Steel Cut Oats

My holistic practitioner is amazing. Much more than a massage therapist, I float out of her office after appointments, with blissed out neck and shoulder muscles, sometimes mulling over nutrition suggestions she’s made based on my symptoms and complaints.

Most of it is hardly newsworthy stuff; take vitamins, drink lots of water, cut down on sugar, eat more vegetables. However, during one visit she recommended replacing the quick-cook rolled oats I use for oatmeal with steel cut oats – they’re easier to digest. At the time I didn’t know much about steel cut oats, but assumed that because they are less processed, they’d take much longer to cook. With that, I gave them no further thought, filed away in my mind as “too much trouble” and “probably taste horrible anyway”.

Well, obviously I was meant to try them. One morning, soon after that appointment, a small article about steel cut oats appeared in the food section of The Star. Included a recipe and answered all my questions, right down to which brands to try.

Turns out, they’re wonderful! They do take some time to cook, but thanks to Jennifer Bain’s suggestion of cooking four portions worth in advance and then re-heating a portion in the microwave with a splash of water for 2 minutes in the morning was exactly the kind information I needed to work them into my a.m. routine.

They take about 20 -30 minutes to cook, but I just cook them at night or on the weekend, when I’m not in a rush. After re-heating, I sprinkle on some cinnamon, add chunks of banana and pour on maple syrup and milk. Then I’m all set for the chilly walk to the subway. Rarely does something this good for me match up in taste.

4 cups water

1 cup steel cut oats

1/2 tsp salt

Add steel cut oats to boiling water in a medium saucepan, bringing back to the boil briefly. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally. When they’ve reached the desired doneness, anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes,  stir in the salt. Let stand for a few moments and serve.

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