Oatmeal is an ancient type of cereal that is making a comeback because it is so healthy. In order to get all of the benefits of oatmeal, it is best to have it in its most natural state. Steel-cut oats (also known as Irish oats) are a good type of oats to use because nothing else is done to the oats except to remove the hull and cut the kernel. They are very similar to oat groats, which are just whole grain oats with the hull removed. Because oat groats are not cut, they take longer to cook and are a bit chewy, sometimes being used instead of rice in a main dish. Steel-cut oats cut the cooking time in half. They take longer to cook than rolled oats, but are more hearty. You can cut down the cooking time of both oat groats and steel-cut oats by soaking the oats in a pot overnight. Cook them for less time for a more chewy consistency, like rice; cook them for more time for a more porridge-like consistency.
Here is a healthy recipe for oatmeal. I got the basics from the Bob’s Red Mill package, and then added to it.
Steel-Cut Oats with Flaxseed, Pecans, and Currants
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Steel-Cut Oats, or your favorite brand
(they also make organic and gluten-free varieties, oat groats, and rolled oats)
3 cups water
1/8 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon Bob’s Red Mill Ground Flaxseed (optional)
5-10 raw unsalted pecans or walnuts, broken into chunks (optional)
5-10 dried currants (they are like small raisins, try Bob’s Red Mill or Sun-Maid, optional)
Boil and water and salt in a meduim-size pot. Reduce heat to medium and add oatmeal. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add flaxseed, pecans, and currants, cook for an additional 1-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. In order to get all of the benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids, the flaxseeds should not be cooked, but I like it better lightly toasted.
Makes 3-4 servings.