Saturday, March 19, 2011


Many people that I know eat oatmeal for breakfast.  When asked what kind of oatmeal, they will indicate a range from flavoured oatmeal in a pouch to old fashioned to steel cut to scottish oats.  I prefer a steel cut oat to a rolled oat.  Steel cut oatmeal has a more nutty taste.  The steel cut oat is made by chopping the oat grain while a rolled oat occurs when the oat grain is rolled and becomes flat in shape.  Because of the processing method to chopped versus rolled, a chopped oat can take longer to cook.  Amy Jo Ehman has written a post on her blog about oats and describes the differences between the different oats.

I am sometimes pressed for time in the morning and having the time to cook steel cut oats can be challenging.  To make life easier, I soak the steel cut oats for six to eight hours prior to cooking.  Soaking before cooking really does shorten the cooking time.  By pre-soaking the oats, cooking time is about 10 to 12 minutes.  I will also make a large batch which will make four to five portions.   Heating up an individual portion in the microwave for breakfast is pretty easy.  If I am planning ahead for the work week, I will cook the steel cut oats late Sunday afternoon or early evening and then store the cooked oats in the fridge to have during the week.

Some people like sweet oatmeal while others like savoury oatmeal.  Sweet oatmeal is usually described as adding some form of sweetener, fruit, yogurt, chopped nuts or dried fruit.  Savoury oatmeal includes adding shredded cheddar cheese (a favourite of my dad), cooked vegetables, poached or sunny side up eggs.  We all have a variety of different tastes.

One of the varieties that I buy. 

One cup of oats added to a medium size saucepan. To one cup of steel cut oats, I add four cups of water.

I let the pot sit on the stove for six to eight hours.

I love adding a few teaspoons of maple flavour yogurt instead of milk to my cooked oatmeal.

Simmering on the stove. Cooking time is about 10 to 12 minutes.  I stir the oats frequently and keep the lid on the pot while cooking.

Ready to be spooned out into a storage container and put in the fridge. 

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