Thursday, May 10, 2012

Quaker Instant Oatmeal: Maple and Brown Sugar and my Semi-Faux Avena Drink Experiment

It's strange that I should want to write about oatmeal.


Why in the world am I writing about oatmeal?

It's probably one of the more mundane and unexciting food staples available.

Well...this site isn't called My Random Food Delight for nothing.

When I was younger, I was never really big on oatmeal. I'd see it on the corner of my kitchen cupboard, shrug, and say "eh."

It didn't exactly rock my world.

Back in 2004, when I visited my sister in the U.S., she had this particular brand and flavor of oatmeal lying around in her cupboard.

I never actually had flavored oatmeal before then. I was used to the regular old fashioned oats or the instant ones that came plain. I didn't hold out much hope on this, but being bored without anything better to do or to eat at the time, I decided it was best to steal a sachet from my sister's stash and try it out for myself.

I took a bowl, and made the oatmeal following product instructions.
Put in bowl.
Add 1/2 cup water/milk.
Whew! So complicated.
With a tentative first bite I ingested the mellow sweet tones of maple syrup interlaced with brown sugar goodness. Oatmeal like I had never imagined it.

Only then did I understand what I had not understood before: Oatmeal was not boring.

It had the potential to be anything and everything - but I just didn't see that at first - what with the variety of things and flavors you can combine with it. Disguised in an unassuming mien of ordinary, it is the foundation of great creations and delectable desserts.

I also understand that some people may look down on this being instant and all, but it should not be a deterrent to what instant can inspire or to what has inspired the creation of instant. For those lazy like me, instant is always an option. For those with time and energy, you can always opt to make it from scratch. (See How I Use it section below for recipe recommendations).

While it may seem like a bizarrely overenthusiastic endorsement of oatmeal, I think it is well-deserved. It has lasted this long and needs some love and appreciation. So here's to you, oatmeal! For the years you've graced our kitchens, sustained us, and kept us healthy!

How I use it: By itself or in desserts, or for an exciting alternative: made into avena (see recipe below). Also check out Kath Eats Real Food and her Tribute to Oatmeal as well as HealthySexyHappy for delicious inspirations for eating oatmeal.

Health claims: The product makes no particular health claims, other than helping reduce cholesterol and
being a good source of calcium, iron and 8 other essential vitamins and minerals.

Price in Php: (as of 2012) to be updated

Where I have so far found it: Shopwise (Libis); SM Hypermarket

Shelf-life: Not specified

Product Website

Other product notes/usages: According to the manufacturer, it is made from 100% whole grain Quaker Oats.
My Recipe Note: To be honest I don't know if my recipe qualifies as being called avena. Wikipedia says "Avena is the Spanish word for "oatmeal". In Nicaragua, Colombia, and some other Latin American countries, the word is used to refer to a drink prepared using oatmeal."

I have come across a lot of recipes which more or less use the same ingredients, but I wanted to try to make a kind of variation on it just for added excitement. I did not want to offend hardcore avena purists if my recipe did not match up to their standards. Ergo, I called it my "semi-faux avena drink" experiment to adhere to the Wikipedia definition, and to alleviate any complaints purists might have against my recipe. Critics be kind.

My Semi-Faux Avena (Oatmeal Drink) Experiment
Serves 3-4


1/2 packet of pre-made Maple and Brown sugar oatmeal sachet (See pictured above)
1 1/2 cups milk or any milk variety you prefer. (I used soy milk)
1 cup water
1 banana
Maple syrup


Follow directions to make the oatmeal (See pictured above). When oatmeal is cooked, pour half the mixture into the blender, along with the milk and banana. You can add a tablespoon of honey and a tablespoon of maple syrup or sweeten it to your preferred level of sweetness. Add ice and blend. Pour in glass and drink.

Mix everything and blend!
Some notes: Some adjustments can also be made in terms of thickness and temperature. If you prefer more thinner consistencies, feel free to add more water or milk or lessen the amount of oatmeal added. Also, since the cooked oatmeal might still be hot, you can opt to cool it first, add then add cold water or milk, or simply leave the blended drink in the refrigerator to make it colder.

Additionally, the use of maple and honey were purely experimental. I used maple syrup to bring out the maple-iness of the Maple and Brown Sugar oatmeal and honey, since it's generally a healthier alternative. You can also opt to just use maple syrup, or just use honey. Feel free to experiment.
Sprinkle with cinnamon for aesthetic appeal or just cause you like cinnamon.
Arriba! Mexican hedgehog likes his aveno oatmeal drink.

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Cauliflower Crust Pizza Experiment

Why it delights me: I recently stumbled upon a blog that introduced me to cauliflower crust for pizza. Who had also evidently came across another blog who found it from another blog etc...which all featured this.

Cauliflower crust?!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Suncoast Vitamin Boost: Strawberry Kiwi

Why it delights me: One random road trip back in 2011 had us stop by a 7-11, where my friend, Tina, found this little gem. We were thirsty and hungry, and I went straight for some mango cream cake and water. I don't actually remember if it was water I went for, but I'm definitely sure about the mango cream cake...

Hacienda Macalauan's Pure and Best Chocolate Milk

Why it delights me: Back when I was new to Facebook, I would waste my time in mindless fascination with the online game "Pet Society." Not because I liked the idea of having to take care of a virtual pet, which is...a pretty useless endeavor...but because I liked the idea that I could decorate my pet's home. What can I say? I'm a frustrated faux-interior decorator. It fulfilled me with a false sense of accomplishment, it's sad.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pacific Foods Hemp Milk

Why it delights me:  The word “hemp” was enough to put a smile on my face. I'll be honest, and say that I haven't had the opportunity to try other hemp brands, so I can't say that this is the best I've tried, nevertheless it was an interesting discovery and a good introduction to hemp milk.

So...what is hemp milk anyway?

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