The other day for breakfast I wanted something festive and kind of sweet. I usually don't eat oatmeal for breakfast unless it comes in those tiny flavored packets, but they have ridiculous amounts of sodium (too much salt has always been a problem for me). Then I had the idea to use one of those apple cider packs and make my own flavored oatmeal. Here's the way I did it:
1/2 C rolled oats
1 packet instant apple cider mix
1 fuji apple, grated (from my basket, of course!)
I mixed everything together and put it in the microwave until it was the consistency I like. It was delicious. . .maybe a little too sweet, but that can be remedied. Here are some modification ideas I had: First, just use half of the cider packet instead of the whole thing. Second, try using regular apple cider instead of the dried stuff (either homemade or store-bought) and cut out the water. You could probably also use apple juice and add a little cinnamon.
Nutrition stats: This recipe was between 300 and 350 calories (depending on the size of the apple). That's about how much I like to eat for breakfast to keep me full and space my calorie intake throughout the day. I would have to eat 2-3 pre-flavored packets to get the same amount of calories, but the pre-packaged stuff has 20 times as much sodium. The sugar is a little high in this recipe; however, I think the modifications (especially if you make homemade cider) should fix that. And you should even be fine using the original recipe: It's sweet and festive, and better for you than donuts or a cinnamon roll! :)
Update 1/30/12: Using an entire packet of cider mix made the oatmeal too sweet, but cutting it out completely made the finished product bland. If you've been eating healthier foods for a long time, one teaspoon of the cider is more than enough to add flavor, and it won't make your oatmeal sickly sweet. Also, try other kinds of apples. Today I tried a braeburn apple and it worked really well.