Make-Ahead Breakfast: Steel Cut Oats

Make-Ahead Steel Cut Oats

Make-Ahead Steel Cut Oats

 

I’m a bit of a planner, and I’m up for anything I can get done on the weekend to free up some down-time during the week.  I also make sure I eat breakfast every day to keep those hangry (hungry + angry) feelings at bay.  My requirements for breakfast are that it’s 1) filling, 2) quick to prepare, and 3) yummy.  I find meal bars unsatisfying, and although I love a hearty smoothie, sometimes a bowl of warm goodness is more satisfying.  I used to eat instant oatmeal, then I heard about the health benefits of steel cut oats (in 1/4 cup uncooked oats, there’s 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein) and picked up a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats at the store to give them a try.

Steel cut oats (also sold as Irish oatmeal) is the whole oat that’s been cut into little pieces. It’s the least-processed form of oats you can prepare, so all that protein and fiber is still in tact.  They take longer to cook than rolled or instant oats (about 20 minutes to cook on the stove), but you can make a batch and reheat by the serving during the week.

What I love most about these is that you can add in favorite mix-ins, like raw fruit and veggies, and they’ll cook along with the oats.  I love adding chopped apples and craisins, or grated carrots and golden raisins.  Nuts or coconut can be added at the end.

Here’s the basic recipe I use for make-ahead steel cut oats:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 to 1.5 cups chopped or grated fruits/veggies (chopped apples, peaches, pears, pineapple; grated carrots; frozen berries or cherries)
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit (chop if pieces are large)
  • 1 teaspoon spices (cinnamon + nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1/4 cup sliced or chopped nuts, or grated coconut
  • pinch of salt
  • sweetener, to taste (I don’t add very much, if any, when I use apples and dried fruit)
  1. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil on high; add oats, fresh fruit, and dried fruit, then reduce to low.
  2. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.  Oats should be creamy; add a bit of water if they’re too thick.
  3. Stir in spices, nuts/coconut, salt, and sweetener.  Eat right away, or spoon into containers (mason jars work well) and refrigerate.  I usually like to pour some milk on mine before I eat them.  To reheat, take the lid off of the container and reheat on high for 60-90 seconds.  You may need to add a bit of water before reheating if they’re too thick.

I hope you enjoy this as much I do.  If you give it a try, let me know what you think!  And if you come up with some more delicious combinations, I’d love to hear about them.  Comment below, or send me a tweet (@southernbeets).

Recipe Roundup: Sweet Potatoes, From Appetizer to Dessert


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Last week I made a trip to a fruit stand and picked up a few too many locally-grown sweet potatoes.  The tendency to overbuy was something I warned about in my previous post about shopping at farmers’ markets and fruit stands (probably because I’m guilty of it on most shopping trips).  But I had them, and I wanted to make something delicious.  Having a bounty of sweet potatoes isn’t really a bad thing considering all of their healthy properties (high in fiber, all sorts of vitamins, potassium, and iron).  I opted to make some oven-baked sweet potato fries to snack on while I watched movies on a rainy afternoon.  Below are my favorite ways to use sweet potatoes, from appetizers to dessert.

  1. Savoring the Thyme’s Baked Sweet Potato French Fries.  They are crispy, salty, and cheesy, and healthier than traditional fries (you know, the kind that are actually fried).  These pair well with outdoor grilling, kids like them, and you can add your favorite dipping sauces.
  2. Roasted Grape, Goat Cheese, and Honey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes by How Sweet It Is.  This is one of my favorite side dishes of all times.  Roasted grapes and goat cheese add a huge punch of flavor, and the honey rounds out the sweetness.  Sometimes I make this as a casserole by scooping out the insides of the sweet potatoes and spreading them inside of a casserole dish.  Yum.  Just yum.
  3. Cookie and Kate’s Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili.  It’s satisfying enough for both my vegetarian and omnivorous friends, so it’s one of my go-to recipes for game nights and get-togethers.  I’ve made it in my crockpot before, but cut out the tomato liquid and reduced broth to one cup.
  4. A Family Feast’s Sweet Potato Risotto.  Sweet potatoes make the taste and texture of risotto rich and savory.  I normally use beef stock for risotto, but this uses vegetable stock and makes for a great vegetarian option.
  5. Love and Olive Oil’s Sweet Potato Layer Cake with Molasses Buttercream.  This is such a beautiful AND delicious spice cake (seriously, click the link above and see for yourself).  The only extra labor is roasting the sweet potatoes, which you can do the day before and then store them in the refrigerator.
Recipe Roundup: Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Risotto

Do you have a favorite recipe that features sweet potatoes?  Please share by commenting below, or send me a tweet (@southernbeets)!