Tuesday, September 06, 2011
I am getting on the bandwagon a little late, but I am so glad I finally got around to trying the steel cut oats so many Sparkers have recommended. Definitely a change of pace from regular oatmeal! I like the nutty taste and the heartier texture. I was surprised when I opened the package to find that steel cut oats don’t look anything like the oatmeal I am used to. I think I was expecting them to look like rolled outs, just thicker. Big surprise! Steel cut oats are whole raw oats cut into smaller chunks. They look similar to bulgur wheat. The old fashioned oats that I am used to are whole oats rolled flat and then steamed slightly to make them cook faster.
Other Sparkers have mentioned how they occasionally have oatmeal for a quick lunch or dinner. I am more likely to do that using the steel cut oats than I would with regular oatmeal. The steel cut oats just seem more substantial.
There is virtually no difference in nutritional information. Both rolled oats and steel cut oats are whole grains and good choices. The only drawback with the steel cut oats is the increased cooking time. (Though SEWINGMAMACDS shared the tip that you can cut the cooking time and the oats will just be chewier – that’s not a bad tradeoff!). However, the Trader Joe’s Quick Cook Steel Cut Oats take about the same amount of time as my rolled oats, so time doesn’t have to be the deciding factor. And the Trader Joe’s product is very economical - $2.49 for the 17 servings in the package. Other brands of steel cut oats (with the longer cooking times) seem to be a bit more expensive (but definitely worth the price!)
Once I finish off my quick cooking steel cut oats, I think I will give the longer cooking type a try. Some Sparkers have shared that it is helpful to make a large batch and then divide it into individual servings that can be microwaved for a quick breakfast. I am not too sure about that, but I am willing to give it a try. You can also make it overnight in a slow cooker. I think that will be especially handy come winter. So, all in all, there are all sorts of options so that it fits into your lifestyle.
Steel cut oats are now at the top of my breakfast options list, but I haven’t crossed off the old fashioned oats. I think between these two types of oatmeal and all the possible variations, I will not be getting bored with my breakfast choices anytime soon!