Steel Cut Oats

You may not think of oats as being terribly decadent, but that’s just because you haven’t had them how Rebecca Katz makes them.  If you’re unfamiliar with her, Rebecca Katz is a healing chef and the author of many cookbooks.  My first introduction to her was via her book, “The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen,” which I purchased when caring for a friend’s mother.  The recipes were filled with healing ingredients, and better than that, all of them that I made tasted amazing.  I bought the cookbook years ago, and to this day, it’s still my most-used cookbook, despite the fact that I’m not cooking for anyone with cancer.  The recipes are just that good.

And, really, this fits with my philosophy about food and coaching clients around food:  my goal is never to restrict one’s diet, or tell someone they can’t have this, that, or the other thing.  (I will point out what foods in a client’s diet are likely causing problems, but that’s just informational.  In a media climate where you have conflicting studies coming out every other day telling you that butter is good, then butter is bad, it’s sometimes hard to know what to make of butter.)  So, rather than restricting certain foods, my goal is generally to help clients increase the awesome parts of their diets, which will naturally crowd out the less-awesome or totally-not-awesome parts of their diets.

(It is uncontested in the scientific research that Diet Coke is totally not awesome.  Sorry, soda drinkers.)

I digress.  Back to the oats.  This recipe is inspired by Ms. Katz’s “Best Oatmeal Ever

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups organic steel cut oats
1 tablespoon sourdough starter or 1 tablespoon lemon juice
about 3 cups water

The night before I plan to make the oats, I put them in a mason jar with the spoonful of sourdough starter and fill the jar to the top with water.

Next, mix up the raisin mixture, which you will use for multiple batches of oats and cut down on your morning prep time.  Measure the following into a pint jar:

2 cups organic raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom

Shake, shake, shake, and cap for use in the morning and on future oat-filled mornings.

In the morning, the oats will have soaked up much of the water in the jar, and the soaking process will have helped break down the tough outer coating on the grain, making the oats more digestible and nutritious.

Pour the soaked oats into a fine mesh strainer and run water over them til the water comes out clear.

Next, add the following to a saucepan:

soaked oats
1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt
3 cups water
1/3 to 1/2 cup of the raisin mixture

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover, stirring frequently, until the oats are fully cooked.  This will take anywhere from 20-40 minutes, depending on your oats.  Once most of the liquid is soaked up, turn the heat off and let the pot sit on the stove for 10 minutes.  The oats will have a nice chewy texture, but they won’t resemble the wallpaper paste that my grandmother’s oatmeal could pass for.   (She cooked rolled oats in a slow cooker… all night long!  Can you imagine?!)

Ms. Katz recommends serving the oats with chopped nuts or her blueberry compote, which is fantastic, though I prefer the simplicity of piling a serving of oats on top of half a cup of frozen organic raspberries.  The oats quickly thaw the raspberries, and the raspberries bring the oats down to a non-mouth-scalding temperature.  You can add a swirl of maple syrup, or not, depending on your tastes.

This recipe serves 3, but I make it when serving me and my toddler, and it gives us enough leftovers to not cook the next morning and just heat up the oats in a saucepan with a bit of water.  They taste just as good, if not better, reheated, and will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Also, if you mix up the cooked oats with frozen fruit and then refrigerate them, they taste pretty great cold, too.  We have used them as a meal-on-the-go many a time, and they’re pleasing to both adult and toddler tastes.

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