After The Stir put McDonald's on blast for their attempt at creating a "healthy" breakfast item by rolling out an oatmeal option, I figured it couldn't hurt to check out what was going down under the Golden Arches. I love oatmeal and make it often at home, particularly after I discovered the awesome that is steel-cut oats, but I'm a skeptic about McDonald's. For me, it's a rare late-night snack after a night at a bar or something we eat on a road trip when there are few options available.
While I've been known to throw back a burger or two, it's even rarer that I eat fast-food breakfast; I just don't like any of the available options. I was game to throw down with McDonald's new Fruit and Maple Oatmeal and see how well it matched up against the homemade version:
At $1.99, the oatmeal comes in a small cup, and you have the choice of either with or without brown sugar. I opted to omit the brown sugar, because I tend to prefer my oatmeal on the savory side. I was glad I did.
At first glance, I was shocked by the amount and quality of fruit that topped the oatmeal cup. There was no shortage of crunchy, chopped green and red apples, as well as dried cranberries and both regular and golden raisins. The fruit to oatmeal ratio seemed to be almost equal.
Disappointing. While it wasn't a complete disaster in terms of texture, I found it on the gummy side. Put it this way: it was a step up from instant oatmeal, but nowhere near the chewy, nutty, steel-cut oats I make at home.
Worse, at least for my tastes, I found the oatmeal, even without the optional brown sugar, way too sweet. I thought it might be the concentrated sweetness of the dried fruit, but a taste of the oatmeal alone was still too cloying for my palate. A quick glimpse at the nutritional information revealed that one serving contained a whopping 32 grams of sugar. Like I said before, I prefer my oatmeal on the savory side, so you may like the sweetness of McDonald's oats more than me.
Like I said, one serving of McDonald's oatmeal contains 32 grams of sugar. It also contains 290 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein. To contrast, steel cut oats contain approximately 150 calories, 3 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, but less than 1 gram of sugar. Regular rolled oats are roughly the same nutritionally. Neither, of course, figures in any additional toppings like fruit, nuts, or cream. That being said, the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal is still loads better for you than other available breakfast items at McDonald's.
Bottom line: McDonald's oatmeal is serviceable in a pinch, but you're better off making your own oats at home.
Image via McDonalds.com