Friday, January 15, 2010

Steel Cut Oatmeal

You can't even really call this a recipe, but I figured I'd post it anyhow, as I had to search the net for awhile to figure out how to cook steel cut oats when I first started buying them. I usually buy a big batch at the bulk food store. And because it takes so darned long to cook (I certainly don't have the patience to wait 30 minutes for my breakfast to be ready even on a weekend, never mind a work day!), I cook up a big batch from time to time and we then eat it all week. They're super cheap and this keeps you full all morning.

I started buying steel cut oats instead of regular oatmeal, as it's less processed and therefore, better for you than any other kind of oatmeal. They have a lower glycemic index than regular oatmeal as well, meaning that your blood sugar spikes less when you have these oats vs. regular oatmeal. And I kind of like the slightly nutty, just not quite crunchy texture of it more than regular oatmeal as well.

For cooking, the ratio of liquid to steel oats is 4:1. I generally make about 2 C of steel oats at a time, which fills a decent sized pot and gives us enough for the two of us to eat it for breakfast everyday for maybe 5 or so days. I used to make it with 4 C of water and 4 C of soy milk, but have been making it with a full 8 C of soy milk these days, as I find I'm usually starving again by 11 now that I'm pregnant!

You basically just heat the milk with a pinch of salt, stir in the oats and cook on low to medium heat until pretty much all of the milk has been absorbed. I'm not sure quite how long it takes, though it feels like forever... maybe 30 minutes? Stick around to stir it from time to time, or you'll end up with a burnt mess at the bottom of your pot. You can also stir in some cinnamon and a bit of brown sugar if your heart so desires.

I usually top it with blueberries (you can see from the picture that they're actually still frozen... this was for my husband's breakfast at work the next day). However, my friend Bev was recently mentioning that she puts cranberries on hers, so I tried that this week and it was delicious. Despite my reluctance (as cranberries don't usually rate amongst my preferred fruit) I tried her recipe this week, since I had some leftover from a punch I'd made over the holidays.

She basically cooks a bag of fresh cranberries in a bit of water for 3 minutes in the microwave and then stirs in a bit of sugar and some lemon juice. Though I didn't like these on their own, it was great in the oatmeal, as it counterbalanced the tartness of the cranberries.

Freezer-friendly: you just need to stir in a bit more milk once you re-heat this.

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