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The Fitness Doc Food Staples: Steel Cut Oats

Steel cut oats with fresh cherries and mango :)

I can’t remember exactly when I fell in LOVE with steel cut oats, but since the first time I had them, I’ve been hooked. I want to share the steel cut love with my fitfam 😊!

First things first, what are steel cut oats? How are they different from rolled oats?

All oat cereals start out as groats. Groats are hulled, toasted oat grains.

  • Steel cut oats are the least processed type of oats. The groats are simply chopped (steel cut) into chunks

  • Stone-ground oats are similar to steel cut oats, but they are ground into smaller pieces. Because they are smaller, they take less time to cook than steel cut oats

  • Old fashioned rolled oats are made by steaming the toasted groats then rolling them out to create flakes. Surprisingly they can be eaten as is, or cooked into oatmeal.

  • Quick cooking oats are simply rolled into thinner flakes.

  • Instant oats are the most processed type of oats. They are finely chopped, flattened, pre-cooked, and dehydrated with added salt and sugar. Basically, stay away from these ;)

Nutritionally speaking there is little difference between steel cut oats and traditional rolled oats. Steel cut oats are good sources of protein (6 grams per ¼ cup dry serving), fiber (4 grams per serving or 16% of your Daily Value), and iron (10% of your Daily Value). Also, due to the minimal processing of steel cut oats, they retain more fiber and protein than rolled oats, making them more filling, keeping you satiated longer.

Basic steel cut oats recipe:

  • 1 cup steel cut oats

  • 3 cups water

  • Dash of himalayan salt (optional)

  • Boil 3 cups water with optional salt, add oats.

  • Reduce heat and cover. To prevent overflowing, place a wooden spoon across the top of the pot and sit the lid on the wooden spoon. Let simmer for 15-35 minutes depending on how chewy (less time) or creamy (more time) you like your oats.

  • Get creative! Jazz up plain oats by adding a pat of butter or coconut oil, natural sweetener (dates, brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup), nut milk, fresh or dried fruits, granola, and/or nuts before eating. Creative or personalized toppings is a great way to include your entire family!

Here are my top 5 steel cut oats toppings:

  1. My basic go-to recipe: raisins and banana with nut milk and brown sugar

  2. Fresh fruit: diced mango and fresh pitted cherries

  3. Cooked fruit: pineapple and blueberries lightly sauteed in a little brown sugar

  4. Cooked fruit and vegetables: sauteed apples with cooked sweet potato and brown sugar

  5. Fresh fruit with granola and date bar: blueberries, granola, and blueberry Larabar, pineapple and pineapple coconut Larabar.

What is your favorite way to enjoy steel cut oats? Let me know in the comments!

~The Fitness Doc

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