Overnight Steel Cut Oats
Is it too late in the season to talk about eating oatmeal for breakfast? I hope not. Because I’ve been meaning to share this for a few months now, and knowing how the weather rolls around here (and maybe around where you live, too), we still have some chilly mornings ahead of us — even though winter seems like it’s on the cusp of fading. Finally.
We’re big oatmeal eaters in this house, even little A. Our darling girl is also an early riser, and until only recently, would awaken us at 5:30 or 6am with a combination of wailing, screeching, and “ma-maaaaaaaaa….” Oy. Thankfully, she’s been throwing us a bone lately and waking more around 6:30, turning on the music box attached to the side of her crib, and jabbering away to her stuffed animals. Which is a MUCH nicer way for Mommy and Daddy (and her, I have to think) to wake up in the morning. All of this is to say, when we were getting up so early, it was all I could do to carry her downstairs, flip on the coffeemaker, and pop our bowls of oatmeal into the microwave (minimal assembly required.)
I gave up on quick-cooking oats awhile ago — their texture was too gummy for me — and was doing the old-fashioned oats thing for awhile. I tried cooking a big batch of those for us for the week, and wasn’t really happy with how they reheated. I then turned to steel cut oats, which are just the whole oat groat chopped up a bit, and in doing so stumbled upon our new favorite way for making big batches of delicious oatmeal ahead. The steel cut oats retain some texture without being excessively chewy, have a pleasant nuttiness, and (best of all) reheat really nicely.
The process: boil steel cut oats for 1 minute the night before. Let them sit, covered, overnight; in the morning, turn the heat back on and cook an additional, oh, 5 minutes or so. Eat some then, and save the rest to eat throughout the week — just a quick zap in the microwave to warm is all that’s needed. Finish with your favorite toppings: mine is apples, walnuts, cinnamon and local maple syrup; Little A’s is (of course) blueberries.
Next up for us: locally-grown oats. We have a great local food producer, Cayuga Pure Organics, that grows and sells all sorts of wonderful dried beans, flour and grains (I love their farro). They recently started selling live oat groats, which are the whole, minimally processed oat grain. A quick buzz in the coffee grinder gives you — presto! — steel cut oats!
Overnight Steel Cut Oats
1.5 cups steel-cut oats
6 cups water
The night before, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Pour in the oats and boil for 1 minute. Turn off the heat, cover, and let sit overnight.
The next morning, turn the heat back on and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes (at the end of 5 minutes on my stove, the oats are nice and soft and fully cooked but it might depend on your stove.)
Save the cooked oats in a container in the fridge; they only require about 30 seconds to 1 minute in the microwave to reheat.