Thursday, November 6, 2008

Starbucks finally caught on

I occasionally do business in Anchorage, Alaska. A couple of years ago I discovered this great little coffeehouse just around the corner from Humpy's, a restaurant I know is popular with flight crews. I was looking for coffee, and found the greatest breakfast--oatmeal to go, with several choices of healthy toppings. The owner of this place, the Dark Horse Coffee Company, told me she was very popular with pilots.

I also venture to New York on occasion and have spent more than my fair share of time in JFK. There, in Terminal 2, I found another popular oatmeal bar with literally dozens of options for toppings.

Now, fortunately for those of you who travel for a living, the ubiquitous Starbucks has finally realized the potential in this idea. They're serving oatmeal to go.

Here is the nutrition information I was able to find, right off of their website:
Each order can be customized with three different toppings; a portioned 50-calorie pack of brown sugar, 100-calorie pack of dried fruit and 100-calorie pack of a nut medley, and contains 140 to 390 calories depending on topping selections, up to 7 grams of fiber and 1.5 servings of whole grains – half of your daily needs.

I'm quoting them, and am not really endorsing that 7 grams of fiber is half of what you need, but I do want to draw your attention to the fact that you can now get this great breakfast option even if you're not laid over in Palin Country or based out of JFK's International Terminal. I have to take a closer look at the other breakfast options, that's a topic for a future blog post.

And, if you DO happen to find yourself in Anchorage, I encourage you to venture around the corner from the main drag to the Dark Horse. It's got some great down-home local flavor. You betcha!


Diane Whelan, MPH, RD said...

I agree! It is wonderful-and about time-that Starbucks and other major coffee purveyors recognize the importance of a healthy breakfast! No longer will those of us held captive in airports be forced to choose between sausage and egg concoctions or going hungry!

In addition to the "Perfect Oatmeal" you described (which, by the way, you can request be made with fat-free milk instead of water to boost the protein and calcium), Starbucks has added other breakfast items.

The Apple-Bran Muffin has 330 calories and 7 grams of fiber, the Chewy Fruit & Nut Bar and Berry Stella are both whole grain and have 250 and 280 calories.

If protein is your passion, the "Power Protein Plate" has 16 grams (vs 5-7 grams in the other options). It consists of apple slices, grapes, cheddar cheese, egg, peanut butter and a whole wheat mini-bagel.

Both the Protein Plate and Berry Stella have 4 grams saturated fat -not so great, but given some of the alternatives not such a bad choice either.

We can talk more about other options later, but these definitely are a welcome addition to airport fare!

SLLS said...

Thank you!

I sit in the back seats of the plane and I too am delighted to hear about some of the healthy airport food options.

Keep the recommendations for both local and chain options coming, everyone!