February 14, 2011

Breakfast Tip: Steel-Cut Oats

A wholesome breakfast idea...

Steel-cut oats (also called Irish oats) require a longer cooking time than I generally like to endure. Plus, whenever possible, I like to avoid getting pots dirty.

However, with some quick preparation the night before, here's a way to cook up (i.e. microwave) some steel-cut oats for breakfast in just a few minutes. The trick is to first allow them to soak for several hours--that is, overnight.

Oatmeal made from steel-cut oats has a texture that is chewier than oatmeal made from rolled oats and (especially) quick oats. It also has a somewhat nuttier flavor. From what I've read, there seem to be virtually no differences in the nutritional benefits of any of these types of oats--the differences appear only in the way the oats are cut and processed (which affects the cooking time) and in the way they taste.

Critical note: Be sure to use a large microwave-safe bowl for this recipe.
Other critical note: Don't leave the microwave unattended while you're heating this oatmeal.
Why?: The oatmeal will essentially boil and may overflow the bowl.

Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Estimated total preparation time: 6 minutes (plus overnight)
Estimated cooking time: 3-5 minutes
Serves: 1

  • 1/4 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 tablespoons dried fruit (like raisins or dried cranberries)
  • Brown sugar or maple sugar to taste (start with 1-2 teaspoons)
  • Optional: Extra milk or plain/Greek-style yogurt

The night before:
1. In a large microwaveable bowl, combine the steel-cut oats and water.
2. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning:
1. Remove bowl from refrigerator, uncover it, and allow it to come closer to room temperature for a few minutes while adding the other ingredients.
2. Stir in the milk, cinnamon, dried fruit, and brown sugar or maple sugar to taste.
3. Place bowl, uncovered, in microwave and cook on high for 3-5 minutes, stopping and stirring it occasionally, until oatmeal is desired consistency. Don't leave the microwave unattended.
4. Remove bowl and let it sit for 1 minute. (Oatmeal will also thicken some as it cools.)
5. Enjoy with extra milk or a dollop of plain or Greek yogurt.



kristin noel said...

Bought steel cut oats yesterday. Gonna give this a whirl!

abigail said...

Super! I hope it whirls well! :)