Once again, you’re at a complete loss as to what to make for breakfast before heading out the door to school or work. Most of us agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But convenience often trumps nutrition when hectic morning schedules come into play. Many times the very foods folks turn to when they’re in a hurry contain added sugars, artificial flavors and preservatives.
There are some quick and easy changes you can make when it comes to building a better breakfast. Here’s a delicious recipe for home-made steel cut oatmeal that is tasty, wholesome and quick to prepare.
Most of us probably grew up on instant oatmeal or quick-cooking oatmeal, but steel-cut is a nutritional leap above these highly processed varieties. I had not heard of steel-cut oatmeal until I heard Oprah mention it on one of the healthy living episodes with Bob Greene. Then, being the nutrition nut that I am, I made sure to look for it during my next trip to the grocery store.
At first the chewy texture and lack of sweetness took some getting used to. But I found that adding some fresh fruit during the last stage of cooking, plus a drizzle of honey once in the bowl makes it more palatable and actually – quite delicious. My son even eats it and rarely mentions the difference from the instant stuff. When I disguise food with a little natural sweetness he doesn’t seem to complain too much. In my bowl, I add some chopped walnuts because it makes the flavor of the oatmeal really pop and I like the crunch – plus I can sneak in some extra fiber. Some mornings I sprinkle in a little ground flaxseed for an omega-3 boost.
Steel cut oatmeal requires preparation on the stove top and usually takes about 20-25 minutes to cook. You can also prepare steel cut oatmeal in a slow cooker (check out my friend Kathy’s recipes). Most recipes call for water, but I prefer a creamy consistency, so I substitute half the water called for 1% organic milk or soy milk. As you know, milk scorches very easily, so using milk will require lower cooking temperatures and a watchful eye. But, the richness in flavor and nutritional quality of steel cut oatmeal is worth your extra effort!
Quick Wins Tip : You can prepare batches of steel-cut oatmeal ahead of time and store in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
Sweet & Simple Oatmeal:
|Amount||Natural Ingredient||Suggested Brand||Tonya’s Tips|
|2 cups||1% organic milk||Horizon||organic milk is free of antibiotics and added growth hormones|
|1 cup||steel cut oatmeal||Bob’s Red Mill|
|1/4 cup||golden raisins||-|
|1/4 tsp||ground cinnamon||-|
What you need to do:
- Bring milk and water to a slow boil over medium heat. Leave uncovered.
- Add steel-oatmeal.
- Reduce heat to maintain a slow, rolling boil. Stir frequently.
- Cook oatmeal for ~20minutes or until done. Continue to stir frequently.
- Add raisins and cinnamon.
- Turn off heat and cover. Allow oatlmeal to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Spoon into a bowl. Garnish with honey and chopped walnuts.