Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Hearty Breakfast - Steel Cut Oats

Good morning!  Do you like oatmeal for breakfast?  Not so much?  Have you ever tried steel cut oats?  In addition to tasting better and having a more pleasing texture, steel cut oats are the least processed type of oat cereal.  We first heard about this cereal from Alton Brown, and have been hooked ever since we first tried it.

The only issue we have found with them is that it takes a while to cook a batch of oats - a good half an hour total.  To get around this, when I have a bit of extra time, I will cook a double batch and refrigerate the surplus - the oats warms up beautifully for the rest of the week. 
These are the least processed type of oat cereal. The toasted oat groats are simply chopped into chunks about the size of a sesame seed.  - See more at: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/are-steel-cut-oats-healthier#sthash.dHWWHTNP.dpuf
These are the least processed type of oat cereal. The toasted oat groats are simply chopped into chunks about the size of a sesame seed.  - See more at: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/are-steel-cut-oats-healthier#sthash.dHWWHTNP.dpuf


The finished oats, topped off with buttermilk, cinnamon and a little brown sugar (I know the buttermilk sounds weird, but it truly does give the oatmeal a delightful tang). 
These are the least processed type of oat cereal. The toasted oat groats are simply chopped into chunks about the size of a sesame seed.  - See more at: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/are-steel-cut-oats-healthier#sthash.dHWWHTNP.dpuf
These are the least processed type of oat cereal. The toasted oat groats are simply chopped into chunks about the size of a sesame seed.  - See more at: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/healthy-eating/are-steel-cut-oats-healthier#sthash.dHWWHT




So, to start off the cooking process: the oats toast with a bit of butter for a couple of minutes.




Add the boiling water and let it simmer for 30 minutes.




30 minutes later, the finished oats.




The final finishing gear - brown sugar, cinnamon and buttermilk.



Steel Cut Oats (adapted from Alton Brown's recipe)


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • buttermilk
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • salt, if desired

In a large saucepan, melt the butter and add the oats. Stir for about two minutes to toast. Add the boiling water and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cook uncovered at a low simmer for 30 minutes, without stirring if possible (I did stir it a couple of times just because I couldn't help it).

After the 30 minutes are up, do a little taste test to make sure the oats are at a good consistency and that they are cooked well enough for you.  If they are good to go, spoon into desired number of serving bowls and pour on some buttermilk, add some brown sugar, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.  

Note: From what I have read, you aren't supposed to cook grains with salt but salt them afterwards - something about that it inhibits the amount of water each grain will take up.  Anyways, I always put a sprinkle of salt on top of my cooked oats along with the buttermilk, brown sugar and cinnamon.  Otherwise I think they are a bit bland.

Note #2: As I said earlier, these cooked oats warm up excellently for the rest of the week - just spoon out a bowlful and microwave for a minute or so until warm.  You could also warm them up in a pan on the stove, but you might have to add a bit more water so they don't burn. 

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