Saturday, February 2, 2008

Steel Cut Oats in the Crockpot



My husband eats steel cut oats every single morning. His cholesterol numbers have improved, we believe, in part, because he starts his day off with this nutritious cereal. The recipe below begins with the basics. Jim always adds "embellishments" to his cereal to make it even more flavorful, healthful and filling. I'll list his concoction additions at the end of the recipe. You can find steel cut oats in the bulk section of the Lost River Market & Deli. You'll also find the embellishment ingredients at the store.
See more information regarding the health benefits of steel cut oats at
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=54



Steel cut oats take much longer to cook on the stove, so we save time by using a crockpot. We use a 1 ½ -2 quart crockpot. (We tried it in a large crockpot once, and it burned around the edges and was very hard to clean, so never again!)


Basic Recipe:
1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water


Combine all the ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 9 hours, or overnight. (It will be quite creamy if you cook it overnight, so if you'd like a little more texture to your oats, Jim says to cook it for 3 hours.)


*This makes alot of cereal and more than one person can eat at one sitting, so here's what Jim does. After the oats cook, he scoops out a hot heaping cupful for his breakfast, adds his embellishments and puts what's left over in the crockpot in a covered dish to chill in the fridge. For his breakfast the next morning, he scoops out another cupful of the chilled cereal, adds his "goodies" and then heats it in the microwave. And so it goes until he's gone through the whole batch. Then he starts over.



Jim's Embellishments:
Jim adds no sugar, sweetener, honey or syrup to his oats. He sweetens the oats with fresh or dried fruits. (Of course, you could add the aforementioned if you like.) He doesn't bother with kitchen measuring devices.


Jim's embellishments to one serving of his steel cut oats:
  • organic fresh or frozen strawberries and blueberries, depending on the season, from our garden, the farmers market or the Lost River Market & Deli
  • dried fruits such as raisins, prunes, apricots
  • banana slices
  • ground flax seed (whole flax seed is sold at the store in the bulk section & we grind it at home and store it in the fridge) health information about flax seed can be found at http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=81#healthbenefits
  • skim milk
  • ground cinnamon
  • walnuts
  • sunflower seeds
Other ideas for cereal additions:
fresh apples
dried cherries, blueberries, apples or cranberries
apple pie spice or a pinch each of ground cloves, nutmeg, and allspice
almonds
cooked prunes
chopped fresh or canned peaches

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