Do We Really Need Quick Oatmeal?

My feelings on oatmeal are pretty simple. It's a warm, satisfying breakfast that I eat often in the winter because of the aforementioned, but also because it's so darn easy to make. So then, imagine my surprise when I learned that Trader Joe's is now making frozen discs of oatmeal you quickly reheat for breakfast, taking instant to a whole new level. Was oatmeal so time consuming to begin with?

Sure, steel-cut oats take a good 20 minutes on the stovetop, but if you make an oatmeal with rolled oats, you're looking at 7 to 10 minutes maximum. If that's too much time to prepare a breakfast, even on a weekday, than we may have a problem, no?

I've noticed that there are lots of fast food oatmeal options out there too: from Starbucks to MacDonald's, everyone seems to have their version. And this isn't nearly as tough to understand. It's certainly a far better choice than a croissant or a greasy breakfast sandwich, so I'm all for people getting oatmeal wherever they can get it.

But it's puzzling to think that folks would buy already-cooked oatmeal that's then frozen only to take it home and microwave it to thaw. Am I wrong? What do you think: Has the effort to make certain foods as quick to prepare as humanly possibly gone a little too far here?

Related: Quick Breakfast: No Cook Overnight Oatmeal

(Image: Faith Durand)