It’s October 1st. The weather should be cooling down. The thoughts of hot apple cider, scented candles and taking out the winter bedding should be filling your mind right about now.

Unless you live near me. And you’re having hot flashes left and right. And it feels like you’re living on the surface of the sun and the only escape you get is by sticking your head into the freezer.

But back to breakfast.

Even though I’m perspiring at a moment’s notice these days, I try to not let that interfere with my morning breakfast routine. The only thing I’ve changed is that I can no longer tolerate my usual morning cup of tea. Readers, this is seriously difficult for me to forgo every morning. While I absolutely cherish a good cup of coffee, I am the type that needs that cup of tea to officially start my day off right. Out of habit, I still occasionally reach to pick up the red tea kettle & settle it back down on the burner, which I would always do to check the water level.

*sigh*

I am hopeful that once the cooler mornings arrive that I can reinstate that European side to my personality again!

I’ve shared with you my healthy-er version of egg on toast. And now, I give you the better, even tastier half of my morning.

A bowl of steel cut oats.

I know, I know – what?? Oatmeal?? THAT’s what we’ve been waiting week upon week to hear about??

IMG_3551 But oh, my friend, it’s much more than oatmeal.

See, I’m the person they put oatmeal on the breakfast menu for – because I’m almost positive nobody else eats the stuff. Nobody under the age of 60 anyways. I used to be a die-hard Cream of Wheat fan. But honestly, the mess that stuff makes in the pan has led me to look for something just as warm & yummy but with a much quicker clean up!

If you watch The Dr. Oz Show on any given day of the week, you are bound to hear the words “steel cut oats” come out of his mouth. (Just for the record, I don’t watch it for longer than a few minutes here and there and I hear about the oats a LOT). And while I’ve been hearing how fantastically healthy those little oats are, I would run into a dile- Ymma while grocery shopping with my 2 young’uns. The problem was I didn’t want to pay for a can of steel cut oats that gave me the directions as to how to prepare them. And anytime I would try to quickly read it in hopes of retaining the information was a joke.

I wanted to buy the oats in bulk form. Much much much cheaper. Problem: bulk oats do not come with instructions attached to them…

The other issue that would always perplex me when I thought about the oats was the recommended cooking time. 20-25 minutes, give or take. TWENTY MINUTES. In the morning. Just for oatmeal. What do they think, I lazily wake up in the morning, grab my paper, a cup of coffee & have time to stand at the stove while my oats are cooking? HAH! I’ve got 2 boys fed, clothed and teeth brushed in that amount of time! Well, at least fed…

And then, I found a lovely little cooking website and the world of steel cut oats exploded onto my scene.

See, I’m the type of cook who is more than willing to try something new if there’s a picture that shows the final product. If I had my way, my kitchen would include a television monitor just so I could cook while watching a cooking show. I would be addicted to the Food Network if we ever went back to DirecTV. So when I stumbled upon Cookus Interruptus and I watched this somewhat goofy guy show me how to make steel cut oats, step-by-step, my confidence level zoomed to the moon!

In summary (yes, I know, I’ve taken way too long to explain things…), there are no doubt many variations on how you can incorporate something like steel cut oats into your menu. I’ve only been cooking them this way so I say they are DELISH. But you may not be a fan of peanut butter or you may want something a little more sweet like blueberries or apricots. So I give you, with pictures, my personal recipe. Enjoy!

Ridd’s Steel Cut Oats

1/2 cup steel cut oats
2 cups of boiling water (doesn’t have to be boiling, but it does make the overall cooking time faster)
1 handful of Craisins (raisins are just as good)
1 small banana (cut into small chunks)
1-2 spoonfuls of peanut butter
brown sugar
butter

IMG_3549Add the first 4 ingredients to a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Be sure to watch for the first signs of simmering as you don’t want the oats to “bubble over” too much – it’ll foam up & make a mess of your pot & possibly your oven. (Cooking tip: if you leave a wooden spoon over the middle of your pot, whatever is cooking won’t boil over – the spoon stops it…somehow. Seriously. Try it the next time you’re boiling potatoes!

Once the mixture is bubbling, turn the heat to LOW. Allow the oats to slowly simmer for a good 20 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes.

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At around the 15-minute mark of the cooking time, add peanut butter to taste. I prefer 2 “globs” of the stuff. You add what you’re  taste buds prefer. Give it a good stir and allow to simmer another 5 minutes so the peanut butter can thin out and be yummy in every bite!

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 These are the oats at about 15 minutes…just a little bit longer to go!

 

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 – You’ll know the oats are good and ready when the simmering is more like a slow bubble bursting, as though the yummy goodness is on it’s last breath and is ready to EAT!!

(Add brown sugar and butter to taste).

This recipe makes about 2.5 cups of oats. It usually lasts me at least 2 mornings as it re-heats in about a minute’s time, making every other morning a quick and delicious breakfast experience.

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PS – This is my 100th post! I guess I should have done something more “celebratory”…so I raise my bowl of oats to you, in honor of eating healthy(er), one small change at a time!

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