Friday, October 14, 2011

Hot Breakfast of Champions ---→ Steel-Cut Oatmeal -3 Ways

I recently discovered steel-cut oatmeal and it was literally love at first bite. I kind of pride myself on being an oatmeal aficionado. I hated it as a kid but as an adult it’s really been the only breakfast food that will keep me satiated well into the lunch hours of the day. As an “aficionado”, I only would purchase boxes of instant oatmeal. Which is healthy, right? Eh! They’re healthier than bacon and eggs but have you ever taken the time to read all of the ingredients on the box? The list is ongoing and I don’t recognize a good many of those ingredients.
Even if you’re a straight up rolled-oats-on-top-of-the-stove person you may realize that they aren’t as satisfying as they could be. They’re rolled to hurry the cooking process. Which in this day-in-age is a must! Who isn’t in a hurry?
Steel-cut oats are notorious for taking longer to cook. They are whole grain groats (Yes, groats! The inner portion of the oat kernel.) They’ve been cut into two or three pieces by steel rather than rolled like our more recognizable variety of oatmeal. Therefore, they’re far less processed and much heartier than rolled oats. The nutrients in this oatmeal are super duper copious as well. It’s a great source of iron and fiber and packs five grams of protein per serving. They have a nutty flavor and have a tendency to have a chewiness to them (which I rather like). Once cooked, they resemble rice while still maintaining that oatmeal consistency.
Traditionally, steel-cut or Irish oats take at least 30 minutes to cook (less if they’ve been pre-soaked). I know you’re probably thinking, “Who in the world has that kind of time in the morning to make oatmeal of all things?” Well, I found a quick cooking version of the stuff at my holy grail Trader Joe’s. I pay $2.99 for a 24 oz can (17 servings). That’s less than 18 cents a serving! *picture below

These bad boys cook up in about eight minutes and are so much better than the instant version in my opinion. In the autumn and winter months, I crave a hot breakfast almost every morning and oatmeal never bores me. Mainly because you can add so many different dried fruits and syrups to switch up the oatmeal magic. Here, I’ll share the three ways I’m currently enjoying my steel-cut hunger busters!

**These recipes are calculated for one serving and can be doubled or tripled easily for more hungry tummies J

Option #1
Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Cranberries

¾ cups of water
¼ cup steel-cut oats
a pinch of fine sea salt
1 tablespoon organic light brown sugar
1 tablespoon organic pure maple syrup
¼ cup dried cranberries
tea pot of boiling water (just in case)

In a small sauce pan, bring water to boil. Add a pinch of salt and toss in steel-cut oats. Stirring periodically (uncovered). Lower the heat to medium and continue to stir as oatmeal thickens. Add brown sugar and maple syrup. Sometimes, I find that the oatmeal will begin to get a little too thick (for my taste) so as I stir, I’ll add about a tablespoon of boiling water at a time.  This step is only necessary if you like your oatmeal a little bit looser like I do. Toss is cranberries and allow them to soften for just a minute and serve!

Option #2
Maple and Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Follow the same steps as in option #1 but leave out cranberries and add a tablespoon more of either maple syrup or brown sugar. (I wouldn’t suggest doubling both as your oatmeal will be too sweet).

Option #3  (pictured below)

Cranberry-Orange Oatmeal
(same amounts of water, oatmeal, and salt)
1 tbs of fresh orange juice
1 tsp of orange zest
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ cup dried cranberries

Proceed with the same method of cooking the oats. After about a minute add the orange juice and orange zest. Continue stirring and then add the cinnamon and brown sugar. Again, if this gets too thick, add a little bit of boiling water from your teapot. Add your cranberries and serve.

Please feel free to send us your variations of steel-cut oatmeal!!!!

Twitter @GoddessNectar and @RawktheJoOce

Next week’s recipe clue: Comfort is the key when making this messy lunch or dinner treat. Keep a napkin handy for this veganized flash-back recipe!

Have a great Friday!

Keep JoOcing, RAWk on and Veg Out,


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