Oats a Steel Cut Above the Rest


I’ve always been a fan of oatmeal, but it can’t be instant or even “quick”. I like it coarse and chewy, not cooked to the consistency of phlegm as it often is. I grew up eating it raw in a Swiss cereal called “Familia” that my mother made from scratch. Being the enterprising and frugal woman that she is, she copied the ingredients from a box of the prepared product and, after some playing with proportions, came up with a delicious recipe that included rolled oats, chopped dates, raisins, almonds and hazel nuts. Now my wife makes it, and I eat it with pieces of fresh apple and some plain yogurt. It’s a meal.

As I mentioned in my 20 Oct post, I have become very fond of steel-cut oats. (These are not to be confused with Scottish oats, I have since learned, which are cooked steel-cut kernels ground into meal.) They take a bit longer to prepare, but they are worth the wait. I have made them with apples and raisins, a bit of sea salt, cinnamon, cloves, about a tablespoon of butter and some maple syrup, and topped with slivered almonds. Today I tried something different. I used:

  • 1/3 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 ripe pear, washed, unpeeled and cubed
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1 TBSP (+/-) minced fresh ginger root
  • fistful of dried cranberries
  • 1 TBSP butter (this was unnecessary, but I did walk all the way across the kitchen to get it)

I resisted the urge to stir in some whipping cream we have in the fridge, which would have been tasty, I’m sure. (If you feel squeamish about eating nutritious foods and enjoy riding on gurneys, go ahead and add the cream a few minutes before the oats are done. It will taste great and should neutralize the effects of all that soluble fibre.)

I recommend putting the ginger in as soon as possible so it can flavour the oats to the fullest and get a little tender. I like ginger a lot, so you may want to use a little less. My breakfast smelled fabulous as it was cooking, and I only put a very small amount of turbinado sugar on top when I poured on the milk. You may even want to add some slivered almonds or chopped walnuts before you dig in. Enjoy!

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