Steel Cut Oatmeal

My brother-in-law Russell is in town and taught me this recipe for steel cut oats. He learned it from his friend Julia in Kansas, who apparently makes it several times a week.

Steel cut oats are whole grain groats (the inner portion of the oat kernel) which have been cut into pieces. They are commonly used in Scotland and Ireland to make porridge, whereas rolled oats are used in England, other English-speaking countries, and Scandinavia.

Steel cut oats take longer to cook than instant or rolled oats due to their minimal processing (though much less if pre-soaked). The flavor of the cooked oats is described as being nuttier, creamier,  and chewier than other types of oats.

The advantage of eating steel cut as opposed to the more processed rolled oats is it has more cholesterol lowering soluble fiber and takes longer to digest so you stay fuller longer.

Shortcut version – If you are not a morning person like me, here is a shortcut – combine your oats with water (use all water and no milk), per package instructions , season with a pinch of salt and cinnamon, or any other spice you like. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the pan, remove from heat, and let sit overnight. The oats will absorb the hot cooking liquid while you sleep, and in the morning all you have to do is bring your perfectly-cooked cereal up to a simmer and serve. It never gets gooey or sticks to the bottom, and works amazingly well for larger batches of oatmeal, too.

You can top it with brown sugar, maple syrup, nuts, raisins, blueberries, dates, flaxseed, etc.

Steel Cut Oatmeal

1 cup steel cut oats
1 cup milk
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt

Toast the oats in a dry skillet until slightly brown.

Bring milk, water and salt to a boil in a saucepan. Pour in the oats and stir.

Reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 25 – 30 minutes, stirring until the liquid is absorbed and oats are tender.

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