I’m pretty in to oatmeal these days. Real oatmeal. Slow-cooking stove top steel cut oats. If your oatmeal life thus far is of the rolled Quaker variety, or, even worse, the instant variety (though that little green packet with dried apples and cinnamon is pretty hard to compete with) prepare to experience an entirely new breakfast food. Steel cut oats are unprocessed: unlike their rolled cousins which have been partially cooked prior to reaching your shelf, steel cut oats are a true whole grain. And they’re delicious.

When I worked in San Francisco there was a teachers’ lounge where many of us gathered for a (rushed) breakfast every morning. I usually stuck to Cheerios from a box I stored on top of the communal fridge (which, incidentally, was stocked with free (!) milk; there are a few perks to being a teacher…). There was this one teacher - we’ll call her my Arch Nemesis - who I remember bringing in frozen packages of steel cut oats. Certainly it was not her friendly rapport that turned me on to this breakfast bowl, but I do think this was the first time I’d ever heard of them.

Now I know I’ve firmly sworn myself into the granola camp in previous posts, but when we start creeping into the Cold and Dark Season, it takes something a little warmer to drag me out of bed. I’ve taken to making a batch at the beginning of the week and storing them in the fridge for an easy weekday morning breakfast. That way when I wake up and cajole myself into running around Greenlake in frosty temperatures and then keeping up enough momentum to make it to the coffee shop to write about fabulous things like galettes (and oatmeal :)) I don’t have to spend too much time to start with a warm, filling breakfast. 

While these oats are tasty enough to eat plain, maybe with just a splash of milk, I like to load mine up with toppings to stave off the breakfast monotony. Recent favorites include frozen blueberries, finely shredded coconut, and sliced almonds. 

Steel cut oatmeal

1 cup steel cut oats (these look very different from regular rolled oats)
3 cups water
1/4 tsp salt

Sliced almonds
Shredded coconut
Frozen blueberries
Sliced apples
Etc., etc., etc…

Bring 3 cups water to a boil

Add salt and oats and reduce to a simmer

Stir occasionally and cook until creamy and tender, ~20 minutes

Eat warm with your choice of toppings. Allow the rest to cool and store pre-portioned dishes in the fridge for a week's worth of breakfast.