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.)
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.)