Better Breakfasts with Steel Cut Oats

My readers and patients alike have frequently heard me talk about quick and easy meal ideas, especially breakfasts. After all, breakfast really is found to be one of the most important meals of the day as it is associated with reduced risk of overweight and obesity (Szajewska & Ruszczynski 2010); better glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, which is especially critical for individuals with type II diabetes (Versteeg et al 2015); and improved satiety that leads to less overconsumption at subsequent meals (de Castro J 2007).

For the most part, I am a fan of breakfasts that require minimal effort during the week- Siggi’s yogurt with fresh fruit and nuts, hard boiled eggs over homemade bread, or a mason jar of delicious overnight oats. Lately, however, I have fallen in love with steel cut oats.

Steel cut oats (SCO) are essentially the least processed variety of all the oats, giving you a coarse grain that takes a bit longer to cook than your run of the mill (oat pun, get it?) rolled oats- find the answers to all your other oat-queries here.

The toasty, chewy quality of SCO have been hitting the spot lately during the week, and so for those of you looking to put a little extra time and love into your breakfasts I’ve jotted down my SCO recipe for your own kitchen experimentation.

Steel Cut Oats- makes one serving

  • 1/3 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 cup water
  • splash of milk (cow’s, soy, or nut-based)

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add oats- if feeling induldgent, melt a small pad of butter first before tossing in the oats. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir oats around until smelling toasted, about 3-4 minutes. Add in water and milk, stiring to combine. Bring the oats to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and stir occassionally. Cook oats for 15-20 minutes to desired thickness and toothy-ness (short cook=chewy oats, long cook=softer oats).

Serve oats hot and top with whatever fruits, nuts, seeds, or extra bits strike your fancy. Alternatively, if I’ve trained you too well in the art of meal planning, check out another awesome RD’s post on prepping larger batches of SCO to enjoy every morning, with a little less fuss and daily dirty pans.

Below are two examples of my latest SCO creations.

  • Steal Cut Oats with diced persimmons and cashew butter

img_4012

  • Steel cut oats with frozen mixed berries, peanut butter, chia seeds, and unsweetened coconut flakes. Tip–toss frozen berries into the pot during the last 3 minutes of cooking for perfectly warmed fruit mixed in.
This pink-hued bowl fueled me all day for the Women's March on NYC!

This pink-hued bowl fueled me all day for the Women’s March on NYC!

Other ideas include:

  • Apple or pear slices and cinnamon
  • Pumpkin puree, toasted pecans and a touch of brown sugar
  • Matcha powder (mixed in) and fresh mixed berries on top
  • Banana slices, walnuts, and maple syrup

Enjoy!

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