Monday, February 17, 2014

How-To Prepare Steel Cut Oats in a Slow Cooker

Making steel cut oat in a slow cooker is a very convenient way to prepare them. Steel cut oats can be found in the bulk section at Lost River Market & Deli.

You will need a large slow cooker to make this recipe. It needs to be big enough to put a 4-cup glass measuring cup or glass loaf pan inside. 

Place the cup inside a large slow cooker.

In a 4-cup glass measuring cup, stir together: 
2 cups of water
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of steel cut oats 
pinch of salt.  

Pour enough water BETWEEN the glass measuring cup and the inside lining of the slow cooker (see photo) to come to about half-way up the outside of the measuring cup. (When I make this, it takes about 4 cups of water for it to come half-way up.)  Doing this will keep the oats from scorching.
Put the lid on the slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to LOW. Go to bed and get a good night's sleep. When I did this, it was 10 p.m. and I woke up at 7 a.m. (From others who have made this, overnight is pretty flexible because the water bath slows everything down. I'd say "overnight" is not less than 6 hours and not more than 9 hours.)  When you wake up refreshed and ready to go, the steel cut oats will be perfectly cooked. 
**Caution! The glass cup will be quite warm, so be sure to use oven mitts to lift it out of the slow cooker.  Put some of your perfectly cooked oats in a bowl and add your favorite embellishments.

I add a bit of almond butter, a touch of local honey or maple syrup, a banana, some pecans and walnuts or whole almonds and a few dried cranberries.
My husband adds pumpkin seeds, walnuts, lots of cinnamon, prunes, dried apricots, ground flax seed, plain Greek yogurt, skim milk and to top it all off, he adds berries.

If you have cooked oats left over, you can put them in an airtight container and chill it in the fridge, and then you can just zap them in the microwave the next day.

A ½ cup serving of cooked steel-cut oatmeal provides only 150 calories. It is a good source of complex carbohydrates, and provides 4 g of soluble fiber, which works to lower cholesterol. It also provides 5 g of protein. Add other healthy ingredients to your oatmeal to make it even healthier. Blueberries, flax seed, almonds and cinnamon are all good choices. Steel-cut oats are superior to rolled oats when it comes to creating stable blood sugar. The body digests rolled oats relatively quickly, as they are thin sheets of oats that the body doesn't have to work hard to break down. This results in a faster rise in blood sugar than you will get with steel-cut oats. Of all the oats, steel cut oats take longer to digest and, hence, create less of an insulin response.

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