I’ve discovered a pretty great breakfast option that keeps me full for longer, and it’s fast and easy to heat up in the morning – steel cut oats. Porridge doesn’t sound like an exciting option, and maybe like me, you’re thinking of that time you opened a package of Quaker Oats and how hungry you were half an hour later. Forget about Quaker Oats. Quick oats, or rolled oats, are not the same as steel cut oats. The difference between rolled and steel cut oats is that while both contain whole grain oats, they are processed differently. Rolled oats are steamed, rolled, steamed again and toasted, ending up as thin flakes. Steel cut oats are made from oat kernels that have been chopped into thick pieces, and are much less processed. Steel-cut oats have a much lower glycemic load than higher-processed quick oats. Low-GI foods slow down the rate that glucose (sugar) gets introduced into your body, and keep you feeling fuller for a longer period of time.
The recipe I have been following is from Cookie + Kate, and the result has been satisfying. I will usually spend 45 minutes on my Sunday morning and make up a batch to last the week. It’s easy to heat up single sized portions in the microwave (2-2.5 minutes on high), and before I go to bed, I’ll either cut up some fruit, or defrost some fruit to add to the porridge.
The above photo is of the steel cut oats being toasted in a fry pan. I haven’t tried making the porridge without this step, so I cannot say if it makes a significant difference. I’ve only read that it brings out a nuttier flavour.
This is what I do to make just enough to last me and hubs 4-5 days:
- Melt a spoonful of coconut oil in a fry pan
- Add 1.5 cups of steel cut oats to the hot fry pan. Coat the groats in the coconut oil. Reduce heat to medium high. Don’t walk away! You don’t want to burn your oats!
- Once your oats are golden and releasing a toasty aroma, take it off the heat and let it cool a little.
- Now is the time to start boiling the liquid. I use 4 cups tap water to 1 cup milk (any kind of milk). I have the temperature on high, so I do stir often so that the milk doesn’t get scorched.
- Just as the mixture is close to boiling, I reduce the heat to medium and I add in the toasted oats. Continue to stir and I adjust the heat again so that it’s very gently bubbling. I half cover the lid and set the timer for 22 minutes. I will occasionally stir to prevent any sticking/burning.
- After 22 minutes, your mixture will have absorbed a lot of the liquid and thickened up. I add a half tsp-ish of salt and stir. I will let it go for maybe 1-2 more minutes before removing it from the heat.
- Add cinnamon, and heavy drizzles of pure maple syrup – stir – throw in a handful of dried cranberries – mix – let it all sit for about 5-10 minutes.
- Transfer into an airtight container, let it cool enough before storing in the fridge
Like I said, every night, I’ll cut up strawberries, or thaw whatever frozen fruits I have available. Lately it has been mango or peaches. In the morning, as I heat up an individual portion of porridge, I’ll cut up the frozen fruit. I top the bowl of porridge with the fruit, walnut pieces, and pre-toasted shredded coconut. Sometimes I’ll add a splash of nut milk, but it’s good without.