Why should you choose steel cut oats for your breakfast? Well before we get into the specifics, first and foremost, they are really, really good!
Not all oatmeal is created equal. Just take a stroll down your grocery aisle and you will be presented with a variety of oatmeal choices: instant oats, old-fashioned oats, rolled oats, steel cut oats. No wonder why it’s hard to determine which one to make for breakfast.
The difference between rolled (aka old-fashioned oats) and steel cut oats is that while both contain whole grains, they are processed differently. Steel cut oats are made from oat kernels that have been chopped into thick pieces and is then packaged. Rolled oats are steamed, rolled, steamed again and toasted, ending up as thin oval flakes. Our favorite, Bob’s Red Mill brand of oats. We first fell in love with them after a friend recommended them, and that was it!
You can eat either rolled or steel cut oats for breakfast, however, there are a few reasons that we believe steel cut oats makes the perfect breakfast choice for you.
Why steel cut oats are the perfect breakfast choice:
1. Feel fuller, longer
Steel cut oats are the perfect breakfast choice over rolled oats because they digest more slowly than rolled ones. Like all other grains in whole or cracked form, steel cut oats also rank lower on the glycemic index than rolled oats. This is because that it takes longer for digestive enzymes to reach the starch inside the thicker pieces steel cut oats slowing down the process to convert to sugar. But when grains are processed into rolled oats, their surface area expands, allowing digestive enzymes easy access to their starch content. So why is this important? Because it takes longer for the digestive system to break down the steel cut oats, you will stay full longer as compared to other breakfast choices.
2. Make ahead, refrigerate and reheat!
Although steel cut oats requires 20-30 minutes to make, it is the only oatmeal that you can actually reheat and still hold up in texture. Leftover steel cut oatmeal can be refrigerated for up to a week. If you love steel cut oats for breakfast, you can make a big batch on the weekend and eat it throughout the week. It firms up in the fridge, but just add a small amount of milk/water and reheat for a couple of minutes until it softens back up again.
3. Customize individual servings
Steel-cut oats have a nuttier, earthier flavor than rolled oats. This oatmeal tastes terrific with nothing more than a little cinnamon sprinkled on top. However, you can easily add a variety of toppings to customize it to each and every family member. Add chopped nuts, dried and fresh fruits, maple syrup and honey, cinnamon, fruit preserves and any other favorite toppings to make it extra delicious and never boring.
4. Nutritional Value
One of the most significant health benefits of steel-cut oats is that they help eliminate fat and cholesterol from the body. Studies show that in individuals with high cholesterol (above 220) consuming just 3 grams of soluble oat fiber per day typically lowers total cholesterol by 8-23% and thus decreasing the risk of developing heart disease by 16-46%!
According to the USDA, eating whole grains also reduces high blood pressure and help prevents cancer and diabetes. They are a rich source of magnesium which is a co-factor involved in the body’s use of glucose and insulin secretion. Because steel cut oats have a lower glycemic index than instant oatmeal, studies have shown that when people increased their consumption of steel-cut oats to five servings a week, there was a significant reduction in the risk of onset of type 2 diabetes.
Below are the basic instructions for making steel cut oatmeal on the stove top. You can also make overnight steel cut oatmeal in your slow cooker or no-boil overnight refrigerator steel cut oatmeal (muesli). However you choose to make your steel cut oats, it is the perfect breakfast choice.
How To Make Steel Cut Oats
makes 4 servings
3-4 cups water (or a mix of water and milk)
1 cup steel-cut oats
*For a single serving, reduce ingredients to 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup oats.
1. Use 3 cups of water for thicker oat grains or 4 cups of water for a creamy textured oatmeal. Pour the water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat.
2. Pour the oats into the water and stir.
3. Return the water to a rolling boil.
4. Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and bring the oats to a slow simmer.
5. Let the oats simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally – be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan. Cook until the desired consistency has been reached (total boil time between 20-30 minutes). The longer the cooking time, the thicker the oatmeal.
Serve immediately with your preferred toppings. You can also let the oats cool and then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. The oats will thicken in the fridge; stir a little water or milk into them when reheating to loosen the mixture.
Mary and Jim
To receive our articles each week, sign up to follow the blog via email in the right hand column above, “Like” us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. You can also check out our book, Growing Simple, available on Amazon.com. This post may contain affiliate links.
Steel Cut Oatmeal
- 3-4 cups water or a mix of water and milk
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- *For a single serving reduce ingredients to 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup oats.
- Use 3 cups of water for thicker oat grains or 4 cups of water for a creamy textured oatmeal. Pour the water into a saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat.
- Pour the oats into the water and stir.
- Return the water to a rolling boil.
- Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and bring the oats to a slow simmer.
- Let the oats simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally - be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan. Cook until the desired consistency has been reached (total boil time between 20-30 minutes). The longer the cooking time, the thicker the oatmeal.
Recipe NotesServe immediately with your preferred toppings. You can also let the oats cool and then store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. The oats will thicken in the fridge; stir a little water or milk into them when reheating to loosen the mixture.
Recipe courtesy of Old World Garden Farms