America’s favorite fast food joint rang in 2011 with a new breakfast offering: McDonald’s new Fruit and Maple Oatmeal. Now keep in mind this is the same McDonald’s that has a treasured history of half-heartedly offering healthy menu choices and then citing low sales as the impetus for their certain and often rapid removal. Remember the McLean Burger?
While the concept of oatmeal is commendable, leave it to McDonald’s to louse it up. Wherein a typical 1 cup cooked oatmeal serving made with water would have just 150 calories (and maybe an extra 50 calories with some berries), McDonald’s bumps it up to 290 calories (and 60 grams of carbohydrate!) by adding sugary dried fruit, brown sugar and then mixing it with light cream.
Even the “oatmeal” component of the breakfast (which should consist of “rolled oats”) has the following:
- Modified foodstarch
- Barley malt extract
- Caramel color
- Natural maple flavor (but no maple syrup…)
The serving size is larger than it needs be – a 12 oz cup of cooked oatmeal – that, even with all the additives, still tastes kind of bland and watery. The whole thing emanates an odd citrus flavor – likely from the ascorbic acid (vitamin C) preservative used to prevent the packaged apples – the same packaged apples used in their Apple Dippers – from turning brown.
If you’re looking for someone else to make you oatmeal in the morning, a better tasting option is Starbucks Perfect Oatmeal. While Starbucks’ version does have some added ingredients, it comes a lot closer to tasting like it’s worth $3.00.
And lastly, while McDonald’s in the US pretends to get healthier – check out today’s Wall Street Journal article about what McDonald’s is doing in Japan. The McDonald’s executives there have no qualms about beefing up – and bragging about – their already-bulging burgers that now feature tortilla chips, fried hash browns and chili toppers!