Thursday, 20 February 2014

Steel Cut Oats In The Crockpot

This is my first time cooking steel cut oats and I had to do a bit of research to find out what to do with them. They don't look anything like rolled oats. I admit I am not a very adventurous eater and was afraid it would taste like I strapped a horse feed bag on for breakfast.

The difference between steel cut and rolled oats is in the amount of processing.  Rolled oats are steamed and put through rollers to flatten them out and allow them to cook quicker.  Quick rolled oats are flattened even more than traditional rolled oats.  They both retain the bran and are a great nutritional choice to start out your day.  Instant oats are a poor choice because they have salt and sugar added, not to mention weird, dyed stuff that they pawn off on us as fruit.

Steel cut rolled oats are kind of the superstars of the oatmeal world.  They are pure oat groats chopped into small pieces.  That's it.  They have a lower glycemic index, which means it doesn't cause your sugar to spike and drop off rapidly.  This is the kind of slow burning carb that keeps your energy levels up and the munchies at bay.

The down side is they take half an hour to cook.  I am soooo not doing that in the morning!  

Enter the crock pot!  Every article I read said you needed a four to one ratio of oats to liquid. I melted a teaspoon of butter and brushed it on the inside of the crockpot so the oats wouldn't stick to it.  In went one cup of the steel cut oats, 2 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups of whole, organic milk.  I know that's not a 4 to 1 ratio but I'm a culinary rebel and that looked good to me.  

Here's how it looks before cooking. ~

I've added wild blueberries and a pinch of sea salt.  You could add cinnamon or nutmeg and any fruit that strikes your fancy.

Let it cook on low for five hours and you have this. ~

Ready for the taste test?  This was the best oatmeal I have ever had!  No kidding.  I drizzled the teeniest bit of  raw honey on it.  It didn't need any milk added. The texture was close to rolled oats and I have to say the flavour was really superior.  It just tastes more oaty/grainy.  Is oaty a word?

It reheats beautifully in the microwave or pot on the stove and one cup of oats has given me enough for a week of breakfasts.  

I'm sold on steel cut for taste, all for food that has limited processing and the prepared yield is so high the extra cost isn't an issue with me.  What a great way to have a hot, healthy breakfast premade for schooldays with kids!

Try it, you'll like it!

I'm sharing this with:  Tuesdays With A Twist