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Perfect Steel-cut Oats

For years, my favorite oatmeal was this one: rolled oats cooked in milk, gently sweetened and spiced. I stand by those oats. There’s a little bit of magic in them. But I think there’s room in a healthy, vibrant household for more than one really good oatmeal, as long as the two don’t directly compete for mouthshare. That’s where these steel-cut oats factor in.

Steel-cut oats, or as we like to call them here in England, pinhead oats (because of their shape — why, what were you going to say?), achieved cult status among food bloggers a couple of years ago, and with good reason. Although the only major difference between steel-cut and rolled oats is the way the grain is cut and processed, a porridge made of steel-cut oats is a completely different beast. It’s a little bit chewy, the slightest bit crunchy, and has a much more complex flavor than its rolled counterpart. Steel-cut oats stand up especially well to bold toppings like the perfectly autumnal trifecta of figs, apples, and walnuts. Try stirring in a couple of tablespoons of ground flaxseed after cooking and christening your bowl with a splash of almond milk. Vegan or no, these steel-cut oats are a solid way to start the day.

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