The Lea family and creators of the Mornflake brand have been producing a wide assortment of oats and oat based cereals since 1675. This year they celebrate their 333rd birthday and are marking the occasion by launching some new exciting oaty ranges including muesli, granola, flakes and sprinkles. Being a huge oat and breakfast lover myself I was thrilled when they asked if I would like to try some of their new products. I eagerly accepted the offer and it wasn’t long before I had a large box of oat based goodies sitting in my kitchen. The thing that struck me first was the colours and designs used on the packaging. The sandy earthy colours and oat grain design really made it look fresh and natural and shows they are moving with the times despite being such an old traditional company.
They sent me some traditional oats including a bag of Superfast Oats, a box of Mornflake Superfast Oats with 20% added wheat bran and a box of porridge oat sachets – perfect for breakfast on the go. These would be great for making a bowl of breakfast porridge or a base for your own homemade flapjacks or cookies. I made porridge with the Superfast Oats with added wheat bran and it made a lovely creamy porridge while the added bran gave it a slight wheaty flavour and aroma that was very comforting with a drizzle of honey.
Next were two boxes of Mornflake Oatbran Flakes, one original and the other containing a mix of berries. I had never seen these before; they are made with 40% oatbran as apposed to wheat bran and I found the flakes to be thin and delicate but with a nice crunch and a slightly sweet grainy flavour – a sort of cross between a cornflake and a branflake. I really liked the addition of the freeze dried strawberries, raspberries and cherries which added a good fruity flavour and a nice texture contrast.
There were also two yummy looking boxes of Mornflake Extra Crispy Muesli and I am told there are four varieties available. I received the traditional Swiss style muesli with apple and a date, fig & apple variety. I was so happy when I read they both contained dried apple as I love this in muesli and yet not many companies offer it. Pouring out a bowlful I was very impressed with the generous amount of whole fruit and nuts included in the mix. I tried the date, fig & apple variety and found along with the named fruits it also contained a mix of seeds, raisins, flaked coconut and whole almonds and hazelnuts. These were all nestled amongst different wholegrain flakes including oat, rye, barley and wheat so there is no chance of getting bored with this muesli! I loved the variety of textures and flavours and it had a great toasty natural flavour. It also contains no added sugar, replying on the wide assortment of fruit for natural sweetness which worked well.
The product that most intrigued me was a tall cylinder of Mornflake Oatbran Sprinkles made from 100% oatbran. The product is designed to be used like an oversized salt shaker with a slider on the top which uncovers little holes from which to shake your oatbran sprinkles, which resemble very finely ground oats. The idea is that you do use it like a sort of condiment on your food by shaking a few sprinkles over your morning cereal, on top of salads or into smoothies. You can also use it to make a very smooth kind of porridge, add it to a bread or muffin mix or as a bulking agent in homemade burgers. You can even use it instead of breadcrumbs for coating pieces of chicken or fish before cooking. Oatbran is very high in fibre (15g per 100g) and I think the sprinkles idea is a great easy way of boosting your fibre intake, which in turn results in a whole range of other health benefits.
But what exactly is oatbran? Well, oatbran is the oater layer of the oat grain and is a high natural source of soluble fibre called beta-glucan. Research has shown that high soluble fibre beta-glucan foods, such as oatbran, have been proved to help reduce cholesterol (as part of a healthy diet) by binding to the cholesterol on its way through the digestive system and removing it from the body. Oats are also considered to have a low GI (Glycemic Index) meaning they release their energy gradually, resulting in a slower rise and fall of blood sugar levels allowing you to feel fuller and more alert for longer. So it seems you can’t go wrong with a morning bowlful of oats, and even if you are not a traditional porridge lover – there are now many tasty ways to get your daily oat intake.
Click here to visit their site for more information.
Giveaway – Your Chance to Win!
Now is your chance to share in the oaty goodness. To help celebrate their 333rd birthday, Mornflake have generously offered to send two of my lucky readers a box packed full of a selection of their new oaty products. All you have to do is leave a comment on the blog from now until Friday 12pm Midnight of 15th May09. Unfortunately its open to the UK only, so please put (UK) in brackets at the end of your comment if you live in the UK and would like a chance to win. Two winners will be randomly selected and notified on Saturday 16th May. Good Luck!