this let us know what you found.


  1. I'm not a big fan of instant oatmeal (because it's usually too mushy/salty/sweet) so I buy the old fashioned kind you need to cook for 30 minutes. I had relied on Trader Joe's Steel Cut Oats ($4) but recently found Millville Steel Cut Oats at Aldi (same packaging, different label) for $3. The label says it contains 20 servings (more if you add raisins and walnuts during the last 5 minutes of cooking.) Best thing: it freezes very well and you just pop it into the microwave when you want it.

  2. I tend to not like instant or frozen but I'm also too lazy to cook oatmeal for 30 minutes and freeze it for later. Trapped in my own web of lethargy! This oatmeal was surprisingly not too bad. It wasn't at all salty and had a little snap left in it. I'd be interested to know what someone who regularly eats real steel cut oats thinks, so if you try it let me know.

  3. The Millville Steel Cut oats in the can are great over night in the crockpot. Google for recipes. Really easy to customize to your liking, and really nice to get up and not have to make breakfast since the handy dandy crockpot did the work all night.