Sunday, October 18, 2020

Kroger Apple & Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal Cups (Kroger)

 

These are pretty damn tasty.

What’s better than oatmeal out of packets? Oatmeal out of premade cups! Actually, it’s not better at all, considering each cup costs about the same as an entire box of oatmeal packets, but we like to keep a couple of these on hand, as oatmeal is one of the few things our three-year-old son will willingly eat. And when he gets finicky, prepwork couldn’t be any easier: fill water up to the fill line in the cup, microwave for 45 seconds, let sit for about a minute, put in the freezer or fridge for a few minutes (if you’re our son, who won’t eat hot stuff), and that’s it! Your oatmeal is ready to go.

I have to say, this is pretty fantastic, for what it is. There’s ample amounts of cinnamon, which pairs up very well with the main star of the show: the apple. Spread throughout, in instant oatmeal fashion, is a generous amount of real apple chunks, which help add some texture to the otherwise slimy oat puddle. It’s a classic take on the well-known combination of apples and cinnamon, but with a perfect balance of both that should win over most people; to wit, my wife doesn’t have nearly the palate for sweet stuff that I have, but she enjoys this oatmeal a lot, too.

When these first came out, I remember being disgusted that each one sold for over $1, which is a disgusting markup on something that probably costs mere pennies to produce. Well now I’m glad to report that they are $.99 each, even at a scammy place like Kroger! It’s still too high, but there always has to be a “convenience charge” for things that make your life easier, and considering this saves you a dirty bowl, and the act of pouring oatmeal and water into a container, I suppose that is a fair trade-off every once in a while. Besides, these seem to cool down quicker in the fridge than ceramic or glass bowls, and when a hungry (or tired) kid who won't eat anything above "slightly warm" on the heat scale is screaming for his oatmeal to be cooled down and ready, every second counts.

All in all, these pack in some great flavor, and are perfect to have on hand for whenever we run out of the packets, or just something that can be thrown together with minimal fuss. 

Overall: 9/10. This is a fantastic combination of apples and cinnamon that leans more on the sweet side, but shouldn’t go overboard for most. The classic texture of oatmeal is here in cup form, along with a hearty helping of dried apples that help to give it a more interesting texture beyond the standard sliminess of oatmeal. Meanwhile, the $1 price tag—while high considering you can get a whole box of oatmeal packets for less than $1 more—is fairly reasonable given the added convenience of making everything in the cup. These are perfect for on-the-go snacking, and are something we always tend to keep in our pantry for oatmeal emergencies, if nothing else.

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