Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Monday, October 3, 2011

Overnight Steel-Cut Oats

I know a lot of folks out there like oatmeal. I am not one of them. For me, it's totally a texture issue. I like other things with oats in them, but oatmeal not-so-much. That is...until I started eating steel-cut oats. What a difference! The taste is still there, but they're a bit chewier and nuttier than rolled oats. It's not the same as the other mushy oatmeal that I don't like. I still can't eat it every single day, but I do like to have it on occasion, especially when it gets colder outside and we all want a nice warm breakfast in the morning. And the boys really like it!

The only thing is, steel cut oats can take a while. Half an hour or so. I know I certainly don't have that kind of cooking time in the morning! For a while I would just cook it at night and then put it in the fridge to reheat in the morning, but then I learned about making *overnight* steel-cut oats. It's the best of both worlds...you get the good kind of oatmeal (in my opinion) and it doesn't take forever to make. Plus...steel-cut oats are actually better for you than regular oats. They are much less processed and have more dietary fiber. (And if you eat gluten-free, you can just use gluten-free oats.)

This recipe makes quite a bit, which we happen to like because we can all eat it for breakfast one weekend morning and then use leftovers for some of us for breakfast during the week. You can easily halve it or change the amounts to make the amount you want.

Overnight Steel-Cut Oats
(Based on recipe from The Bitten Word with my changes...) 

The night before: 

1 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
6 cups liquid - I like to use half water and half milk

Bring liquid just to boiling. 

While waiting for it to boil, lightly toast the oats in a skillet with a small bit of butter. You really don't need much butter at all, maybe a teaspoon or two. Keep stirring the oats and just toast for about 5 minutes until they're lightly toasted and smelling yummy!  

Add oats to liquid once liquid reaches boiling point. Be sure not to burn the milk or boil it over - just a low boil will do. Continue to gently boil for 1-2 minutes.

Take off heat and let cool. Cover and set pot in refrigerator overnight. (Some recipes will say to leave it out overnight, but they are usually made with just water. Since we add milk, we keep it in the fridge overnight. You don't have to use milk, but we like how creamy it makes the oatmeal.)

In the morning:

Heat oatmeal over medium-high to high heat for 5 or so minutes, until rest of liquid is absorbed to the point you like it. You might want to have it bubbling just a bit, but don't boil it too much. Stir regularly and be careful not to burn the milk. Spoon into bowls and flavor the way you like!

Here are some of our favorite add-ins...
Sliced bananas, maple syrup, and chopped walnuts (our favorite!)
Frozen blueberries and honey (The cold berries will cool the hot oatmeal, while the hot oatmeal will thaw the frozen berries.)
Cinnamon and raisins and either a bit of maple syrup or brown sugar

Pumpkin Oatmeal
And a new fall favorite is Pumpkin, of course! It's basically the same add-ins as my Pumpkin Pie Yogurt. Mix up some pureed pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and maple syrup. You can use the same amount as the yogurt (about a 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, and 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice), but I do find that we usually add another Tbsp of maple syrup to the oatmeal. I like to just mix up a large amount of the pumpkin mixture to keep in the fridge, though, and use it throughout the week. Aiden likes to add walnuts to his pumpkin oatmeal, and I agree that it's a great addition.

I happen to love walnuts in oatmeal because it helps me with the mushy factor - adds in that crunch that I think it needs.

If the overnight oatmeal thickens up more than you like when you go to heat up leftovers during the week, just add a bit of milk to it. No biggie!

Little Oatmeal Thief!
Aiden's trying to show how good this stuff really is... Notice his empty bowl of pumpkin oatmeal is in the background. After eating it all, he moved on to MY bowl of oatmeal (I prefer the bananas and walnuts) because it was just too good to resist, I suppose. He just pushed my spoon out of the way and ate about half of my breakfast. He was pretty full after this! It only takes a small bowl of steel cut oats to really fill up your tummy! 

How do you like your oatmeal?


Katie J. said...

I LOVE steel cut oats and usually make this kind: http://www.netrition.com/mccanns_oats_page.html, which take only 5-7 minutes. I wanted to let you know that you can also use your rice cooker to make them: http://www.netrition.com/mccanns_oats_page.html We've been using our rice cooker to make quinoa lately. Yum. Anyway, thanks for the reminder to eat my oats!

Daisy and Ryan said...

Thanks for sharing! I hadn't tried that kind. I wonder if theirs are pre-soaked and then dried again to make them cook quicker... ? Kind of what the overnight oats are going through - that's what makes them cook so quickly, so I wonder if it's similar with the quick-cooking ones you mentioned. I love that they're Non-GMO and most likely gluten-free, too! I've heard about cooking quinoa in the rice cooker, but we don't have one, even though we eat lots of rice and quinoa. I'm sure I wouldn't mind having one, though. ;) Thanks for sharing the links! :)