Saturday, May 30, 2009

Recipe for Steel-Cut Oats in the Crockpot and Steel-Cut Oats with Agave and Pecans

Steel-Cut Oats with Agave and Pecans
One of my favorite breakfasts is Peanut Butter Oatmeal, which I usually make with Extra Thick Rolled Oats cooked in the microwave, using a method I learned from Alanna. Since I've become such an oatmeal fan, I've been wanting to try steel cut oats, but I wasn't sure about the longer cooking time, reported to be as much as 45 minutes on the stove. Then I heard about cooking steel cut oats in the crockpot, and when I tried it, I loved the crockpot version of steel cut oats. I ate them with peanut butter stirred in, and also with agave drizzled over and sprinkled with nuts, which you see in the photo above.

The least processed form of oats are oat groats. However, they need soaking, and take a very long time to cook. Steel cut oats are oat groats chopped into smaller pieces, making them easier to cook. Oats are definitely a plant ingredient, so even though no herbs are involved, this is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by The Well Seasoned Cook.

Here's what the steel cut oats look like before they're cooked. I used Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats for this recipe.

I used a 2.5 quart Crockpot to cook 1 cup of steel cut oats, and it took me a few tries to get the amount of thickness and chewiness I wanted. I decided that 5 cups water and just over three hours cooking time gave the best results with my crockpot. Newer crockpots cook much hotter than the older "slow cooker" models, and different sizes of crockpots also cook differently, so you may have to experiment a little to get the best result.

Steel cut oats are great reheated, so make some extra and keep them in the refrigerator, then microwave for a few minutes for an extra quick breakfast.


Crockpot Recipe for Steel Cut Oats and Steel Cut Oats with Agave and Pecans
(Makes 4 servings, but can easily be doubled.)

Steel Cut Oats Ingredients:
1 cup steel cut oats
5 cups water (or less for extra thick oats)
1/2 tsp. salt (do not skip the salt)

Steel Cut Oats Instructions:
Combine steel cut oats, water, and salt in crockpot. (I sprayed the crock with non-stick spray to prevent sticking.) Cook on low, stirring every hour or so. After 3 hours start checking to see if the oats are as done as you'd like. I cooked the oats in this photo for 3 hours and 15 minutes, but a larger batch or an older model crockpot will take longer.

Steel Cut Oats with Agave and Pecans - Ingredients for 1 serving:
1 cup cooked steel cut oats, still hot from crockpot or heated in microwave for a few minutes
1 T agave nectar (I tried both Hazelnut flavored agave and amber agave and both were great)
6-8 pecans, coarsely chopped with knife (could also use almonds or pistachios)

Steel Cut Oats with Agave and Pecans - Instructions:
Put hot oats in a bowl, drizzle with agave nectar and sprinkle nuts over. (If you're reheating the steel cut oats in the microwave, you may want to add a few tablespoons of water before you microwave them.)

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
Steel cut oats with agave and nuts would be a great breakfast option for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet.

More Ideas with Steel Cut Oats:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Apple-Cinnamon Steel Cut Oatmeal from Vegan Yum Yum
Oven Oatmeal from Bitten
Steel Cut Oatmeal from Pinch My Salt
Oatmeal: How and Why to Cook it Every Day from Kitchen Parade
Oatmeal: It's What's for Breakfast from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Overnight Oatmeal from The Bitten Word
(Want even more steel cut oats recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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41 comments:

lizykat said...

Hey Kalyn...I think this recipe is a great idea for the weekend getting ready for the week? but steel cut oats don't take so long. Here is what I do several times a week.
3 cups water with pinch of salt, bring to boil. Pour in 1 cup steel cut oats (bob's red mill). Stir and bring to a soft simmer. the lid should be part way on to keep the steam inside the pot, helps cut down on cooking time I believe! :} when simmering I put the timer on for 15-20 min. Stir a few times. they come out chewy but not overly so. I add golden raisins, some milk. The BEST breakfast any day...enjoy

MsBlueKatt said...

I LOVE steel cut oats. Cooking them in the crockpot is a great idea. In addition to stirring in peanut butter or agave, I sometimes make them savory

Use broth (chicken, beef, veggie - your choice) and add some dehydrated minced onion. When the oats are almost done, add a couple of tablespoons of parmesan cheese and, if on hand, some leftover veggies. The first time I did this, I used leftover stirfry that had a bit of soy sauce on them. It was wonderful!

Pearl said...

oh kalyn - that looks so good!

Kalyn said...

Lizykat, thanks for the input. Most of the recipes I saw said 30+ minutes cooking time. I think your idea of keeping the lid on is a great one. I will try cooking them on the stove for sure.

MsBlueKat, Your ideas for savory steel cut oats sound great! Definitely will experiment with that.

Pearl, they were very tasty!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I do oatmeal and grits in my little crock pot.
I love steel cut oats and pin head oats.
Great photos!

lindaharper said...

Kaylyn,
Don't count out oat groats. I love them and used a pressure cooker to cook them and they turned out great. I happen to have an electric one that will keep things warm and overnight and they were perfect for breakfast.

Susan said...

I used to be a fan of the typical flat, chipped oats we use here, but once I tried steel cut, my loyalty wavered. I like mine with a few spoonfuls of half & half and maple syrup.

The crockpot is a great idea for this simple, yet hearty breakfast.

Thanks for making the time to contribute to WHB during your very busy, but happy, weekend. : )

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

As a fairly recent convert to slow cooker cooking, I'm loving anything that can be made in it, especially in the summer when I don't want to heat up the kitchen.

Kevin said...

Peanut butter oatmeal with a touch of honey is so good! Steal cut oats are my preferred form of oatmeal. I like the chewier texture and the slight nuttiness. If you have a rice cooker with a porridge setting and a timer you can also use that to have the freshly made steal cut oatmeal just as you wake up in the morning.

katie said...

Hmm, I only have the big 6 qt crock pot I wonder if I double this if it will work?

Coach Kai said...

Thanks then i can grab and go during the week. Can you do this for other types of oats

Kalyn said...

Tanna, next I want to try pin head oats. I'm not sure I would like them as much for cereal, but I think they'd be great as a binder in meatload or mixed into bread dough.

Linda, thanks! You knew that when you said "pressure cooker" that would get my attention. I'll look for some oat groats and try them. I don't have an electric pressure cooker but it's on my wish list.

Susan, didn't want to miss it!

Lydia, love that you're becoming a crockpot convert!

Kevin, I do have a rice cooker like that! What a great idea. I'll try that method too. (So many great tips from everyone, this is really fun.)

Katie, I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't work to double the recipe, or even 2.5 times my measurements since my crockpot wasn't full and yours is more than double the size. It might take a bit longer to cook. If you like thicker oatmeal, you might want to not quite double the amount of water.

Kalyn said...

My e-mail is slow sending comments so I'm responding and them a comment is getting published later! Driving me crazy. Coach Kai, I haven't tried cooking regular oatmeal ahead and storing in refrigerator but can't think of any reason it wouldn't work.

Carla said...

Kalyn,

I use alton brown's recipe at the Food Network (link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/steel-cut-oatmeal-recipe/index.html ) It does take about 30 minutes to make, but I'll do a batch tonight (Sunday) and then either buy breakfast on Friday, or do another batch Thursday night after work. Its pretty easy and there isn't much babysitting involved.

Paz said...

I'd really love to try this and your other oats recipes (like the peanut butter).

Paz

Kalyn said...

Carla, that does sound good and I"m intrigued by the buttermilk in the recipe. However with butter, brown sugar, and whole milk that recipe wouldn't be South Beach friendly. Might be fun to experiment to see if I can come up with a South Beach version.

CJ said...

I like to use the crockpot for cooking oats too.
Another way to cut down the cooking time is to prep the oasts and water, bring to a boil; reduce the heat and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Cool and refrigerate. They will only take about 10 minutes to cooki the next morning.

Maria said...

I love oats for breakfast, great idea to do them in the crockpot! I add lots of cinnamon and raisins to mine!

Claudia said...

I love this idea. I do steel-cut oats all winter and just throw a little maple syrup on it and am done. The addition of the pecans and agave syrup would be great!

Ottawagal said...

Dear Kalyn,

I too love steel cut oats and can never go back to eating typical rolled oats. Here's what I do to cut down on my breakfast cooking time.

Before going to bed toast 1 cup of steel cut oats in a medium saucepan for a few minutes over medium low. Then slowly pour in 4 cups of boiling water (careful, it will bubble and hiss). Then put the lid on, turn off the heat and leave it to sit on the element (I have an electric stove). The residual heat from the element and the boiling water does all work. In the morning I stir in a little milk (evaporated milk makes it very nice) and maple syrup and cook for about 5 minutes till creamy. All done.

I so very much enjoy your recipes. Keep up the good work.

An Indian's Makeup Blog ! said...

This is my everyday morning bfast - almost. I love my instant oats with milk,apricots, pecans & raisins. Love it !

Murasaki Shikibu said...

The nice thing about these kinds of recipes is you can stop buying commercial cereals and just make your own (well not really - but I think you know what I mean!). :)

Kalyn said...

I love getting all the suggestions from readers. I can tell I'll have fun trying all these ideas. Thanks everyone!

Pam said...

My crockpot always burned my oatmeal. But I've started using my rice cooker (it has a timer) and I set it to start cooking everything about an hour before we get up. Perfect.

Gourmet Mama said...

I loved the recipe. It was great. I have always loved oatmeal. What a treat.

Kalyn said...

Gourmet Mama, glad you liked it!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I really have to try this, Kalyn. I'm an oatmeal junkie. I eat it nearly every morning rain or shine.

Christy Lonergan said...

I cook steel cut oats ahead of time and freeze in a silicone muffin pan. Once froze, pop them out and put into baggies to keep in freezer. Get out a serving when ever you need. They microwave quickly!

Kalyn said...

Susan, I think I'm turning into an oatmeal junkie too. I loved them!

Christy, great tip!! I just put some in the crockpot and thought about doubling the recipe. I was wondering how they would freeze.

Ann said...

You got me at agave! I love these simple recipes/ideas. I'm a busy mom who loves to cook but is more likely to make something like this any day unless I have a day-time babysitter!

Hillary said...

I just made steel cut oatmeal as well! Great list. I referred someone to your crockpot steel cut oatmeal recipes.

kbw said...

thanks for the info re slow cooker....i cook the oat groats for one hour on the stove...or following heidi swanson's recipe from 101 cookbooks combine equal portions oatgroats and spelt berries...on the stove for same time. i'm getting very fond of oat groups even over steel cut oats. will have to try this combo in slow cooker.

Kalyn said...

kbw, thanks for the tip about oat groats. I'll definitely try that, either on the stove or in the crockpot. I have a feeling I'll like them too.

Rosemerry said...

This is the time of year I start making steel cut oats in my crock pot and thanks to Kaylyn, adding peanut butter is the only way to go for me. I just wanted to let you know that the oatmeal freezes beautifully too! I make mine on the thicker side and get 5 servings out of a cup of oats. I eat one serving out of the crock pot, then put the remaining in a casserole dish. When it cools, I put it in the fridge. Then I cut what's left into 4 portions and freeze them. Can't tell the difference from the fresh or thawed!

Kalyn said...

Rosemerry, thanks for that great tip! I hadn't thought of freezing them, but for someone with a big crockpot, you could make a few weeks worth if you have the freezer space!

Morgan said...

I do steel cut oats in a rice cooker using the porridge setting. I can also program it to be ready in the morning.

Makes my day much easier, I recommend getting one.

Ken said...

Steel cut oats are so much better (and better for you) than instant or quick rolled oats. We haven't made them in a crockpot, may try it! To make a really fabulous oatmeal, instead of using all steel cut oats, we use about half steel cut, and half Bob's Red Mill Scottish Oats - a fine, porridge variety, and use milk for half the cooking liquid. It makes a much creamier tasting oatmeal, punctuated by nuggets of the crunchy steel cut oats. Cooking times, liquid, and additions (maple, raisins, etc) all about the same as the rest of the recipes.

Jamie said...

I'm going to try making this tonight! I love oatmeal! Quick question: do you know what the SB approved serving is for cooked oats? I can't find it anywhere but sort of remember reading some place that it is only 1/2 cup. I just started phase 2 and don't want to get ahead of myself by adding too many starches in :) Thanks!!

Kalyn said...

Jamie, I don't see a serving size for oats in the latest book, but most grains seem to 1/2 cup serving.

Kyle and Ali said...

I didn't read all the comments so forgive me if this has been mentioned already but if you only have a larger crock-pot, you can put the oatmeal mixture in a smaller glass bowl that fits into the crock pot. Fill the crock pot with water up to within an inch or so of the top of the bowl so it makes a water bath around the bowl of oats. Cook on low overnight. :) They won't burn around the edge and just pour out the water and your crock pot is clean!

Kalyn said...

Great idea to cook the steel cut oats in a water bath in the crockpot. I haven't done that but I love the idea of the crockpot being clean when you're done!

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