Steel cut oats. Hearty, nutty, chewy. If you have never tried them, you are surely in for a surprise. I had the pleasure of experiencing them a few years ago while on vacation and knew immediately I would never go back to regular oatmeal. I came home from that vacation and could hardly wait to make them for myself — and I did. Maybe twice? Then my bubble was burst. They took forever to make. Okay, well maybe not forever, but long enough for me.
Surely there had to be an easier and quicker way to make them. I tried soaking them overnight and then cooking them the next morning. Nope. That didn’t work (took just about as long). Then I tried preparing them in the slow cooker. Not a good idea, at least for me. They turned out too mushy. What I really loved about the bowl of the steel-cut oats I had while on vacation was that they were chewy and had a real substantial texture to them. I was trying to really recreate that but I also did not want to be a slave to my stove.
My last attempt was bringing them to a boil in my Le Creuset cast iron soup pot, covering the pot with the lid, turning off the heat and leaving the whole thing on the stove overnight.
Voila. That was the magic. Now I am not sure if you can do this in a non-cast iron pot, but if you do ever try it that way, please do share with me how they turned out.
This week I decided to get creative. I was at my local Costco and saw a huge bag of fresh cranberries and I could not resist! I knew immediately where a handful of those cranberries would go. While I was at it I added some quinoa, sunflower seeds, barley and millet. My usual recipe calls for one cup of steel-cut oats to three cups of water. Instead of using one full cup of steel-cut oats, I cut it in half and used the other half cup filled with the combined whole grains. My original recipe is here (it is so simple I have made it on our Airstream travel trailer very often!).
Here is everything in the pot coming to a boil. Shortly after it was brought to a boil, I covered it with the lid and turned off the heat. Done and goodnight!
The next morning, I took of the lid and this is how everything looked . . .
I simply turned the heat back on, added some milk and served it with real maple syrup.
So easy and so good! Can I just say, I have been making this regularly now. Finally – so simple, easy and delicious! This combination of ingredients turned out so good. The cranberries really added a nice tart bite that countered the sweetness of the maple syrup quite nicely. The quinoa, barley, sunflower seeds and millet really added some extra great chewiness as well.
Think of these easy steel-cut oats as your “blank canvas,” and add whatever you are in the mood for.