This is my new favorite breakfast. I’ve been experimenting with steel-cut oats for about a year now. I like the texture better than traditional oatmeal, but I found them difficult to cook without making a mess because they always boil over. Plus, once they were made, I was adding so much sugar to them that I might as well have just had some ice cream for breakfast and skipped the mess.
Today I can officially announce that both those problems have been solved. I got the idea here to cook the oats with milk instead of some of the water and to add vanilla. Vanilla adds a rich flavor so you don’t need as much sugar and, combined with the creaminess of the milk, and a handful of cinnamon, you have a delicious, nutritious breakfast.
And while we’re talking about nutritious, did you know that cinnamon works as an anti-inflammatory, can cure your upset stomach, helps preserve food, can help you stop smoking, prevents fungus, makes your breath smell better, and can even make you smarter? Google it, the list goes on, but really, I just think it tastes good. I almost always increase the measurements because I like it so much, and it’s good for you so why not?
I also love the flavor of heated milk and vanilla together. I went through a phase this winter where I ate toast and warm vanilla milk for breakfast every day. I was (re)reading Harry Potter at the time and they kept talking about toast. It made me hungry. . .
Anyway, I had a solution to the excess sugar problem. As for the mess, I finally figured out how to avoid the boil overs by adding the water in increments. That might be the most exciting part. No more scrubbing the stove top with baking soda!
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- 3-4 cups water
- salt for water
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1-2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- sliced strawberries
Bring 2 cups water and salt to a boil in a large pan. Add the oats and stir. Simmer, stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes. Add more water in small increments as needed to keep the oats from boiling dry. You want to add just a bit at a time so the oats keep simmering. I ended up using almost 4 cups total.
When the oats are getting close to the right consistency (taste often), add 1 cup of milk to the pan. Cook the oats on low heat for another 10 minutes or so until they reach the desired thickness.
Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar. Top with fresh strawberries, and enjoy.
Of course, you could be like Andy and add a whole bunch of sugar to them anyway:
Specifically, he added brown sugar, maple syrup, and raisins. His were good too.
And yes, that is his papa bear bowl.