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)
- In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil on high; add oats, fresh fruit, and dried fruit, then reduce to low.
- Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Oats should be creamy; add a bit of water if they’re too thick.
- 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).