McDonald’s Oatmeal Throwdown (& Steel Cut Oatmeal Recipe)

Golden Arches

Photo from The Consumerist, Flickr Creative Commons

I tend to be too trusting.  I want people to be good, and I want their intentions to be honorable.  But sometimes, companies have ulterior motives, and their goodness isn’t meant to be.  Take the golden arches, for example.  When I read Mark Bittman’s piece in the NY Times, I was disappointed (but not surprised) to discover that the oatmeal being offered at McDonald’s “contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and only 10 fewer calories than a McDonald’s cheeseburger”.

Really? I mean – it’s OATMEAL.

Here’s what Bittman has to say…

In typical McDonald’s fashion, the company is doing everything it can to turn oatmeal into yet another bad choice. (Not only that, they’ve made it more expensive than a double-cheeseburger: $2.38 per serving in New York.) “Cream” (which contains seven ingredients, two of them actual dairy) is automatically added; brown sugar is ostensibly optional, but it’s also added routinely unless a customer specifically requests otherwise. There are also diced apples, dried cranberries and raisins, the least processed of the ingredients (even the oatmeal contains seven ingredients, including “natural flavor”).

A more accurate description than “100% natural whole-grain oats,” “plump raisins,” “sweet cranberries” and “crisp fresh apples” would be “oats, sugar, sweetened dried fruit, cream and 11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.”

Don’t dismay.  You can have your oatmeal, and you can eat it too. I’d challenge McD’s to an Oatmeal Throwdown any day!  Simply make a double batch of this tasty goodness and store it in the refrigerator.  In the morning, scoop some into a mug, heat it up and take it “to go.”  Convenient. Delish. And healthy.  Take that, Ronald.

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16 Responses to McDonald’s Oatmeal Throwdown (& Steel Cut Oatmeal Recipe)

  1. Amanda says:

    Sounds much better to me!! As an oatmeal lover its such a disappointment to see that people will be fooled into thinking they have made a ‘good’ choice.

  2. One of my very favorite breakfasts! It’s disheartening to see the way advertising can fool people into thinking they are making the right nutritional choices for themselves, people really need to be vigilant and read all the labels and scrutinize all the ingredients. It’s sad that eating well when eating out is such a time consuming effort because of misleading advertisement.

  3. Tracy says:

    So disappointing that many will believe them when they say that their oatmeal is “healthy.” Homemade is always better and your recipe looks delicious…I especially love the dates in there!

  4. I cannot believe that – but I can. I really feel bad for folks that think they are making a healthy choice when they order that c***. The sugar alone in that so-called oatmeal would put me in a tailspin. Shame on them. ;(

  5. Yes! That Bittman article was horrifying, wasn’t it? Your recipe looks amazing. Ours is quite plain, but makes the steel cut oats even more hands off.

    The night before, put 4c water in a pot and bring to a boil. Add 1c steel cut oats, turn off heat. Stir and cover. The next morning, add a splash of water and bring to a simmer. The oats will take almost no time to cook.

    I will have to try your awesome flavors…

  6. I remember sampling this oatmeal at BlogHer and sharing my opinon with McD folks that it was way too sweet with too many ingredients. Shocking that they didn’t listen to me!

  7. Did you know this oatmeal was banned in Vermont because there’s a state law that you can’t call something “Maple” unless it has 100% real maple syrup in it? So McD’s decided they’ll make a special version of the oatmeal JUST for Vermont that has real maple syrup in it. Really?! Oi vey.

  8. new follower here via that kid can cook and I am so glad I found your blog.

    • Michelle Stern says:

      Thanks Lindsey – thrilled to have you as a part of our community! Be sure to chime in with questions or topics you’d like to see here.

  9. George Davis says:

    Our family loves this recipe. Thanks for the enlightenment about McDonald’s Oatmeal.

  10. Cindy Hughes says:

    I tried McD’s oatmeal for the first time yesterday and I have to say it tasted really good. So this morning I decided to try and find their recipe here online and stumbled across this great blog. Sure am glad I did and now I’m excited to try the recipe listed here and not go back to McD’s! Educating the public is soooo important!

  11. John says:

    Oh, how folks love to trash McDonalds, and almost every other successful company! Nobody is better than McD’s at accurately publishing everything that is contained in their products. If you eliminate the brown sugar from your order, you will have a meal that is VERY reasonable nutritionally! As for the cost, McD’s, at 1.99 in my area is far more reasonable than the totally bland oatmeal served in table service restaurants. At some point, people need to realize, understand, and accept that it is up to the individual to decided what it ingest. Anybody want to compare the health of the oatmeal vs an Egg McMuffin or a Big Breakfast?

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