For those of you who love savory oatmeal, I have an amazing product for you to try. And for those of you who don’t think you like savory oatmeal, I have an amazing product to change your mind. And for those of you who are afraid to try savory oatmeal, I have an amazing product to help you face your fears.
Grainful approached me to review their products–savory oatmeal packets and frozen meal kits–and I was immediately intrigued. It’s the first time I’ve seen packaged savory oats, and there was a ton of vegan options. Plus, the flavor options were enticing–Italian and Indian and Southern and more!
You can buy dried meal kits (shown below) or frozen entrees (pictured above). The frozen entrees are a single serving, but the packets make four big servings. Either way, the ingredient list is short, natural, and straightforward. They make great meals by themselves, or you can add other ingredients, which each packet lists suggestions for. The products shown here are the vegan offerings; the website has even more products for those of you who are vegetarian or omnivore.
I started with the Madras Curry. I love Indian food, and I happened to have some sauteed tofu to throw in already waiting in my fridge. The addition of peas and raisins (yes! raisins!) make this more than just curry-flavored oats, and the seasoning is strong and bold. Oh, and it’s spicy. Heck yes. I didn’t need to add any extra salt, pepper, or other seasoning–it was perfect as is. As the packaging suggests, you could add extra veggies as you wish.
Next, I tried the Jambalaya. This was mega exciting for me because I’ve *ahem* never had jambalaya before! It’s not exactly vegan friendly, and there aren’t many (any?) restaurants out there making vegan versions (if you know any, LEMME KNOW).
Look at that! The bits of celery and bell peppers!! ?? I topped mine with Tofurky. Obvs.
I could tell this was a winner as soon as I dumped it in the saucepan and added the seasoning packet. And before you freak out at the words “seasoning packet,” it’s not like a cheap ramen noodle-esque, MSG-packed seasoning packet. It’s just a beautiful blend of spices that would normally go in a Cajun dish. Here are the ingredients for the entire meal kit:
Steel Cut Oats, Red Bell Peppers, Celery, Tomatoes, Tomato Powder, Salt, Basil, Smoked Paprika, Granulated Garlic, Cayenne, Thyme
Both the Madras Curry and Jambalaya oatmeals were the meal kits (the room temperature packets), so next I tried one of the frozen entrees. There is a Thai Curry and Tuscan Bean and Kale, and since I had just tried a curry-themed one, I decided to go with the Tuscan one.
The frozen entrees kind of look like a TV dinner when you open them, but hear me out. It comes in a (sturdy) paper tray, and it’s placed in the oven at 375 degrees F for about 25 minutes. The result is a much higher quality than that of a conventional TV dinner, I promise. While TV dinners are loaded with fake junk and are almost completely devoid of nutrition, these frozen oatmeal entrees stick to natural ingredients and have TEN GRAMS of fiber (!!), 11 grams of protein, and 25 percent of your daily recommended value of iron. Pretty impressive for a frozen entree, no?
BUT more importantly, it tastes good. True to its name, the flavors are distinctly Italian. It was reminiscent of a pasta sauce, and the beans–despite having been in a frozen state–had great texture and flavor.
I have two flavors left to try (the frozen Thai Curry and the dried Tomato Basil, both of which I’m stoked to sample), but I can already recommend these products. When a product is as good as (or better) than cooking from scratch, I have to give credit where it’s due!
Perk of sampling products: I have a fridge packed with leftover savory oatmeal to eat for the next two weeks. ??