Sunday, March 22, 2009

Steel-cut Oatmeal

Since I've started eating breakfast, it's mostly been fruit, yogurt, and granola. I've had quite a history with yogurt - I used to like it for a few days, then get so utterly turned off by the cold gooey texture that I wouldn't touch it for weeks. Now I have come to really appreciate and love it, especially since it's about my only source of calcium, other than the cheese I'm trying not to eat so much of. The trick to yogurt is avoiding the fruit-filled sugar bombs you get in those individual servings at the grocery store. Those things are filled with chemical flavorings that just don't taste healthy. Now I buy big containers of either Stonyfield Farm plain yogurt or Fage 0%greek-style yogurt. The sharp tanginess is hard to take on it's own, but adding fruit and some protein-packed sweetened homemade granola makes all the difference in the world. I don't even need to add honey anymore.

But even this can get to be too much of the same old thing when you eat it every day for months. I read about Mark Bittman's love of steel-cut oats and wanted to try them. (sidenote: Mark Bittman writes a column and a blog for the NY Times and he has some really awesome books on the market. I think he's a genius). And, oatmeal is incredibly good for you! Oatmeal has always just seemed too labor-intensive for me, plus I thought you had to add tons of brown sugar to even make it palatable. Luckily, I've found this to not be true! And cooked steel-cut oats keep for quite awhile in the fridge, which I LOVE so that it's ready to go each morning for breakfast.

The absolute best part is how easy they are to make. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large pot, add 1 cup steel-cut oats and toast them in the butter for about a minute. Add 4 cups of water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil (I had a vanilla bean that I split open and added to the pot, the smell was divine). After mixture starts boiling, put a lid on it and turn off the heat. Leave the pot covered overnight and the water will soak into the oats and be ready to eat in the morning after re-heating.

I still needed a tiny bit of sweetness and a little calcium so I added a half of a banana, some dried cranberries, and vanilla soymilk.

(Note the clever use of foreshadowing...I'll be in New York in 5 days - WOOT!)

And I still have a big bowl of leftover oats in the fridge that I can use for other mornings. Or, to get crazy, maybe I'll try Mark Bittman's savory oatmeal recipe with soysauce and scallions. There are lots of options with oatmeal. This is something I'll definitely be adding into my breakfast rotation.

No comments:

Post a Comment