Three Plates Transformed: Oatmeal, Biscuits, and Syrup

Before we made a switch to real food almost three years ago, my husband and I relied on convenience packaged foods.  Back then, if we read any label at all it was just to identify fat and calories.  We’ve learned a lot since then.

I thought it would be helpful to show you dishes or food items we ate in the past and then provide you with a comparable real replacement in a series called “Three Plates Transformed”.

Each post will highlight three recipes and/or products.  I am purposely omitting the brand names of the products I’m featuring as bad.  I will, however, highlight products I currently use and love.


When made with real ingredients, oatmeal is a wholesome and satisfying breakfast.  My two boys devour homemade oatmeal 5 days a week. However, apple cinnamon instant oatmeal made by a popular breakfast food company contains 18+ ingredients.  Here are a few ingredients that I can’t even pronounce: pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamin mononitrate, and niacinamide.  Mmm, yummy.

Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal Ingredients

Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal Ingredients

Real oatmeal made from scratch has only 5 ingredients – all of which are natural and wholesome.

Here’s the recipe:

Real Oatmeal Recipe


The sound of a metal can of raw biscuit dough popping open is one that brings back memories of our days before real food.  Name a variety of canned biscuits and I guarantee we ate them at some point in our household many years ago.

Buttermilk flaky layer biscuits made by a popular biscuit company contain 25+ ingredients.  Here are a few that scare me: propylene glycol alginate, ferrous sulfate, and sodium acid pyrophosphate.  I don’t know about you, but my mouth is watering. (If you don’t know me very well yet, I’ll let you know that sarcasm is my second language.)

Canned Biscuit Ingredients

Canned Biscuit Ingredients

Homemade bread can be intimidating, but this recipe for whole wheat biscuits is incredibly simple.  I’m not going to lie to you and say that these taste exactly like canned, white flour biscuits.  They don’t.  In general, whole wheat has a different texture and may take time to get used to.  They do, however, appeal to us for two reasons: they’re tasty and quick.

You don’t need a mixer or a special biscuit cutter for this recipe.  Just a bowl, spoon, cookie sheet, and drinking glass.  Oh, and an oven.  That helps, too.  This recipe comes from one of my favorite blogs and my original real food inspiration, 100 Days of Real Food.

Whole Wheat Biscuits Recipe

Maple Syrup

You just can’t have a Sunday morning pancake breakfast without syrup.  It’s un-American.  However, those big plastic bottles of artificial maple syrup contain ingredients that would make you want to renounce your citizenship.  Sodium hexametaphosphate, anyone?

Imitation Syrup Ingredients

Imitation Syrup Ingredients

Once you try pure maple syrup, you’ll cringe at the taste of the old chemical stuff if you ever try it again.  Take my advice, though, and stick with a medium amber version of pure maple syrup.  The dark amber variety is a little harsh.

Pure maple syrup is a natural sweetener, so add it to oatmeal, plain yogurt, or almost anything that needs a little sweetener boost.  It is still sugar, though, so use it in moderation.

My favorite pure maple syrup.

My favorite pure maple syrup.

I hope you enjoyed this new series.  Keep an eye out for many more “Three Plates Transformed” posts.

Have a category you’d like to see highlighted?  Let me know in the comments below.

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7 Responses to Three Plates Transformed: Oatmeal, Biscuits, and Syrup

  1. Lori says:

    What kind of sugar would you use for tea?

  2. admin says:

    I’m not a tea drinker, but have read that honey or coconut oil (2-3 tsp) are great tea sweeteners. Let me know if you try either and how you like them!

    • Honey is fabulous in tea!

      • Also, there are so many wonderful honey’s out there to try- if you go to craft fairs in the summer they can be a great place to source local honey and try some different flavors before purchasing. I still buy regular honey at the grocery store for baking, but I prefer local honey in items such as tea or on toast. Just like the other products Laura mentioned, the more natural the item, the better the taste! Raw honey is the best for you.

  3. Brandi says:

    Im not proud to say my kids love the pre packaged mini muffins. I knew they weren’t a healthy snack but i was just a little shocked when I looked at the ingredients. So many ingredients I can’t pronounce and in () after one of the ingredients the box says (for freshness) that can’t be good. So anyways do you have a simple healthy muffin recipe I could make and toss those pre packaged ones now that I know what’s in them?

    • admin says:

      Isn’t it amazing how many ingredients they can pack into a mini muffin? I do have a recipe I’ve used in the past. However, I did have to modify it a bit because I thought it was a little dry and a little bland. I’ll make these in the next few days and will post my modified recipe. In the meantime, here’s the original recipe:

      • Brandi says:

        I can honestly say I’ve never read the ingredients until I read your posts and was curious. I knew they weren’t nutritious but was pretty shocked when I actually read them. I thought well at least I I’m giving them a banana, fruit or yogurt (which we’ve also changed our yogurt choice because of you or lack of knowledge) with them. Thanks for posting the recipe…no more packaged muffins for us:)

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