Taste Test: Trader Joe's Maple And Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal

Sometimes it's easy to forget just how sweet instant oatmeal is. In the case of Trader Joe's maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal, this sweetness is contributed by—what else—maple sugar (dehydrated maple syrup, basically), and brown sugar.

When prepared as the directions on the box indicate, with ½ cup of boiling water added to the packet, stirred, and let to rest for a couple minutes, and the resulting oatmeal had a dark maple color and visible whole rolled oats. Plenty of maple flavor comes through, and also, surprisingly, a hint of saltiness that's not unwelcome. It is sweet, though, and can come across as a bit too sweet if you're not accustomed to sugary breakfasts. The texture, however, is about as classic oatmeal as it gets, and is thick and viscous without being too gloopy.

Each packet contains 160 calories, 2 grams of fat, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein. A box that contains 10 packets costs $2.49.

In a side by side taste test with Whole Foods 365 Organic Maple & Spice instant oatmeal, we preferred this one's texture (Whole Foods uses steel-cut oats and was a bit gloopy), but the cinnamon in the Whole Foods one gave it a superior flavor. 

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