Thursday, February 2, 2012

let's talk breakfast.

the most important meal of the day, right?
In our house, it is usually the craziest, most "hurry-up-and-eat-faster-let's-go" meal of the day. 

Most school days my children are handed a bowl of oatmeal.
Splashed with milk, maple syrup, and some kind of fruit and/or nut.
Rolled oats cook quickly, and they are healthy and filling in my babes bellies as they are hurried off to start their day.

I, on the other hand, usually turn my nose up at their breakfast.
I'm not an oatmeal fan (unless it's raw--like here).
Something about a hot bowl of mush......I just don't get it.
I hear non stop about "steel cut oats", and how "everyone" just "loves" "them".

But these magically delicious oats also take something like 40 minutes to cook.....and on cold dark winter mornings, there is NO way I'm getting up 40 minutes early to start breakfast.....sorry kids.

And then I saw it.
Make them ahead of time........DUH.
(did I just write out "duh"? I sure did)
I don't know why this simple thought hadn't crossed my mind.

So I made them ahead.
A whole weeks worth, and we have been LOVING them.
Just like they said we would.
These oats.......they have a bite to them.
They actually have an "oatty" flavor, which I love.
No more bowls of morning mush for me!

Make Ahead Steel Cut Oats
(this makes ALOT. I got about 12 cups of cooked oats. I didn't put them in individual servings in my fridge, because I don't have the space, and who has that many jars?
But portioning out into a few smaller jars would be a good on-the-go breakfast, lunch, or snack.
oh, and if you're only feeding one or two, this recipe can be easily halved)

2 TBS coconut oil (optional)
3 1/3 cups steel cut oats (a lot of regular grocery stores carry them, but the packages are small. It's much cheaper to go to a store that sells bulk items)
8 cups of water
pinch of salt.

Melt coconut oil in large saucepan. (you can skip this all together if you want, but I love coconut oil)
Add oats, and stir to coat.
Turn up heat and cook for a few minutes.
Add water and salt and bring to a boil.
Simmer for 5 minutes, and remove from heat.
Ladle oats and water (there is still quite a bit of water left over) into containers (I recommend glass jars over plastic containers since this is so hot).
Cover with lids and let sit on your counter overnight (or about 8 hours)

In the morning I add enough for four servings to a saucepan with a little bit of almond milk,
and heat it through.
It takes just a few minutes and breakfast is ready! 
(if you did single serving sizes you could just stick it in the microwave)
breakfast1 copybreakfast2 copybreakfast3 copy
The best part about this is that you can have oats for breakfast every morning....yet have it be different because of what you put on it. 

-A splash of milk (cow/almond/soy)
-a handful of fresh or dried fruit
-if you're looking for something sweeter try pure maple syrup or honey
anything goes!

Here is one of my current favorites
Steel cut oats topped with:
-vanilla almond milk (for sweetness)
-banana (for flavor and potassium)
-ground flax seed (for fiber and omega-3s)
-almonds (for crunch and healthy fats)
-unsweetened coconut flakes (just because I like it)
Add all that to a bowl of fiber and protein packed oats and you are set for your morning.

breakfast.....or dessert?
steelcutoats copy
How do you like your oats?

Want more make ahead oats?
Try Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats HERE


Hannah Nicole said...

I'm a huge oatmeal fan, but because my brother has Celiac Disease, we haven't bought any for awhile. You can buy gluten free oats, but some people with CD still have problems with that, and his reaction is very severe. So I've been missing my morning breakfast! I like it with a little butter, brown sugar, and milk. One of the best. I'm going to have to save this recipe for when I'm on my own and can make it...hah! ;)

Hayley said...

oh i don't know. does it look kinda creepy in those jars sitting on the counter all night?

you know i'll try it though.

sheena said...

hayley between brewing kefir, soaking almonds, and "cooking" oats on the counter.....the oats don't look too bad:)

Samantha said...

I love oats in all shapes and forms. I, just like you always thought that eating oats was like a big bowl of mush until I started preparing my oats the way I like them (which I only cook for about four minutes, so there is still some dense-ness to them, and I don't add as much water or stir them as much - when you over-stir that's when they seem to become mushy)

I use the same base every time which is 1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup soy milk, dash of salt, 1 tsp vanilla, and a ripe banana mashed in, and then I add the toppings/mix-ins that I'm craving that day. My recent favourite is <-- blueberry cobble oatmeal. Soooo delicious, and packed with protein which is awesome pre/post work out!!!

- Samantha

Lisset said...

we are an oatmeal family too. oatmeal everyday mon-fri, then we get a little crazy over the weekend when there is more time. we found a brand of oats that we absolutely love called coach's oats. they are a good marriage of ease of preparation (5 minutes) and yummy nutty taste. they basically take steel cut oats and crack them into smaller pieces once the have been toasted to maintain texture, but make them faster to prepare. unfortunately, i've only found them in california. so whenever i visit my parents, a trip to costco is in order wherein i buy 6-8 bags. i always get funny looks because it is the only thing in my cart, but i get panicky when i see our stash dwindle in our food storage. we love this stuff.

CarrieLovesKeith said...

I am SO glad you posted this!! I tried doing the Crock-Pot version, but I'm not a huge Crock-Pot fan, plus whenever I did it overnight, it always left a burnt-on residue that was IMPOSSIBLE to get off, even after soaking, and even when I had greased it really well. I had been wanting to make steel-cut oats but, like you, who has the time?

I am seriously so excited! Thank you, Sheena, as always you are amazing!

melissa said...

funny label: how to eat food.

Simple Domesticity said...

I've been on an oatmeal craze the last 2 months. I love it with bananas, blueberries, and cinnamon. I can't stop. I haven't tried steel cut oats though. I should give it a go. Or, maybe I shouldn't, because at this rate I'll be eating oatmeal every meal for the rest of my life.

Lisa Hathaway said...

I really want to try this! Oatmeal was our standard breakfast while growing up and I'm trying to re-incorporate it into my morning routine.

One question ... don't laugh, but where do I get steel-cut oats? Are they just at the grocery store or do I have to go to the health food store? I've heard lots about them, but I've never noticed them anywhere.

sheena said...

lisa! good question. Some grocery stores carry them--you'll find them with the regular oatmeal but the packages are usually pretty small. It's a lot cheaper to get them at a store that sells bulk food.

Becky at VintageMixer said...

I make this in jars all the time. One of my favorite weekday breakfasts to wake up to!!

Kaitlyn Luce said...

Love love love oatmeal! Especially with raisins, brown sugar, and cinnamon. I haven't tried steel cut oats yet, though.

Laurie said...

I always go "the make from scratch route", but for some reason steel cut oats have never made it to my kitchen. I am really excited to try this..

Natalie said...

i actually am a big oatmeal fan but never have time for steel-cut. i will have to try this :)

Jane said...

this is GREAT! I'm gonna do this Sunday so I have breakfast set for the week. Thank you and yum!

Denise C said...

Another option is the crock pot - but not overnight! I have a small crockpot that I use to make 3-4 servings of oatmeal at a time. I put everything in the crock pot when I get up and turn it on high. It's ready in an hour or so. The best part - it doesn't burn or scorch. You don't have to watch it closely or bring the water to a boil first or anything. You can add extra ingredients, too - fruit, etc. either during or after cooking.

Meg said...

tiny crockpot, 1c oats, 4c water, set tiny crockpot (it has to be one of those tiny ones that barely hold 5 cups of water---you know, the kind you put cheese fondue or meatballs in as appetizers? that kind) leave the crockpot on "keep warm" all night. Perfect oats in the morning, and ZERO mess. The pot wipes clean with a wet paper towel (of course, I throw mine in the dishwasher, but scrubbing necessary!) so easy. it takes 30 seconds to do before bed, and breakfast is the perfect temp in the morning. We make them every sunday night/monday mornings, and our ridiculously spoiled chickens get the leftovers.

Elise said...

Yum!! We love making oats at our house, and doing this ahead of time is brilliant. I like mine with maple syrup, a little brown sugar, walnuts and milk. I know what I'm having for breakfast tomorrow.


Mélanie said...

with walnuts, chocolate chips and bananas, especially in the wintertime! I love your blog and photos by the way, thanks for sharing all this with us.

Tanya - PerfectlyFlawedWoman said...

Thank you , thank you, thank you! What a great idea. I'm so bad about breakfast. I KNOW it's the most important meal of the day, I KNOW I need to eat it, yet I get up and go straight to work and forget about it. We home school and yet my 10 yr-old son ends up making us toast and eggs, he loves to do this, bonus for me, but it's usually around 10:30, ha. This is perfect, I can't wait to do this!! Sharing this for sure!

Unknown said...

oh wow, this breakfast is fabulous. I absolutely adore how healthy you are :)

Unknown said...

I always make my oats the night before or else use the crockpot overnight. It's so perfect! I love that you said "breakfast or dessert?" because I think that's half the reason I love oatmeal so much! It feels like a indulgence but it's so healthy.

Kimmie said...

Steel Cut Oats are our family's STAPLE Monday-Friday breakfast!!

I actually have to disagree (and I have tried SO many different breakfast options) a working mom, steel cut oats was actually the EASIEST thing to make for breakfast ...brought salted water to a boil, added in oats, turned the burner to low, put the lid on, set the timer to 32 minutes, I then went and got in the shower and got ready and as I was finishing getting ready the timer would go off, we would add in milk, a sprinkling of brown sugar and add in either raisins, OR, dried cherries. There couldn't be a yummier breakfast that is EASIER to make than that of Steel Cut Oats. PLUS, they are "heart healthy" and filling and my kids devour and LOVE them!!!

(we purchase a 25 lb of steel cut oats for $20.44 and put it in a 5 gallon bucket and it lasts us for a few months).

ACTUALLY, I have the yummiest roll recipe that uses steel cut may enjoy making that with some of your steel cut oats:

Anywho, LOVE seeing your yummy creations...thanks for all of the WONDERFUL ideas and recipes you share with us!! Happy weekend!!

Kristan said...

Love oats. Love the mix-ins, but sitting on the counter overnight? Not safe at all. Sorry!

sheena said...

Kristan! Well hello! If you don't like it--don't make it. I see nothing wrong with oats and water sitting out.....not to mention the fact that they are heated through before they are eaten, just in case a deadly bacteria magically appeared. But hey-I ferment milk in my closet every day, so oats seemed pretty safe to me;)

Rachael said...

I never eat breakfast, but I'm loving that idea!!
I haven't eaten oatmeal since I was a kid, but I would try that out for sure! Great idea!!

Karly Shelton said...

Mmmm, this sounds delish! I just bought some steel cut oats, I think they are the Red Mill brand? I love the hearty-ness of them.

Krisi said...

We love steel cut oats as well but I just put 3 cups water in a pan 1 cup oats and boil. When they come to a boil put the lid on and leave til the morning - about 5 hours. That will serve our small family of 4 for 2 days usually. We just eat the servings in the microwave and top with our favorites - mine is craisins, almonds, apple pieces (chopped small)... YUMMY! I actually have it for dessert too!

Darcee said...

I eat my oats as muesli, thanks to Heidi over at 101 Cookbooks. Non fat plain yogurt (I make my own), add water (half the amount of yogurt), and a splash of maple syrup. Add a combo of rolled oats, raisins, chopped almonds and flax seeds (I like them whole). Let sit overnight, or at least for an hour. Yummy!!! Fills me up for hours. I also like to cook steel cut oats with a bit of water and almond milk, when almost done cooking, add shredded carrots and raisins. When done, top with non fat plain yogurt that has a bit of honey added for sweetness. Tastes similar to carrot cake!!

traceyo said...

40 min? who cooks steel cut oats 40 min? I cook in the microwave for about 12 min and they're great. Also, slow cooker (overnight) and rice cooker (10-12 min) are great methods. Will try this method too. PS. cooked in rice cooker during car camping trip- great way to start our adventures, and no one had that "I've sat in a car for waaay too long blockage".

traceyo said...

Oops! I should be specific about microwave method, or it make a Huge mess (ask me how I know). Like any oats, steel cut oats will bubble up 3 to 4 times their volume while cooking. I use 1:2 oats to water ratio, and use a LARGE microwave dish. I think its a least 2 quarts. When I make a cup of dried oats, I start with 3-4 min at full power to get everything almost boiling, then remaining time at 50% power to avoid boil over.

hannah marie said...

I made this yesterday, and shared it with my family as breakfast this morning - delicious! Gracias for the yummy recipe and simple instructions.

Kellie said...

I'll be making this tonight for tomorrow's bfast! Cant wait! Thanks!

Clandestine Road said...

This turned out great. Thanks for sharing.

LisaCase said...

Can you microwave glass jars?
I would like to make this but re-heating in the morning wont happen. I want to bring it to work, microwave it there and then add my toppings. Or add my toppings before I microwave it.

Will this work?

sheena said...

Yes! Glad jars are great for microwaving!

Debbie Day said...

I don’t even cook our steel cut oats. I use the overnight method: ½ C steel cut oats, ½ C almond milk, ⅓ C Greek Yogurt (I use Honey Vanilla) and a shake of cinnamon. Shake it all up in a Mason jar and refridgerate. In the morning, I stir it up, add fruit and nuts. So creamy, delish and healthy!

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steel cut oats benefits

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ROZETREE Botanicals said...

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By Nature said...

Steel Cut Oats are incredibly nutritious they are a good source of fiber and protein and low in saturated fat. Steel cut oats make an especially filling breakfast and a great start to your day. Just don’t forget to set aside 10-20 minutes to cook it! While it takes a little time, cooking Steel Cut Oats couldn’t be easier.Steel cut oats can also be used to make overnight oats, risotto, pilaf, dumplings, arancini and more!

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