Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Steel Cut Oats

Ok, so we all know that oatmeal is great for us. However, no matter how yummy and convenient those little packets are, I don't think they are the healthiest option! Because quick cooking oats are already so broken down, your body doesn't have to do much work to digest them. Steel cut oats are all the rage because they are so unprocessed that your body has to work hard to break them down. I decided that would be a great thing to try. So I bought some and after I made them once, they stayed in my freezer for almost a year! For those of you who have never used them, they take about 30 min to cook. Who has that kind of time in the morning?! Plus, my kids rebelled a little because they were kind of chewy. But then I was reading a blog and it mentioned alternative cooking options for them. I have tried quite a few and not only is it so much more convenient, but they aren't chewy!! These are my favorite options:

1. bring to boil the night before, cover and then cook only 5min the next morning. Sometimes, though, even that is too much work for me. So here's my favorite:

2. crockpot!!

Here are some of the recipes that my family has tried and approved. They have been gathered and adapted from many sources that I won't reference. Also, many of these recipes make enough for a family of 4-5 for one morning. I ended up buying a $10 2-quart crockpot to make it in because my regular crockpot was too big and ended up burning the oatmeal. The greatest thing about these recipes are that they only take 5 minutes or so to put together the night before and then breakfast is ready when you wake up! Also, if everone in your family is on a slightly different schedule, it stays warm and fresh in the crockpot. We always add a little brown sugar or raw sugar and a little milk to our bowls in the morning to make it nice and creamy. Try them and enjoy!!!

The very easiest and my favorite (pictured above).

Applesauce Oatmeal:

1 1/2 c. steel cut oats
3 c. water
2 c. applesauce
1/2 t. pumpkin pie spice (if you don't have it, just use cinnamon)
1/2 c. chopped nuts - I always have raw almonds on hand so I use those, coarsely chopped

Cook in crockpot on low for 8 hours

This one is pretty much the same as above, but a slight variation.

Apple Oatmeal:
1 1/2 c. steel cut oats
3 c. water
2 c. peeled, chopped apples
1/4 c. sliced almonds
1/2 t. ground cinnamon

Cook in crockpot on low for 8 hours

Pumpkin Oatmeal:

1 (14oz) can pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
2 c. water
2 c. unsweetened almond milk
2 T. raisins
1/4 t. salt
3/4 t. pumpkin pie spice OR 1/2 t. cinnamon, plus 1/4 t. cardamom, plus 1/4 t. cloves
2 c. steel cut oats

Same as above! Mix it up the night before and let cook overnight on low. They recommend toasting pepitas and serving on top. I tried it and it was so good!