A Healthy Snack That Fills You Up With Warm Memories!

This is a sponsored post for Quaker and was first published on MyCity4Kids.com 

If you have grown up anywhere near Mumbai, then as a child, you are sure to have visited the hill-stations of Mahabaleshwar-Panchgani! During the summers when Mumbai would be blazing in the relentless Sun, most people would escape to the closest, hill station of Mahabaleshar which would not only provide us the much needed respite from the heat, but also give us one of nature’s favourite berries – the strawberry!
Mahabaleshwar in April-May is brimming with strawberries, mulberries, raspberries; and no matter where you go, you are served with fresh milkshakes, ice-creams, jams, jellies, fruit-salads and what not with fresh strawberries and cream toppings! As children, this, and of course, the horse rides on the Table Land, were the highlights of the vacations spent in these rolling hills! The deep pink berry with pits on the outside was a rarity for the middle-class working background childhood of us Mumbai kids; and even today, the mere mention of the berry brings to mind the sloping hills of Mahabaleshwar and its biting breezes.
Growing older though, that is all that we are left with – the memories; and with an urge to attempt at reliving our childhood by recreating the beautiful memories of our own childhood for our children. In my case, I love to re-create the food and especially the deserts I have enjoyed in my childhood, whenever I feel like showing my little one a glimpse of my childhood.
And so it was, that this weekend, when my little one woke me up early in the morning saying he was done with his sleep and was feeling hungry. There was a distinct chill in the air and the rest of the household was still fast asleep at this early hour, when the two of us padded to the kitchen in anticipation of our morning cuppa.
After the mandatory cup of milk, my little one was still a bit hungry – “not too much hungry, but very little hungry…” – and I was left to wonder what I could give him to satisfy that very little hunger. And that was when I thought of the little packet I had bought home last week of Quaker Oats Strawberry with Apple! This should do the trick; I thought and made it for him.
On a whim, last week, I had picked up a few packets of Quaker Oats, in several different flavours. You see, even though I am keen to pick healthy stuff when shopping for the family; my little one is more concerned how a product would taste, rather than letting me pick something just because it is healthy. And so it had happened that I was stuck at home with a big jar of Quaker Oats (which I sneaked in his meals at every possibility); that he was not very keen on having as breakfast or snack, all by itself. So, I had been looking for flavoured oats; and had chanced upon an entire section that offered a lot of variety. I picked up mostly savoury flavours; and a few packets of Quaker Oats Strawberry With Apple, albeit a little skeptically; as the only sweet flavour try out. And boy, am I glad I did that!
Now, the aroma of the strawberries filled my kitchen as soon as the oats started to boil softly. The aroma took me back to my memories of Mahabaleshwar and I was seriously tempted to try some of it! But of course, my little one, who licked his bowl clean, refused to give me even a little bit to taste! But the aroma of fresh strawberries that was soon filling my home was so overpowering and was bringing back such amazing memories from my childhood, that I just had to make a packet for myself, right then and there – and I did just that!
I made myself a serving and this one, I made it a little more liquid, not as a porridge, but as a hot drink on this chilly morning; rekindling my memories of the numerous fresh strawberry milkshakes I had had on the hills of Mahabaleshwar as a child! The tiny bits of apple surprised me by giving a well-noted and much needed crunch and flavour to my hot morning cuppa. A cup of health, I should say - an amazing combination of nutrition, taste, memories and the goodness of oats all rolled into one!
I am sure going to pick some more of this one and I am keen on trying Quaker Oats’ other flavours too, if this is any indication of how good they are going to turn out!
I cannot tell you how glad I was as I sat with my little one – my home full of the aroma of fresh strawberries and my mind full of warm memories – as I waited for the Sun to come up and our weekend to begin!


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