I have never been a fan of oatmeal. For years, I tried to force myself to develop a taste for the lauded, healthy breakfast option, with no success. My husband celebrated its speed and ease in the mornings, while I was left searching for something equally as healthy and easy.
At some point, I decided that steel cut oats might be worth a try. Significantly different in texture from the more common rolled or old fashioned oats, and championed as being even healthier, it seemed a great fit but for one problem: time. A bowl of steel cut oats, cooked on the stove top per package instructions, is a 30 minute process. That may not be a problem for some, but for me – the chronic oversleeper – it was a deal breaker.
After much research, I stumbled across 2 easy ways to make the cooking process faster and after a couple of small adjustments to flavor, I’ve found myself happily diving into my bowl of oatmeal each and every morning.
1. Slow Cooker
The first way I tried cooking my oats is in the slow cooker. I was familiar with the fact that steel cut oats could be cooked overnight in the slow cooker, but I didn’t want to batch cook, as that would still leave me reheating my oatmeal each morning (we don’t own a microwave). So, I did a little tinkering with small batch slow cooking and ended up with a perfect way to cook just one bowl of oats overnight.
First, add ingredients, per package instruction, to a size-appropriate oven-safe bowl. Place inside the crock of your slow cooker and add water surrounding your bowl up to about halfway. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours. The time can be changed pretty easily I’ve found. Cooked on high for 4-5 hours yields even better texture and overcooking hasn’t seemed possible – just be prepared to stir in some extra milk before eating.
2. Stove Top
The second way I’ve cooked my oats is on the stove top, but with an extra, overnight step. Before going to bed, I put my oats in a bowl, cover with water, and add a splash of apple cider vinegar. Soaking them overnight softens the oats and makes them cook in around 5 minutes on the stove top. It also gives you the extra benefits of breaking down some of the unwanted acids that can interfere with digestion.
In both instances, I simply top off my bowl with a bit of extra coconut milk and a pat of butter for creamy, healthy morning deliciousness. I typically serve my oats alongside a bowl of homemade InstantPot yogurt and some fruit.
Quick, easy, and healthy indeed!