Why are they called “Heat & Eat?”
From the freezer or refrigerator, the only preparation is to heat your bowl in the microwave or on a stovetop and stir well. Times vary, 1.5-4 minutes typically, and are listed on the package. No added water or additional ingredients are needed. We recommend heating from the refrigerator as it takes less time, energy and stirring. Bowls stay fresh 5-7 days in the fridge and typically several months from the freezer – up to the “best by” date.
Do you have options for special diets?
Yes. Oats are naturally gluten-free, high-fiber, low-fat food. We cannot claim certified gluten free since the oats may be grown next to other crops containing gluten or transported in non-certified facilities, so we don’t recommend these bowls for people with celiac disease.
Little Bear’s Breakfast is dairy free. Petite Canadienne provides meat protein from bacon. Orso Toscano is vegetarian. Cottage Garden and Shangri-La are vegan.
Most of our ingredients are certified organic – see each nutrition label for details.
We don’t add any salt beyond what occurs naturally in the cheese, bacon and other ingredients.
Steel cut oats in particular have a lower glycemic index than rolled oats so can be acceptable for some diabetics (of course check with your doctor if you are unsure).
Why are your bowls sold frozen?
It may seem counterintuitive to buy ‘fresh food’ from the freezer. Freezing allows us to lock in freshness without adding any preservatives or artificial anything – and allows you to store a healthy go-to without worrying about spoilage. Each bowl is made from just-harvested fresh ingredients (local wherever possible), sealed, frozen right away and until you purchase it from the store. This way we don’t have to throw away bowls that haven’t sold fast enough from the refrigerated section, or add anything to keep them fresh longer.
What do you mean by “all-day oats?”
In the U.S. most of us think of oatmeal as breakfast food. And for sure we have awesome breakfast options. However in many parts of the world oats are eaten throughout the day and incorporate more savory flavors. Our savory flavors in particular are intended to provide a healthy lunch, dinner or snack option, on their own or as a side dish – a Cottage Garden bowl divided in two portions makes an amazing side to a nice piece of fish for two people. We’ve had raves about Orso Toscano as a healthier lunch than typical microwave options – take it to work straight from the freezer, let it thaw all morning, and pop in the microwave. And the sweet flavors honestly give an indulgent afternoon or late night snack real competition in terms of taste, while adding that virtuous feeling of eating something really healthy.
What’s so special about Oats and steel-cut in particular?
Studies for decades have shown that eating oats regularly may reduce cholesterol, high blood pressure, help prevent heart disease and some forms of cancer. We encourage you to research more on your own to see how incredibly good for you oats really are . . . in many cases helping people avoiding more drastic pill options to managing their health.
Steel-cut is simply a less processed way to use oats. Instead of being rolled and processed in water like traditional oatmeal, the groat or oat grain is cut in small pieces. It actually looks more like rice grains. Typically this means steel-cut cooking time is much longer and not as convenient, but we’ve already pre-cooked the oatmeal in water so all you need to do is heat it. We also don’t overcook it, creating a nice al-dente consistency and a slightly nuttier taste than traditional rolled, flat oats – and creating more flexibility as a replacement to rice or pasta. Steel-cut has slightly more nutritional value than rolled, mainly due to a higher fiber content and lower glycemic index. We like this description from nuts.com and encourage you to explore more about these amazing grains on your own.
What about your packaging?
We kept the overwrap simple, recyclable and brown to use as little paper or dyes as possible – it’s there so the bowls stand up and you can find them in the store. The bowls themselves are compostable. The film is needed for freshness. Can you find all the bears?
Where can I find your bowls?
In the freezer case at all 3 Lakewinds Coop locations and Eastside Coop, Linden Hills Coop and The Wedge Lyndale in Minneapolis, and in Wisconsin at Whole Earth in River Falls and Fine Acres in St Croix. Delivered via Instacart when you shop through Lakewinds or another co-op connected with Instacart. Or schedule pickups through Frank & Ernest Foods or our Square site. You can also find us at about half of the Mill City Farmer’s markets – check our facebook events section for specific dates. There we serve several recipes hot to eat during the market, and the to-go bowls.
Please send us your questions and suggestions using the email function on this site or via our facebook or instagram pages.