As you start your journey through the New Year, your motivation is high; you have begun reading nutritional guidelines and healthy eating principles. You might notice that no matter what diet I run, I and many others keep a variation of “oats” in the staple diet list. The question is, why?
The Benefits of Steel Cut Oats
Let me introduce Steel Cut oats. Steel cut oats are a slower cooking (roughly 20 minutes), less processed, nutrient packed kernel of the oat which is sliced in up to three different sizes. Steel cut oats have a “nuttier” or “toastier” taste and are a little chewier.
You might have heard me talk before about nutritional timing and when/how to maximize your body’s natural chemical balance. This refers to insulin sensitivity and the glycemic index. Regular rolled oats and steel cut oats share very similar nutritional facts, but those who adhere to the glycemic index often claim that steel cut oats are less likely to spike blood-sugar levels.
I believe one of the most beneficial aspects of steel cut oats, besides their nutrients, is in the variety they bring to your diet. In addition, they add a different taste and texture to recipes so that your diet doesn’t get mundane- this will help you stay motivated and keep from slipping into bad nutritional habits.
Steel Cut Oats Recipes
Oats provide a unique ability to be added into other foods and have other foods added to them to “spice” or “shake” things up a bit. I often add Greek Yogurt and berries to my oats, however steel cut oats have that special taste which allows for a variety for your palate while still remaining healthy.
Steel cut oats take longer to prepare, but unlike rolled oats, you can make a batch to last you the entire week! They save in the refrigerator quite well and are easily reheated. They taste just as good or better reheated than when they are made fresh.
The general rule of thumb is 1 cup oats (roughly three serving portions) to 3 cups of water. I love to add a dash of cream/ or skim milk when there is 1 minute left to cook.
- Bring three cups of water to a boil
- Slowly/gently stir in 1 cup of Steel cut oats
- Add a “pinch” of salt to bring out the natural nutty flavor of the oats
- Once the oats and water begin to boil again bring the heat down to a mid-low temperature and allow to cook uncovered for 20-30 minutes. Taste the texture to decide for yourself how chewy or cooked you want the oats.
- Now that the oats are finished cooking you can divide up the serving portions are share, or package for the remainder of the week.
Now that you have a hot bowl of steel cut oats we can begin to add a little zest to them, while keeping it healthy. I almost always add just a little splash of cream/milk to the top and stir it in. I am a boring person when it comes to most of my food and while this is enough to satisfy me, many will want something fancier. I can help.
Other ideas on what to add to steel cut oats
- Splash of cream/milk
- Natural honey for sweetness
- Slice up some almonds and sprinkle them in, great source of healthy fats
- Dash of cinnamon
- A variety of dried of fresh fruits such as bananas, blue berries, craisins, raisins.
Steel cut oats are a wonderful addition to a healthy life style and will help you achieve your New Year’s resolution, one meal at a time.