Saturday, June 11, 2011

steel cut oats

It's a power breakfast!
Along with some fresh berries, it keeps my daughter fueled through her 3-hour gymnastics workout.  

The key to oats as energy food is the way they are cut.  "Steel cut", or "pin oats" are whole oat groats, chopped into pieces.  Converely, "rolled oats" are steamed and rolled a few times, then toasted, and end up looking like the little shavings we are accustomed to.

Steel cut oats take a a much longer time to digest than rolled oats do, because they are less processed, and therefore have thicker "walls" for digestive juices to penetrate.  They don't digest quickly and dump a lot of carb-sugars into the bloodstream at once, but rather, release their energy over a much longer time.  Steel cut oats have a much lower glycemic index because of this reason, and are a good grain for an anti-inflammatory diet.

We found steel cut oats at our local health food store.  A little bit goes a long way!  Be prepared to cook them much longer than rolled oats!  Here is the recipe we have worked out for basic steel cut oat oatmeal:

1/2 cup steel cut oats
2 1/2 cups water

Place the water and oats in a sauce pan, and gently bring to a boil.  When boil has been achieved, put a cover on the pan, and turn the heat down to a simmer.  Cook covered for about 25 minutes, stirring every few minutes or so.  The oats may still be slightly chewy at this point, but in a very enjoyable way.  Add sweetener (we use agave syrup) cinnamon, etc, and a little of your favorite white beverage (be it milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc)

makes 2 small-medium-sized bowls, or one fairly big bowl of oatmeal

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