Facebook    Twitter    Pinterest    RSS    Email Updates Spacer 2

Boost It with Blueberries {Recipe: Secret Ingredient Oatmeal}

Secret Ingredient Oatmeal from www.dineanddish.net

I thought about going back through my past 6 1/2 years of blog posts to count how many times I brought up the fact that I was trying to lose weight, or struggling with my weight, etc. But then I knew that it would just be “a lot” and decided to go with that. It’s been no secret that I’ve had a constant struggle with the scale since having kids. With each baby, I’d gain weight and would always hold on to 5-10 pounds afterwards. Well, with 4 kids, that 5-10 pounds has definitely added up!

I was thrilled when the folks at the Blueberry Council asked if I wanted to chat with Alison Sweeney,  host of one of my favorite reality shows, The Biggest Loser. I have followed Alison since her early years on Days of Our Lives and have watched her have some of the same weight struggles I have. It’s been so neat to see her turn her life around and come full circle into a healthy lifestyle. 

Here is what I wanted to know from Alison, and what she shared with me…

(D&D) What are your best tips for keeping weight off long term?

(AS) Stick to it! It’s easy to let one bad meal or a bad day throw you off course. But remember this is a marathon, not a sprint. A healthy and active lifestyle is a commitment to live better each and every day.

(D&D) What is your weekly exercise routine like?

(AS) I don’t have a set routine but I do schedule time to work out. Sometimes I’ll have time for a quick run, other times I’ll be able to take a spin or yoga class. If I can’t work out, I make sure I adjust my nutrition accordingly.

(D&D) What are some of your favorite healthy snacks that help keep sweet cravings at bay?

(AS) Greek yogurt with blueberries, agave & cinnamon is one of my favorite snacks.  The blueberries are sweet and tangy, so it makes me feel like I’m having a treat, but it’s still healthy with only 80 calories in a cup of blueberries, plus  fiber and vitamin C. My kids always try to steal a bite it like it’s a dessert!

Alison also shares in this video why blueberries are one of her favorite energy boosting snacks! Check it out…

Bowl of blueberries

Luckily, I love blueberries. I grab a handful before and/or after a run, throw them in smoothies, on top of breakfast cereal and my favorite… secret ingredient oatmeal! So, what’s the secret ingredient in my secret ingredient oatmeal? 2 Tablespoons of French Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix. Sounds strange, but I use this secret ingredient in milkshakes, sweet bread dough, cookies, oatmeal and so much more. It makes for the most delicious, creamy and flavorful addition to so many recipes.


Secret Ingredient Blueberry Oatmeal

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Secret Ingredient Blueberry Oatmeal

Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix is the secret ingredient, adding extra flavor and creaminess, to this blueberry oatmeal recipe.


  • 2 cups fat free skim milk
  • 1 cup Quaker Quick Cooking Oats
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons fat-free sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries


  1. Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan.
  2. Stir in oats, pudding mix and salt.
  3. Cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in cinnamon. Divide between two serving bowls and top with blueberries.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin

For more great blueberry recipes, make sure to follow The Blueberry Council on Facebook!

Disclosure: I have been paid by The Blueberry Council to share this post, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Stay Connected

Subscribe to receive news, updates, and exclusive content from Dine & Dish.

Facebook      Twitter      Pinterest       RSS


  1. I’m going crazy over the secret ingredient – that may make me love oatmeal without gobs of peanut butter in it!

    • It seriously makes everything delicious! I use the sugar free and the regular depending on what I’m making and LOVE it. :) Try it in a milkshake sometime. To die for!

  2. We love oatmeal and my kiddos are huge fans of blueberries! Love the interview with Alison! And the secret ingredient – can’t wait to try it!!

  3. What a great idea! I already put vanilla pudding in my cookie batter (so good) so it only makes sense to put it other places as well.

  4. This looks incredible. My kids LOVE blueberries!

  5. Gretchen says:

    That is great! A friend just had me start with oatmeal and blueberries! I now eat blueberries everyday!

  6. I eat oatmeal every day for breakfast so I’m definitely giving this secret ingredient business a try! Sounds SO good.

  7. I’ve got to try this! I’ve been eating a container of blueberries for breakfast a few days a week because I love them so much.

  8. So cool that you interviewed Alison Sweeney! Have been watching her on Days (and now biggest loser) FOREVER!

    Blueberries are my thing right now. I love them fresh, but I’ll tell you one of my favorite desserts is Greek yogurt & frozen blueberries, the frozen blueberries freeze up the yogurt in the bowl, sometimes I sneak a a little cool whip to it too! So good!

  9. I love this post. So inspiring. I never would have thought to put instant vanilla pudding mix in my oatmeal! I need to try this asap.

  10. I have to give this a try!! I love oatmeal and blueberries and the pudding sounds like it puts these over the top good!

  11. Hopefully the blueberries will be ready so you can go blueberry picking when you are in Michigan. Did you know that Michigan is the biggest producer of blueberries in the nation?! ; D and you will be right in the middle of blueberry land! Love this post, how exciting that you got to interact with Alison!

    • I did not know that! That would be so much fun! I sure hope we can get together then – maybe we can go blueberry picking together :)

  12. I love Alison!! I can’t believe you got to talk to her – so awesome!! She is a true inspiration. And so are you for that matter. :) xoxo PS: I ditto what Sheila said! Get ready for blueberry heaven!!

  13. I can’t wait to try this. My kids love blueberries & oatmeal.

    Thanks for sharing, Kristen, and Happy July 4!

  14. Love oatmeal and blueberries! Great breakfast idea! Happy 4th!!

  15. What a yummy, healthy breakfast idea!

  16. LOVE oatmeal and blueberries is definitely a great ingredient. Thanks for sharing the interview with Alison :)

    Happy 4th!!

  17. Wowza does that look good! Love those big, juicy blueberries AND the secret ingredient. YUM!

  18. wow! vanilla pudding!? I bet these oats are creamy and delicious! LOVE blueberry everything. xo!

  19. Great post! I remember her as Sammy on Days, and talking about how hard it was to be so young on TV and struggle with her weight. And meanwhile, she’s always been gorgeous.
    I love blueberries, and they freeze well, so it’s easy to pick up a bunch when they’re in season and cheaper.

  20. adding pudding is SUCH a genius idea! i’m going to have to try that!


  1. [...] Simple – Cherry Almond Coconut Quinoa Porridge Savory Simple – Peach Yogurt Muffins Dine and Dish – Secret Ingredient Blueberry Oatmeal All Day I Dream About Food – Low Carb Rhubarb Pecan Scones Texanerin Baking – Honey [...]

  2. […] am I calling these “magic” bars? Well I’ve talked before about how JELL-O Instant Pudding is my secret ingredient in so many recipes (sweet bread dough, oatmeal, milkshakes, cookies, etc). When added to these […]

  3. […] Blueberry Protein Pancakes from Natalie Hodson Blueberry Muffins from Dana at The Coupon Challenge Secret Ingredient Blueberry Oatmeal from Kristen at Dine and Dish Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Bars from Kate at Kate’s Healthy […]

  4. […] the most powerful ways you can put email to successfully market your business and success is found. How then can you put the power of email to successfully market your business. As you learn and implement these tips […]

Share Your Thoughts