Classic Creamy Steel-Cut Oats
This is one of my go-to breakfasts.
I never really became a fan of regular old-fashioned oats for breakfast. I like my breakfast to have a little bit of bite, and that's exactly why I love steel-cut oats. It has all the warm, porridge-y goodness that feels so comforting in the morning, while also providing a bite and chew that makes it feel more hearty and filling.
Dietitian's Recognition: what a lot of people don't know is the regular old-fashioned oats don't come from the grain looking that way. The oats are first stripped of the outer, fibrous layer, then ground into a fine flour and then processed to have that classic oval look with the line down the centre. Steel-cut oats, on the other hand, are closer to its true form with an extra layer of fibre than the tradition old-fashioned oats.
The added fiber and decreased processing of the steel-cut oats is what makes it superior from a health standpoint, but a lot of people still refrain from incorporating it into their daily routine because they take much longer to cook than the traditional kind. UNLESS...
Pro Tip: soaking the oats the night before (like you do with beans or peas) helps to significantly quicken the cooking process the next day. It's about 2x faster to cook if soaked the night before! See this PUL article I previously posted which outlines the many benefits of soaking your grains ahead of time.
Of course you don't have to soak, but it easily cuts the cooking time in half. It also means you add less liquid while cooking because the oats have already absorbed some water from the soaking process.
Now, my base formula for this breakfast is as follows:
1) Steel-cut oats
2) Soy milk (or other plant-based milk)
4) Cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice
5) Pure vanilla extract
6) Ground flax seeds
Those 6 ingredients are an absolute must for me.
Then I vary the add-ins each time to keep it interesting:
1) Nut butters: almond butter, peanut butter, hazelnut butter
3) Fresh or frozen or dried fruit
4) Nuts/seeds, raw or roasted
5) Plant-based yogurt
6) Dairy-free dark chocolate, on occasion as an extra special treat :)
Dietitian's Recommendation: Make sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day with this meal, because it's heavy on the fibre. I drink it with at least one, if not two cups of herbal tea or hot lemon water.
Breakfast is EASILY the most important meal of the day for me. If I start the day off full and happy, I can spend the remainder of my time focused and energized. There's nothing worse than missing breakfast or eating too little in the morning to drain you of productivity and focus. This is a super filling and satisfying breakfast that should easily keep you going strong until lunch. So here's a wonderful day - enjoy!
Speedy & Creamy Steel Cut Oats
▸ ▹ Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, nut-free
Yield: 2 servings Prep Time: 5 min Cook Time: 15 min Total Time: 20 min (excluding overnight soaking time)
2/3 cup (110g) steel-cut oats, rinsed and soaked overnight (GF oats if desired)*
2 cups (500mL) unsweetened plant-based milk**
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1 Tbsp (7g) ground flaxseeds
1 banana, fresh or frozen, diced***
1 tsp (5mL) pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp (15 mL) nut butter (I used almond butter)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) jam (I used pumpkin apple)
1 square chocolate (optional)
Rinse oats, soak in water, cover and placed in the fridge overnight.
Rinse and drain the next morning. Add the oats, plant milk, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice to a medium pot on high heat until it boils, about 5 mins. Then reduce to medium heat and simmer, stirring occasionally. Note: the soy milk can boil over if too hot - keep close, stir often, reduce heat if needed.
After 8 minutes, add the ground flaxseeds, banana, and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Note: the porridge will thicken drastically as the flaxseeds gel. The bananas will soften and incorporate into the porridge, making it creamier and naturally sweetening it.
When the oats are al dente, it’s done! Add more milk if you like it thinner, or cook for another couple minutes if you like it thicker. Add toppings and enjoy!
*Make-ahead: soaking the oats the night prior is highly recommended. If unable to soak, the cooking time may be close to double.