Tackling the Bulk Bins: Steel Cut Oats

I’m back in the organic bulk bins again, this time tackling steel cut oats. Sure we all know how heart healthy oatmeal is, but when it’s in steel cut form it’s even healthier.

Steel cut oats are whole oats (also called groats) that have been cut (by steel) into fourths. The outer husk is removed, but the endosperm, bran and germ remain. They are very high in fiber and protein, low in fats and sugars.

Because steel cut oats are dense, they require a long cooking time, about thirty minutes stove stop. I don’t have that kind of time in the morning so I decided to cook them overnight in the crock pot with a simple recipe. I pulled out my ancient smaller crock pot (the one I got for free when opening up a checking account in college - that's how ancient it is) because I thought they might burn in my larger crock pot. The prospect of waking up to a hot, already cooked breakfast really appealed to me.

Here’s what I did.

I sprayed the crock with nonstick spray and added 1/4 cup of water.

Into the water went 1⁄4 tsp of salt.

Next I added 1 cup of organic steel cut oats and stirred. I let it sit for 8 hours overnight.

The result: something bland and a bit like wall paper paste.

I added agave nectar and raisins, it helped a little.

I'd love to be able to tell you this was a smashing success. See, everything in the bulk bins is awesome! But I can't. I was disappointed because I had read that steel cut oats aren’t as mushy as rolled oats and have a nuttier, stronger flavor. Maybe I used too much water. Maybe they cooked too long. I have plenty left, so I’m going to find the time to do them on the stovetop and give them a second chance.

If anyone has had any luck with steel cut oats, please share your recipe.

I made enough to feed my family of four. Price for 1 cup of steel cut oats from the bulk bin? About 60 cents. That's not disappointing.

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