Steel crazy

Oat-ladenEat oats – they’re good for you. The end.

(music swells; curtain)

That’s all you need to know. Seriously…

  • The soluble fiber in oats helps remove LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, while maintaining HDL, or “good” cholesterol, that your body needs.
  • Oatmeal may reduce the risk for type 2 diabetes.
  • A diet that includes oatmeal may help reduce high blood pressure.
  • The fiber and other nutrients found in oatmeal may actually reduce the risk for certain cancers.
  • Oats have tons of needed nutrients in them. Click here if you don’t believe me.

Although I used to eat regular “old fashioned” oatmeal from the grocery store, recently a friend gave me a small supply of steel-cut oats, or “Irish oatmeal”. She might as well have given me a bag of crack – I couldn’t have become any more hooked.

Most experts will tell you that different varieties of oats don’t vary much as far as nutritional value; the main difference is just the amount of processing they go through before you get ahold of them. Steel-cut oats are whole, raw oats cut into smaller chunks (groats) – very little processing. Old-fashioned (rolled) oats have been steamed and rolled flat, while quick oats are rolled oats ground into smaller bits so they’ll cook faster – lots of processing.

However, health foodies like me will tell you that once you try steel-cut oats, you’ll never look back.

Again, kind of like crack.

Steel-cut oats take longer to cook and are more expensive than other types of oatmeal, but so is a good cup of coffee; and I do solemnly avow that both are totally worth it.

I actually order steel-cut oats in 25 lb. bags (seen in the picture above) purchased from a vendor on Amazon.com. (Is there anything you can’t buy on Amazon.com? That’s a rhetorical question; the answer, of course, is “No – duh”.) That bag will last me at least six months, so it’s totally worth it. I just keep a plastic cereal container filled in the cabinet and keep the rest in the freezer.

Here’s how I prepare them:

I put two cups of water (along with a goodly shake of salt) in a Mario Batali 2-Cup Essentials Pot, Pesto. I suppose you could use other colors of pot besides “pesto”, or even other brands or types of pot, but I promise you won’t be disappointed with Mr. Batali’s cookware. But I digress…

Once the water has come to a gentle boil, I drop in 1/3 cup oats, give it a stir, turn the heat off, put the lid on, and go to bed.

No, really. Easiest breakfast you’ll ever cook. The oats basically slow cook in the hot water. By the time the water has cooled off, they’re done.

The next morning, I take the lid off and bring them back to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, until they thicken a little. I then gussy them up with a couple tablespoons of ground flax meal (great fiber and loaded with Omega-3s), some raisins, a dollop of cimmanon, and some brown sugar (actually a blend of Splenda® and brown sugar, so it doesn’t take a lot), and put the lid back on for about 5 minutes while I scramble an egg.

Once the egg is done (giving new meaning to the phrase “egg timer”), my bowl of porridge (cooked in my Mario Batali 2-Cup Essentials Pot, Pesto as mentioned earlier – sorry; it’s just a great oatmeal cooking pot…) is ready to warm me up and kick start my morning.

Just note that you can gussy your own oatmeal up in a variety of ways by adding walnuts or pecans, dried cranberries, jam, fresh berries, or even butter or cream (if you’re not worried about your weight or your heart health).

No matter how you serve it up, oatmeal is better’n sausage and biscuits any ol’ day.

I’m sure Hardees will forego my AARP discount after that last comment…

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2 Responses to “Steel crazy”

  1. Jennifer Hutson Says:

    Your post inspired me to find the small box of steel cut oats that’s been hiding in the back of my cupboard since last winter, dust if off, and cook them up this chilly morning. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. katy Says:

    Oh I loved this post! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I am definitely going to use this method (though mine will not taste as good without the Mario Batali 2-Cup Essentials Pot, Pesto). 🙂


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