I am a breakfast person. By “breakfast person”, I mean I could eat breakfast for nearly every meal, every day and be content. I don’t for the sake of variety. But I could.
I have my quick breakfast standbys like Greek yogurt with Nature’s Path Pumpkin Flax Seed Granola or EnviroKidz Peanut Butter Panda Puffs with soy milk. (I know I’m not a kid, but have you tried this stuff?!). I have my breakfast indulgences like Blackberry Bliss Cakes from M. Henry and crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside New York style bagels. I have my homemade breakfasts like honey rye waffles and fresh scones. I have my…
My list of loved breakfast foods is clearly a lengthy one. But for a long time steel cut oats didn’t have a place on it. It was yet again another food my mom prepared and I resisted. Judging by the number of foods on this blog that meet the classification of “mother made-kid Jess critiqued”, I think we can all learn two things: 1. Try ingredients you think you don’t like. You’ll surprise yourself and 2. Trust your mom. She’s always right. (You’ve been waiting twenty-two years to hear me say that haven’t you mom?).
Sometime after my super stubborn stage in life came a realization: Steel cut oats are far healthier than their instant counterparts. And then came me, standing in front of the steel cut oats at Trader Joe’s looking clueless. Luckily, a friendly, beautiful, bearded, guitar playing (ok, maybe only in my dreams) employee saw my helplessness and decided to lend a hand. He recommended Country Choice Organic Steel Cut Oats. While I can’t vouch for other brand since I’ve never used another, I can say this one is quite good.
And then came the final stage of my relationship with steal cut oats. Love. A love so deep that some days I just crave steel cut oats. In fact, some nights, before I’m even in full swing breakfast mode, I know it’s steel cut oats I’ll want in the morning. Sounds like love to me.
I normally take the traditional route tossing in raisins and topping the oatmeal with a hefty spoonful, or two, of brown sugar. There are, however, countless ways to adjust the flavor combinations in this oatmeal. I tend to stick to the dried fruit, nuts, and sweetener combination, but the possibilities certainly do not end there:
– Dried cherries, goat cheese, and pecans
– Dried figs, honey, and cardamom
– Lemon zest and strawberry preserves
– Shredded coconut or peanut butter and sliced banana
– Cocoa powder, red pepper flakes or chili powder, and cinnamon
– Flaky sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and olive oil
– Pumpkin puree, pecans, maple syrup, and (if you’re feeling adventurous) bourbon
If those aren’t enough ideas check out this post from Serious Eats and this one from Tastespotting’s “A Month of Oatmeal” for more inspiration. Then let me know what you decide to mix in. I’m always on the hunt for new takes on one of my now favorite breakfast staples.
adapted from Food & Wine
This recipe makes one delicious bowl of oatmeal. If you’re serving more than one, simply double, triple, quadruple, etc. the ingredient list. Remember, there are a number of different flavor combinations that can be used in this oatmeal. See above for some more ideas. Regardless of what flavor combination you decide to use, if you use dried fruit I suggest adding it to the oatmeal the night before. It makes the dried fruit nice and plump. To add an extra dose of healthiness stir in ground flax seed and wheat germ.
1/4 cup steel cut oats
1 3/4 cup water
1 heaping tablespoon raisins
1 heaping tablespoon walnuts, coarsely chopped
Brown sugar, to taste
In a large saucepan, boil the oats in the water for 1 minute. Stir in the raisins. Cover and let stand overnight at room temperature.
The next day, uncover the oats and stir in the remaining 3/4 cup of water. (Note: If you do not add dried fruit to the pot the night before you will not need to add this extra water.) Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently, until the oatmeal is cooked and creamy but still a little bit chewy, about 8-10 minutes. Spoon the oatmeal into bowls. Top with the chopped walnuts and brown sugar.
The prepared oatmeal can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Rewarm it in a microwave and thin with water if necessary before serving.