I love oatmeal. I really, really love it. My kids love oatmeal. The Mister even likes him some oatmeal, when the conditions are just about right. But I have to admit, I did not always have these feelings. It used to be that I only knew about rolled oats. In fact, I thought oats came two ways: Rolled and Quick.
But then I was enlightened. And now, if you are not already enlightened, I will share with you the golden nuggets which are Steel-Cut Oat Groats. Oats come this way, mostly, in nature. Groats are what comes off the plant; chopped up groats are Steel-Cut, chopped up, steamed, and flattened are called Rolled; chopped up, steamed, flattened, and chopped up again are Quick.
I am of the whole foods school of thought, that we should eat our foods as close as possible to the way they occur in nature, so based on that opinion, I chose the groats. And after eating them, just one nutty, al dente mouthful, my whole perspective changed.
Here are two equally-great recipes for the best oatmeal you will ever eat.
Put 2 cups steel-cut oats in a 4-quart slow cooker. Add 4 1/2 cups milk, 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt, and at least 2 Tablespoons butter. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Steel-Cut Oats on the stove
In a saucepan, bring 4 cups of water or milk to a boil. Be careful not to obliterate the milk in your attempts to boil it. When boiling, add 2 cups of steel-cut oats, 2 T. butter, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Boil for 5 minutes, uncovered. Remove from heat, cover saucepan, and let steam for 5-10 minutes.
Suggestions of the experienced:
Get one of those handy-dandy Christmas light timers so that you can go to bed like a responsible person, and your slow-cooker will turn on all by itself at midnight.
Top your fabulous groaties with toasted chopped nuts (I like walnuts or pecans), yogurt, dried fruit, maple syrup, cream or milk, brown sugar, or any combination of those ingredients. Some people (I don’t know who they are, but I’ve heard of them) like to eat their oatmeal with salt, pepper and cheese, like grits. Again, I don’t know who those people actually are.