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2017 is all about making decisions and trying new things that lead to forming good habits.

With that said, let me introduce Grocery Outlet.

grocery outlet store

Breann and I visited our local Grocery Outlet. We both had never heard of or seen this store before so we didn’t know what to expect. Thankfully, it was only a few miles from us and we happened to be out holiday shopping anyway.

The roads were fairly clear and the store was easy to locate; two things that make any new shopping experience that much better.

On our drive there, Breann and I were discussing how great it would be if there were Vegan grocery stores; stores that carried nothing but Vegan products – do those exist in the United States?

As we pulled into the parking lot, I noticed two signs in front of two parking spaces. I had never seen signs like this at any other store. They were designated spaces for families and veterans. While the families sign isn’t 100% accurate anymore, it’s still cool they made an effort.

grocery outlet parking spaces

It was raining so after taking pictures we hurried inside.

The layout of the store made me think, “Costco mixed with an Asian market.” There were cardboard boxes at the top of every shelf, with a wide variety of different products down each isle.

At first, the store appeared cluttered. I thought, how am I going to find anything here? But after walking down each isle, I noticed each product had its place and was neatly organized.

The second thing I noticed were the prices. SO LOW! Why hadn’t we heard of this place until now?

From GroceryOutlet.com – In 1946, Jim Read started selling military surplus for deep discounts and Grocery Outlet has been wowing bargain-minded shoppers ever since. Delivering thrilling deals has become our mission; in fact, it’s led us to become the nation’s largest extreme value grocery retailer. We offer brand-name, quality products at up to 40-70% off conventional retail prices.

And that quote is definitely true!

The NOSH Section

After stumbling on the isle labeled NOSH (Natural, Organic, Specialty and Healthy) we were amazed with how many different healthy, natural, and organic products they sold, especially at the prices listed.

On the shelves we saw…

  • LaraBar
  • Nut Flours
  • Stevia Products
  • Coconut Flour
  • Spirulina Powder
  • Protein Powder
  • Maple Syrup
  • …and LOTS more

Did I mention EVERY.SINGLE.ITEM in this isle was organic?!

grocery outlet nosh

I could have spent an hour or more down this isle. We were pressed for time so I got what we needed (coconut oil and coconut sugar) but I will definitely be heading back to check out the isle in great detail.

We purchased coconut oil (16oz for $4.99) and coconut palm sugar (16oz for $2.99). Have you noticed we love coconut products?

grocery outlet coconut oil nosh

Now, if you’ve ever purchased some other name brand, organic coconut oil before… you know it’s expensive.

In the past, we’d go to specialty stores just to buy coconut sugar and for 14oz it would be $12.99. With Grocery Outlet, we got 16oz for only $5.

Now that’s a deal!

grocery outlet receipt

We also purchased some raw, organic sunflower seeds because Breann enjoys topping her delicious salads with them. They add a nice flavor!

So, why am I talking about this store and these organic products?!

One word: Oatmeal.

Over the years, I’ve tried just about every oatmeal recipe possible. I’ve added raisins, cinnamon, dates, protein powder, soy milk, to name a few.

Some concoctions were pretty good; others were terrible.

Back when I was trying to build muscle (a journey of which I’m still in route), I remember my first experience with chocolate-flavored, pea protein oatmeal. It was SO dry, SO disgusting, that I almost swore off oatmeal forever.

While trying new types of oatmeal combinations has been mostly fun in the past, the last few months I’ve really only stuck with 1 oatmeal recipe.

My recipe is so good, I never get tired with it. It’s best eaten for breakfast because it really keeps me full for about 5 hours.

It’s the type of meal I look forward to eating on hot, cold, warm, and especially lazy days because it tastes so darn good and only takes a few minutes to make.

best oatmeal ever recipe

Shhh! Here’s How I Make My Oatmeal

1. Undercook the Oats in Unsweetened Almond Milk

I really don’t enjoy burning my tongue on hot foods. Burned tastebuds really makes eating an annoyance. I’ve found that by undercooking the oats slightly, they get warm but not too warm.

I like adding 1 cup of instant oats with 1 1/4 cups almond or soy milk. The nut milk add a rich and creamy texture. I microwave on high for 1 minute 45 seconds.

cooked oats in almond milk

2. Granny Smith Apples and Ground Cinnamon

Chop 1 Granny Smith apple into bite-sized pieces and add to cooked oats. Top with 1 tsp. ground cinnamon.

granny smith apples with ground cinnamon

3. Use Coconut Oil and Coconut Sugar (to taste)

I feel really good when I use coconut sugar and coconut oil (especially organic) because I know that zero animals were harmed in their production.

I like adding 1 Tbsp. of organic coconut oil and 1 Tbsp. of organic coconut sugar.

organic coconut oil and coconut sugar added to oatmeal

4. Sprinkle Hemp Seeds on Top for Omega 3’s

Omega 3’s are amaaaaaazing! Here’s what Harvard has to say about them, “They provide the starting point for making hormones that regulate blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls, and inflammation.”

Ever since discovering hemp seeds at my local Acai Bowl place, I just can’t get enough of them. I like adding 3 to 4 Tbsp. hemp seeds to my oatmeal.

hemp seeds on almond milk oatmeal

5. Eat Immediately

This oatmeal isn’t tongue-burning hot and doesn’t require you to wait before scarfing it down. This meal does contain a bit of calories (if you’re concerned about that, I’m not) so I’ve listed everything down below for your convenience.

best oatmeal ever recipe final

Looks aren’t everything. It’s what’s on the inside that counts.

The flavor combination reminds me of Dutch apple pie. The Granny Smith apples and hemp seeds are what makes it SO good!

Full Recipe and Nutrients


  • 1 Cup Instant Oats
  • 1 1/4 Cups Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. Organic Coconut Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Organic Coconut Sugar
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp. Nutiva Hemp Seeds

Microwave oats in nut milk for 1 minute, 45 seconds. Remove from microwave and add chopped Granny Smith apple, ground cinnamon, coconut oil and coconut sugar. Stir. Top with hemp seeds.

If these calorie totals are too high for your goals, modifying the recipe is key.

best oatmeal ever calories and nutrients

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to add more healthy (and organic) foods to your diet, the best place to search is Grocery Outlet. They dominate other name brands because of their large organic food sections and low, low, low prices.

Please let me know if you tried this recipe or if you’ve shopped at Grocery Outlet and what you thought of it!

About Michael Johnson

I'm not your typical social-media guy. I don't have washboard abs, I don't live on a beach, and I don't always eat a smoothie bowl for breakfast. However, I love sharing insights & tips for those interested in going plant-based!

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