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Recipe Tuesday: Steel-Cut Oats

Posted on: December 21, 2010

This week, my holiday gift to you is an additional recipe. If you haven’t had a bowl of steel-cut oats, run out to buy (and cook) some, now! They are oh-so-warming and hearty on a cold morning, and they would make a great cozy Christmas morning breakfast.

Steel-cut oats are thick, and they do take a lot longer to cook than regular oats—but they’re so worth it! And when I make them, I triple my recipe (ummmm…. or double, depending on your desired serving size) so I can stick the extra cooked oats in the fridge, waiting for an addition of milk and a quick reheat in the microwave. So, you have an upfront longer wait (and by “long”, we’re talking 30-40 minutes on the stove), but your leftovers turn into a 5-minute weekday breakfast.

These oats have all the health benefits of your old-fashioned oats (high-fiber, B vitamins) but they’re not rolled, so each oat is more like a little cluster. Makes for a more chewy texture. I find mine in the health food or bulk sections of the local grocery stores, and they’re generally inexpensive.

I found a variety of recipes online, ranging from traditional oatmeal (just cooking with skim/lowfat milk) to cooking them in a rich, custardy base. While the latter sounds indulgent, I wanted to keep my cooked oats on the lower-fat side, so I went with the traditional. I found the following recipe online.

Steel Cut Oats
adapted from

1 c steel cut oats
3 ½ c water
Pinch of salt
½ c skim (or lowfat) milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Any toppings you like (cinnamon, brown sugar, raisins, etc)

1. Bring the water to boil in a large pot. Add the oats and salt, and stir.

2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes. Make sure to stir the oats occasionally so that they don’t stick to the pan.

3. When the oats start to thicken, at about 30 minutes, add in the milk and vanilla. Stir and cook for 10 more minutes.

4. Add whatever toppings you wish.

5. If you want (for reheating) you can let the oats cool, then portion them into resealable containers. To reheat, add a little milk and microwave 1-2 minutes (and you can always add more toppings!). Or… you can eat it all right away. 😉

Coziness in a bowl! Try it out and tell me what you think!

I’ll give you one more recipe before Christmas on Friday! Meanwhile, enjoy the season!

2 Responses to "Recipe Tuesday: Steel-Cut Oats"

You should really try crockpotting them. Its a breeze! Use your same recipe,, except put them into a crockpot that you greased lightly (Pam works great!), the night before and put your crock on low. Come the morning, instant breakfast,,,, just stir it up well! I do this in a 6.5 crock, double or triple the recipe. Again, breakfast all week without the wait time! Some friends of mine also do this with a waterbath method for easier cleanup,,, but I find with a removable crock,, just soaking it a bit,, or putting water into it and then putting the crock back on for an hour or 2,, that cleanup is a snap!

Hi Nancy!
Thanks for the comment! You know, my crockpot goes underused, but I think I’m just freaked out by the idea of leaving a device going any time I’m out of the house, or things drying out overnight… Maybe one of these days when my husband’s around an entire weekend day, I’ll get a pot of oats going. How long do you cook them overnight? (I’ve had too many other recipes dry out even on low for 6-8 hours…)

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