Thursday, May 12, 2016

Steel Cut Oats - Part 2

I talked a while ago about Steel Cut Oats versus Rolled Oats. Both healthy, but the former apparently more so. I've been eating rolled oats for ages, they are warm and the perfect breakfast for a chilly morning. I didn't even know steel cut oats existed for a long time. The more I read about them, the more interested I became. Less processing, more protein, a different texture, preferred by every blogger, writer, foodie that I read.

Have I fully converted to steel cut oats versus rolled oats? Mostly, but not totally.  There is a convenience factor that steel cut oats will never have over rolled oats. They both taste good, but different. I think steel cut oats taste heartier.  There's something more substantial about a bowl of steel cut oats. The first time I wrote about steel cut oats was ages ago. I meant to write a response about it sooner, but time got away from me... and I went off oatmeal for a while. After a winter of trying different recipes, I'm back to eating oatmeal and I have only made rolled oats twice, maybe three times since September. Steel cut oats is just what I want now, what I think of when I say to myself, I want oatmeal.

I have made it two different ways. The first I tried was stove top, which is messy, especially if I walk away for a minute and it boils over (I try not to, but children). It was the easiest to try first. At least, that's what I thought. There's a lot of stirring that needs to happen. I also had to make sure I paid attention to the thickness, so that the oats wouldn't get too dry. Paying attention is not something I can totally do when I'm getting the children ready for school. It tastes good, but it takes more time than I'm willing to give on an average morning.

The way I like making it the most is in the slow cooker. I didn't think I would, but it is. I do about 1 cup of oats to 3 cups of almond milk. Even if I make it on the stove top, I'm using almond milk. I'm not trying to be super healthy or anything, and I love regular milk. My Hubby is lactose intolerant, so we typically have both soy milk and almond milk in the house. I experimented with making it with all three milks, with both methods. Soy milk didn't thicken right and I found regular milk gooier than I'd like. So, crock pot or stove top, I prefer almond milk. Also, the almond flavour goes well with the ingredients. I also use an amended version of this Chai Oats recipe I found on Pinterest (don't leave it overnight! Like 3 - 4 hours or it dries out). I make a big batch, then refrigerate it. I take a bit out everyday, add some raisins and a little more milk, then microwave it for a minute. That's what I like on a busy morning, microwavable goodness.

So, have I completely converted to steel cut oats? No. Sometimes I don't have any in the fridge and don't have any time to cook it on the stove, so I'm microwaving rolled oats like I've always done.  I'll always have rolled oats too, because of baking. Do I prefer steel cut oats? Yes, but I don't always have the time to make them. I suppose I'll always have 2 kinds of oats on hand now.

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