Product Type: Quaker Breakfast
Newest Review: ... it seems a bit pointless to buy a tin of syrup just for that. Therefore this flavour is really handy as it has the porridge and syrup flavo... more
Oatso Simple but notso good
Quaker Oatso Simple Golden Syrup
Member Name: Suzela
Quaker Oatso Simple Golden Syrup
Advantages: convenient packets
Disadvantages: taste, consistency, not as healthy
Coming from a Scottish background it probably seems like heresy that I should buy anything like Ready Brek or Oatso Simple and normally I don't but when I popped round to my local Tesco Express to buy my normal porridge oats they had sold out. I was a bit annoyed because not only do I have porridge to make sure I keep my collestral stays nice and low, I also like it because when I am trying to lose weight a bowl of this in the morning stops my 11 o'clock craving for cake or biscuits because oats are a low GI food which are low(ish) in fat. So because my main shopping delivery isn't until the end of next week, when I saw the 10 36g sachet packs of Quakers golden syrup Oatso Simple were on offer buy 2 for £3 I thought "oh they'll do". After all it was made by the same company that I get my normal oats from usually so it must be ok.
Now I was quite interested to see how these sachets turned out. I have never liked Ready Brek because to me it was like baby food and looked (and smelled like sawdust) and getting the right quantities of powder to milk was often hard - one morning it would be fine - the next it would be rock hard! So to get a pack, with a flavouring and all you had to so was add milk and heat in the microwave for 2 minutes I couldn't see any downsides. It certainly beat getting the measuring cups out and standing over a hot stove stirring away or even cooking it in the microwave but having to watch it constantly to make sure it didn't bubble over and stirring it occasionally.
How wrong I was! The first thing that annoyed me with the pack was that the easy tear pack was far from easy. In the end I had to resort to scissors. Although there were some whole oats in the packet, the majority was fine powder reminiscent of Ready Brek. But instead of smelling like saw dust it had quite an overpowering sickly sweet smell that is a little like golden syrup but didn't seem as natural. Not an unpleasant smell but not as appetising as I had perhaps hoped for. Not one to be easily put off though I carried on and next came the milk juggling.
One of the things I thought would be good about this product was that I didn't need to do any milk measuring. You can pour the milk directly into the pack (once you have emptied the contents) and there is a line marked where you fill the milk up to. How easy is that? Well not quite as easy as you would think for some one with small hands. You see to get a good grip on it (to prevent it falling and splashing everywhere) meant that I was getting less milk in there than I needed. So I ended up resting it on the worktop to complete filling to the designated line. And having done that I tipped the milk into the oat mix, gave it a quick stir and into the microwave on full for 2 minutes (this is based on a category E 800W microwave). You can also heat 180ml of up in a saucepan, add the sachet and stir in until you get the right consistency.
According to the pack after two minutes you will take out your bowl and have the perfect porridge. So did I? Simple answer is no....I had milk with bits floating in it. It was also not hot enough. So in the microwave it went again for a further minute. It had an improved consistency but then the bowl was too hot to carry. OK maybe just a little thing but when you want to get on and eat your breakfast it would be nice if you actually get it out of the microwave! So after needing the oven glove to carry it to the table I was ready to sample the porridge. In the short(ish) space of time it had taken me to get from the kitchen to the dining room table a film had formed on the top of the porridge. It wasn't a crust as such but it was more solid than the oats underneath which had now turned into a lumpy wallpaper paste. Now I know normal porridge can seem to solidify and then have the hot oats underneath but that always seems quite natural. What had happened with this product seemed very strange to me and look very unappetising.
I persevered and took a spoonful to see if the taste could make up for it. Alas this was nothing like proper porridge with golden syrup - this was grainy Ready Brek with a sweet sickly taste. It was far too sweet for me and looking again at the packaging I noticed that there wasn't even any golden syup in there - it was just natural flavouring, sugar and salt and Lecithin derived from Soya (so no good if you are allergic to soya). The Lecithin is added to stop it boiling over in the microwave. At least when I have normal porridge it is just oats without any additives and if I want to have golden syrup it is the real thing. I really wasn't impressed.
However, I do like to give products a chance so the next morning I cooked the porridge on the hob. It took 4 minutes in total - not much less than it does for me to cook normal porridge but it wasn't scoldingly hot as the day before so I could eat it without the "skin" appearing. I also found when measuring the milk in the sachet the next time I used this method that if you do hold it so that you are pinching the sides in rather than putting it on the work top it cooked better in the microwave in the recommended 2 minutes - although it was still a bit too runny for my liking.
And although this is a more convenient method of making a hot cereal it isn't as healthy as real porridge. A 36g sachet of this product with 180ml of semi skimmed milk has 210 calories, 16.4g sugars, 5.3g of fat (2.2g of which are saturates) and 0.5g of salt but a 45g serving of my usual oats with 280ml of semi skimmed milk has 250 calories (but remember this is more oats and more milk), 12.3g of sugars, 4.2g of fat (1g of which are saturates) and 0.3g salt. If you just had 36g of normal oats you could reduce these figures by 20%. And the good fibre element that helps reduce your cholestral beta glucan is less than normal porridge. OK so if add in a spoonful golden syrup the sugar content goes up but you don't have to add that!
Overall I was very disappointed in this product. The only good thing was that I still didn't get that 11 o'clock cake feeling but whereas I might be able to go until 2pm for lunch I did feel hungrier about 12.30pm instead. For the convenience and if you have never had proper porridge I guess this is OK but for me it doesn't taste as good, it isn't as good for you and overall it is more expensive than ordinary porridge oats.
Summary: Not being bought in this house again
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