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More restaurants serve up oatmeal

You might have heard Stacey Vanek-Smith's report on how fast-food chains are stepping up their games when it comes to providing breakfast. NPD Group's Harry Balzer said, "It's the one bright spot in the restaurant industry and that's why I think you're seeing a lot of people running to that space."

On that note, got oatmeal? If not, chances are you'll probably be able to get it at more restaurants across the U.S. Chains, like Starbucks and Jamba Juice, have been introducing hot oatmeal with fruit and nut toppings for you to grab when you're on the go and it seems to be catching on.

And why not? It's cheap, filling, and doesn't require much effort to cook.

From the Washington Post:

This transformation of oatmeal from frumpy to fashionable is the natural confluence of several things: the buzz about whole grains and eating healthy; Starbucks's introduction of portable oatmeal in 2008, which spurred the other chains to copy it; and the fact that breakfast has been the one meal showing signs of life in the economically distressed restaurant industry.

I don't know about you, but my favorite oatmeal is probably the maple syrup kind. Did you have oatmeal this morning? Bought or homemade? By the way, that's a picture of Quaker's Cinnamon Swirl oatmeal below.

About the author

Daryl Paranada is the associate web producer for Marketplace overseeing all daily website content and production, as well as producing multimedia features -- including the popular economic explainer series Whiteboard -- and special projects. Follow him on Twitter @darylparanada.
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I make an extra large batch from scratch (if you call boiling water and oats for 5-10 minutes from scratch) and refrigerate it. In the morning I scoop out 1 serving; add milk, real maple syrup, and cinnamon. Microwave for 1-2 minutes. Add any kind of fresh, dried or frozen fruit and/or nuts. Saves time and money and doesn't contain a lot of really strange extra ingredients.

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