Thursday, September 24, 2009

something different

i don't know if it was mckmama or somewhere else where i first read about steel cut oats. but with fall coming in (sometime soon, at least--fall, where are you?) and me getting tired of my typical breakfast routine--you can only eat so many peanut butter and banana sandwiches--i decided to pick up a bag and test them out this week.
after a little bit of research, i learned that this is a different part of the oat grain than the quaker rolled oats: (from mccann's irish oatmeal webpage)

Steel-Cut Oats are whole grain groats (the inner portion of the oat kernel) which have been cut into two or three pieces using steel discs. Golden in colour and resembling mini rice particles, they are as nature intended – nothing added and nothing taken out.

How are they different from Rolled Oats?

Rolled oats are flake oats that have been steamed, rolled, re-steamed and toasted. Due to all of this additional processing they have lost some of their natural taste, goodness and texture.

so everyone and their mother had a recipe about how to cook them over night in a crock pot. and i was hesitant to cook them that way. mainly because i have a huge crock pot and i knew i'd only want to cook a small serving before i knew whether or not i liked them. my mornings are actually fairly relaxed, so i decided i'd have time to cook them in the morning. i set the water to boil as i was taking pepper out, and it's a 1 to 4 ration of oats to water, so i just needed to boil 2 cups for my experimental 1/2 cup serving of oats.

after about 20 minutes of cooking and minimal stirring, they were ready...
and yes, i'll admit, they were so good and very filling. much better texture and flavor than regular oatmeal. i added some cinnamon, a little vanilla, honey and dried cranberries. the honey was absolutely necessary, but worked well to sweeten it up.
i had some leftover, and i'd read where some people make large batches and then scoop out servings the rest of the week to warm up in the morning. we'll see how they do re-warmed...

oh, and thanks for all of the support on the caffeine thing! today was tough again--i had a long drive to and from my client's house this afternoon, and i was hungry and yawning the whole time. i'm encouraged by everyone's stories, though, that it is worth it and it does get easier :)