After a long holiday weekend, I try a little harder to eat healthy. You know how that goes. The bloat from salty food, beer, and general indulgences gives you that extra push to eat “clean” for a bit. At least for a day or two, right? Okay maybe just breakfast.
I truly believe breakfast is the most important meal, so starting my day healthy at least sets the stage for better decisions later on. My easy, go-to breakfast is a half cup of yogurt with peanut butter. Takes barely no prep and has enough protein to keep me feeling full longer.
However, cold yogurt doesn’t hit the spot like a warm, hearty cup of oats. I avoided making oatmeal for most of my adult life because of the time involved. There’s no substitution for steel-cut oats, and proper steel-cut oatmeal requires 45 minutes of your morning. I’ve recently come around though after realizing how well steel-cut oatmeal lasts in the fridge. Once you make a batch, it’s quick and simple to reheat in the microwave. The oats retain most of their firm texture, unlike regular or instant oats. It’s worth the extra effort at the beginning for a week of creamy, next-level oatmeal!
The recipe below makes four modest 3/4 cup portions. You can eat it plain, but I prefer to experiment with different toppings to make things interesting. You can also stir in the juice of an orange or grapefruit right after the oatmeal is done on the stove. This infuses the oatmeal with subtle citrus flavor. Toasting the oats first adds more flavor, and it only takes a couple minutes. Don’t skip it, though you may be tempted to!
Some topping ideas are:
- Yogurt with berries
- Banana and nut butter
- Orange zest with dried cranberries or cherries
- Nuts and dried fruit
- Dried coconut shavings and cacao nibs
- Chia seeds or flaxseed
- Good ol’ cinnamon and brown sugar
[recipe title=”Perfect Steel-Cut Oatmeal” servings=”3-4″ time=”Prep: 5 minutes, Cook: 40 minutes”]
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup milk (any kind works)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or butter)
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a large saucepan, combine water and milk over medium high-heat. Bring to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat coconut oil (or butter) over medium heat. Add oats and lightly toast for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir oats into the water/milk mixture. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 30 minutes the water should be mostly absorbed. Add salt to taste (I use a small pinch) and mix well.
- Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Oatmeal will get thicker as it cools.
- Serve while warm with various toppings.
- You can refrigerate any extra (minus toppings) for up to five days. Simply reheat with a small amount of water and stir to rehydrate. Microwaving for two minutes does the trick.