“Eating a good diet won’t make you a great athlete, but eating a poor diet will prevent you from becoming one.”
As an integrative nutrition health coach, endurance coach and athlete, I refer to that phrase often. Both for my own health and fitness journey and for that of the clients I work with. What I put into my body can help to fuel my workouts, aid in recovery, and keep me full and satisfied.
BRAVE Oatmeal Product Review
When my package arrived with a variety pack of 4 flavors of oatmeal, 2 nut butters, and a breakfast jar, I was stoked. Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfast foods, especially when in peak training for a big event. It is important for me to fuel my body with nutrient dense foods that are both filling and delicious. The ingredients list on Brave foods caught my eye immediately. Simple ingredients that are high in nutrient density – win. But how do they taste?
Peanut Butter and Banana Oatmeal
The first package to catch my eye was the Peanut Butter and Banana oatmeal. Peanut butter is one of my all time favorite foods, and pairing it with bananas is classic. I prepared the oatmeal in the insulated mug that came with the variety pack. I put one cup of oat milk into the mug with all of the ingredients, then shook it up, and put it into my refrigerator for overnight oats.
When I woke up in the morning, I wanted something warm, so I took off the lid and popped it into the microwave for 60 seconds. When I grabbed it, I immediately noticed the chia seeds had swelled overnight. I love chia pudding, so this was not off putting to me, as it might be for someone unfamiliar with this. Unfortunately this flavor was not as good as I hoped for. I didn’t inspect the dry ingredients well the night before, but I am making an assumption the bananas were dehydrated or dried. This morning they had a gummy texture that was reminiscent of mooshy, overripe bananas that might be a tad past their expiration, even for banana bread. It had a bitter aftertaste and the textures were difficult for me to stomach.
Toast Coconut Mango Oatmeal
Since I wasn’t able to finish the Peanut butter and banana oats, I gave the Toasted Coconut Mango a try. This time, I prepared the oats with boiling water instead of the overnight method. I poured one cup of boiling water into the mug with the entire package of oats. I covered it with the lid and let it sit for a couple minutes.
This one was dense and hearty. I loved the crunch from the pumpkin seeds. The bits of mango offer a touch of natural sweetness. The coconut flavor was very mild, but coconut flakes added another layer of texture. I felt fully satisfied after eating this. Seeing as it only took a few minutes to prepare, I could whip this up quickly and head out the door without much fuss. At 480 calories and 20g of plant based protein, this would be perfect prior to a long training session, or after to help refill glycogen stores.
Apple Spice Oatmeal
Finding I liked the texture of the oatmeal better using the boiling water method of cooking, this is how I prepared the Apple Spice oatmeal the following dayl. Similar to the Toasted Coconut Mango oatmeal, the apple spice had a good amount of texture from the nuts and seeds. I think if I were to make this again, I would add some additional diced apple to the top. I found the apple flavor was extremely mild and was craving a bit more natural sweetness that fresh fruit could give. There seemed to be a good amount of salt in this one, so the balance from fresh fruit would probably make it more enjoyable.
Mocha Chip Oatmeal
The last one to try was mocha chip oatmeal. Unfortunately I found this one unpalatable. There was a very strong bitter flavor. I felt like I was chewing on coffee beans. Don’t get me wrong, I love a strong cup of coffee in the morning, but that flavor in my oatmeal was not my favorite.
Overall BRAVE Oatmeal Product Review
Of the 4 flavors of oatmeal, the only one I would not consider giving a second chance was the mocha chip. I would like to revisit the other flavors. Perhaps I didn’t give the peanut butter and banana oatmeal a fair chance since I didn’t try it with boiling water. I think overnight oats are convenient, but I don’t think I, personally, enjoyed the texture.
BRAVE Nut Butter Product Review
As I sit here at my desk I have both flavors of nut butters on my desk: Coconut Cashew Pecan, and Vermont Maple Pecan. YUM! I can eat this by the spoonful. I love these. Similarly to the oatmeals they have simple ingredients with zero added oils. With natural nut butters, they do tend to separate a bit, so you will need to give the jar a good mix when you eat it. Trust me, it is well worth it. The coconut cashew pecan butter was hands down my favorite. Again, a mild coconut flavor that is subtle but adds an interesting flavor and texture.
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