Autumn · Uncategorized

On the comforts of Steel-Cut Oatmeal

My mother-in-law knows how to cook up a mean pot of steel-cut oats.  Whenever we go to visit for breakfast or brunch, there’s usually some of that magical, warm porridge waiting for us, along with a proper cup of tea.  Mom cooks her oatmeal with hearty add-ins like raisins that plump with the slow heat, agave, and just a hint of cinnamon spice.  Oftentimes, we will top off our bowls with chopped walnuts, and maybe a splash of almond milk.  Last week, I was remembering our breakfasts at Mom’s house, when I tried my hand at recreating her famous steel-cut oatmeal here at home.  Happily, the porridge tasted just right and I sat down to two bowls!

Lately, I find that I love the dense, chewy texture and the subtly nutty flavor of steel-cut oats.  Cooked simply, with water and a touch of salt, and finished with but a pat of butter and a light drizzle of syrup, the natural flavor of the oats sings.  Heidi Swanson of has this great section in her cookbook Super Natural Cooking that highlights seven different ways to liven up steel-cut oatmeal.  One morning, feeling particularly decadent, I followed her lead and cooked the porridge until it was very thick, and then stirred in a generous amount of full-fat coconut milk.  Then, I topped our bowls with toasted coconut flakes and chunks of ripe, sticky-sweet mango; we all found that to be super satisfying.

Yes, cooking the oats from scratch does take time.  I usually let mine go close to 40 minutes before eating.  If you have the time, the actual cooking is low-maintenance.  I rather like watching the pot bubble and pop, stirring every so often.  On the other hand, a lot of people soak their steel-cut oats overnight to save on cooking time, though I have yet to try.

Wishing you warm meals in good company on the cooler days ahead,


Tropical Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Tropical oats with coconut milk, toasted coconut flakes, and mango chunks.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s