Okay, I love oatmeal.
I think that’s because deep down, I’m just this little 80 year old woman at heart, who prefers to eat my food mushy, soft and usually in the form of some kind of sludge–I’m talking soups, smoothies, puddings, purees and porridges. Don’t ask me why I like all my food to feel pre-chewed, because it’s gross, but I love it.
Same goes for oatmeal. The great thing about oatmeal is that it’s high in fibre, it offers protein, it is extremely versatile (you can make this savoury with an egg and cheese my friend) and it’s low on the glycemic index which is great for you and your blood sugar levels.
So what is Irish oats? Oats that enjoy a good stout? Hmm, not quite. Irish oats, or steel cut oats as they’re known in my neck of the woods, are minimally processed toasted oat groats that have been cut up to be the size of sesame seeds. While they do take a chunk of time to cook (25-30 minutes) they offer a really nice nutty flavour and crunchy texture.
Now once upon a time, people thought that steel cut, being minimally processed, were the healthiest oats in all the land. But the truth is, as long as your sticking to just plain oats–like steel cut oats, scottish oats or old-fashioned rolled oats–and away from sugar-laden instant oatmeal packets, the nutrient profile remains basically the same! So if you dislike steel-cut oats, you can stick with old-fashion rolled oats–oat groats that have been steamed and put through rollers to create flakes, and being smaller take only about ten minutes to cook. To make your oatmeal go further, I recommend adding extra protein–like milk/nut milk, nuts or nut butter, yogurt or an egg to help keep you fueled up. In fact, you can even add an egg into your oatmeal while it cooks–you can’t taste it but you’ll benefit from the added protein!
That being said, if you’ve never eaten steel-cut oats, I urge you to try them! They’re delicious, and super filling! Best of all, you can actually cook up larger batches to last you three or four days, and keep it in the fridge. Then just heat up a single portion every morning with a little bit of water and serve with almond milk and fresh fruit–a quick and easy breakfast in under 10 minutes!
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
- 1 banana, sliced and divided in half
- 1/4 cup milk of choice (I used almond milk)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
- 1 teaspoon hemp seeds (optional)
- 1 tsp nuts (optional)
- Boil water and stir in steel-cut oats. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, stir in half of the banana slices and cook until bananas start to soften (I recommending adding the banana right before serving, so if you're making a large batch to save for the week, remove 3/4 of the oatmeal, and only stir the banana into one portion of the oatmeal)
- Once cooked, transfer to a bowl. Add on almond milk, the other half of sliced banana, peanut butter, hemp seeds, drizzle of maple syrup and nuts. Enjoy!