Thursday, February 24, 2011
Starting the Day With Steel-Cut Oats
My favorite meal of the day is breakfast. Not your eggs-and-bacon kind of breakfast. Not even waffles or tofu scramble. I wake up each morning looking forward to a nice hot bowl of....oatmeal! In the past, I would stock my pantry with flavored instant oatmeal. I eventually moved on to rolled oats, which have slightly more fiber, but are still rolled, steamed, and toasted before they make it to supermarket shelves. A few months ago I switched to steel-cut oats, also known as "Scottish" or "Irish" oats. Steel-cut oats are less processed, and pack more nutrition, flavor, and texture than instant or rolled oats (they have a hint of nutty flavor and nice chewy texture). The only downside is that like rice, steel-cut oats must be cooked on the stovetop for about 20-30 minutes. I have solved this problem by cooking a big pot of steel-cut oats on the stove every Sunday morning. I make enough for 7 servings, and I store it in the fridge for the week. Each morning I place one serving in a bowl, cover it with some non-dairy milk, and pop it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes to warm it up. Afterwards, I top with fruit, nuts, spices, etc. My favorite combination is Banana Cocoa Walnut: 1 tsp. cocoa powder, 1 sliced banana, 1 tbs. chopped walnuts, 1 tsp. ground flax, 1 tsp. chia seeds, and 2 chopped prunes. I have been eating this breakfast for a few months now, and I have been feeling much better in the mornings. It is easy to digest, keeps me alert, and keeps me feeling fuller longer. I was inspired to write this post by a new blog I discovered. Healthy Slow Cooking catalogs dozens of vegetarian and vegan slow cooker recipes, but its main focus seems to be steel-cut oats. I can't wait to try out the different variations; I was thinking of making the "Carrot Cardamom Oatmeal" first!