October 17, 2012

From Nana's Kitchen - The Easiest Oatmeal EVER...And It's Not Instant!

Canada's Food Guide Servings: 1 Grain Products (3/4 cup cooked oatmeal)
Oatmeal is one of those perfect foods that everyone should be eating.  As noted in my post "The 'Super' Breakfast - Oatmeal", heart-healthy oats are cholesterol free and have a low Glycemic Index.  They are an ideal food for anyone suffering from diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.  And if that wasn't enough, 1 cup of uncooked rolled oats contains the following:
  • 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat)
  • 8g dietary fibre
  • 10g protein
  • Iron - 19% Daily Value for an adult
I grew up eating oatmeal, and it's now one of Big-A's favourite breakfasts (we're still working on Lil-J - he's not a fan of some textures).  As a child, my mother made us classic rolled oats topped with brown sugar.  Pre-children, I relied on the convenience of instant oats to get me through a busy school day or work day.  After having children, I was introduced to steel-cut oats (aka Irish oats) and that's all I eat now.  Big-A learned to love steel-cut oats thanks to my mom, and I try to make them as much as possible.

A few months ago, after struggling to make steel-cut oats for weekday morning breakfasts (who really has 30 mins to stir oats??), my mother gave me a handy tip on making overnight steel-cut oats.  This is the only way that I make them now, and it's so easy that there are no excuses not to be eating them every day of the week.

Nana's Easiest Oatmeal EVER

1 cup steel-cut oats (I love Bob's Red Mill Organic Steel Cut Oats and President's Choice Blue Menu Steel Cut Oats)
3 cups water
pinch of salt

  1. Add water, oats and salt to a medium pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat then immediately turn off the heat and cover with the pot lid.  Leave overnight.  Reheat the following morning and serve.
And that's it!  It's seriously that easy.  No stirring, no risk of a messy, starchy boil over.  No waiting.  In the morning, you will find the most perfect steel-cut oats waiting for you.  They will be cooked through, but will still have a crunchy texture.  And you can have them this easy, every morning of the week.

If you have any concerns with leaving the oatmeal out at room temperature overnight, place the pot in the refrigerator (after boiling).  The oats will be a bit watery, and they will be crunchier.  Give them a quick re-heat on the stove or in the microwave and they'll be ready to eat.

Our current favourite way to eat these oats is with a small sprinkle of brown sugar, a generous sprinkle of cinnamon, and cold milk.  I pack mine in a container with the toppings and milk, and heat it at work.  Big-A loves eating a bowl of oats before school, and I love knowing that this healthy breakfast gives him the fuel needed for a busy day ahead.

Give it a try, you'll love them!

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