One of my all-time
favorite breakfasts has to be ..
They're a hearty .. warm .. stick-to-your-ribs kind of breakfast .. that always holds me over until lunch time.
They cook into something resembling a breakfast risotto .. with a milky consistency .. and tender, chewy nuggets. I love the texture, taste, and mouth feel. (Unlike the rolled oat ..which has always seemed a bit gluey to me)
It should be noted steel-cut will take little longer to cook than rolled oats .. though they're always worth the wait. Over the years I've made them every which way .. soaked overnight .. in my slow-cooker .. and this old-fashioned stove-top method .. my favorite by far
I've discovered that if I toast them ever so lightly in coconut oil (or clarified butter) before they cook .. their nutty flavor is only enhanced .. though they'll still be great if you skip this step. The easy addition of flax-seed meal provides a nutritional boost (from omega-3 fatty acids, lignans, fiber, and antioxidants)
Cooking them couldn't be simpler .. add the oat groats a pot of nearly boiling liquid (2 cups nut milk and 2 cups water). From there let them simmer a half an hour or so .. stirring every now and then. When they're done they'll be soft and tender .. and on the side of al dente.
I make mine on the weekends .. finding they'll be fine in the fridge for the better part of a week. In the mornings it's quick and easy to gently reheat small portions atop the stove
Dressing them up is always the fun part .. a few ideas
A sprinkling of cinnamon, nutmeg, and a splash of vanilla
Cook them with dried cranberries .. adding a drizzle of honey .. a sprinkling of cinnamon .. and some chopped walnuts before serving
Cook them with raisins and/or dates for hints of natural sweetness .. (adding raisins always reminds me of my Mom's rice pudding)
Mix in a spoonful of peanut, almond (or really any nut butter you love) .. and top with banana slices
Fresh .. frozen .. or pureed fruit are all great complements. Try a spoonful of blueberries .. or stir a something akin to fig compote (or an all-fruit) jam throughout.
How about a splash or two of coconut milk .. along with some chopped pistachios .. cinnamon .. and shredded coconut?
ps: An interesting article from the NYTimes on the benefits of oatmeal .. here
~ Adapted from the NY Times .. here
Steel Cut Oats + Fruit
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 tsp salt ** or to taste
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- 2 Tbsp flax-seed meal optional
- 1-2 tsp of your favorite sweetener optional (** honey, maple syrup, agave .. )
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla ** to taste
- Place the oats in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Toast, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes.
- Combine the water, milk and salt in a large, medium-sized saucepan, and bring to a boil. Slowly add the toasted oats & flax-seed meal, stirring constantly.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Stir in the sweetener & dried fruit (if using)
- Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla
- Cover, and continue to simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the oats are soft and the mixture is creamy.
- Serving ideas:
- With added fruit & nuts
- Protein powder mixed in or sprinkled on top
- An egg & egg whites on the side for protein