Saturday, January 11, 2020

Steel Cut Oats & Fancy Fixins

First blog post of 2020 heyooooo! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays, I know I am still getting back into the swing of things after NINE days off. I also decided to do Whole30 for the month of January since I definitely overindulged during winter break. While these tasty oats are not Whole30-friendly if you're also striving to eat better or switch up your breakfasts, these creamy and cinnamon-spiced steel cut oats are an amazing addition to your culinary repertoire.

Steel cut vs Rolled oats - what's the difference?

Let’s start with the basics. Both rolled oats and steel cut oats come from the same whole cereal grain. The real difference is in how, and how much they are processed. 

True to their name, in processing, rolled oats are first steamed to prevent them from cracking or breaking before they’re rolled through mills to be flattened. This results in their famously known squashed, round textured appearance.

On the other (less processed) hand lies steel cut oats. The same groats used to make rolled oats are instead chopped into two or three pieces rather than flattened, resulting in steel cut oats’ small, pin-like appearance.

Steel cut oats are spared processing steps that rolled oats go through, giving them a lower glycemic index and making it more difficult for digestive enzymes to break down the starch found in them. This, in turn, slows the conversion of the starches to sugar in the body, and your belly stays happily satisfied. (Sourced from Nutricious Life)

Steel Cut Oats & Fancy Fixins 

makes about 3-4 hearty servings

2 cups water
2 cups milk of choice: almond milk, cow’s milk, coconut milk, etc. (I used 1%)
1 TBS coconut oil or unsalted butter
1 cup steel-cut oats (choose certified gluten-free oats if necessary)
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cinnamon sticks
Alternative mix-ins: dried fruit like cranberries or chopped dates, toasted chopped nuts like walnuts, lemon or orange zest, etc.

1. In a large saucepan, combine the water, cinnamon sticks, and milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. In the meantime, melt the coconut oil (or butter) in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the oats and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, around 2 minutes. This toasting step greatly enhances the flavor of the oats (but you can skip it if you want).

2. Stir the oats into the simmering water/milk mixture. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is very thick.
Stir in the salt. Continue to simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to prevent scorching on the bottom, until almost all of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. (If you have doubled the recipe, your oatmeal might need an extra 5 minutes cooking time here.) The oatmeal will be very creamy when it’s done.

3. Remove from heat and stir in any mix-ins that you’d like. Let the oatmeal rest for 5 minutes before serving so it has more time to thicken up and cool down a palatable temperature.
Portion oatmeal into bowls and add any toppings you’d like to portions that you intend to serve immediately. Let any extra oatmeal cool completely before covering and refrigerating for future breakfasts.

My Favorite Fixins

  • Cinnamon Apples

2 medium apples, diced small
1 TBS butter
1 TBS cinnamon (I usually add cinnamon to taste - I LOVE cinnamon)

1. Melt butter in a saucepan on medium-low heat. Add cinnamon and mix. Add apples and stir cooking for about 5 min. or until apples are slightly tender. 
  • Chopped dark chocolate & salted peanuts
  • Fresh fruit like blueberries, raspberries, bananas
  • Pecans and maple syrup

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