Today's post is inspired by an editorial I read in the New York Times this morning. Apparently McDonalds has decided to offer a healthier breakfast item on its menu: Oatmeal. Great, right?
Not so fast.
According to the article, a serving of their oatmeal (in addition to being full of processed, difficult-to-pronounce ingredients) "contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and 10 fewer calories than a McDonalds cheeseburger or Egg McMuffin."
Damn! I'd rather have the cheeseburger. (Just kidding. Mostly...)
Anyway, I thought I'd take a page out of McDonalds' book and share one of my favorite ways to make a yummy breakfast. Except mine is nutritious, fast, convenient, and free of processed garbage: Steel cut oatmeal.
Steel cut oats are the same nutritionally as regular rolled oats, but they taste a bit heartier and chewier. I started eating them last year when I was training for triathlons. I wanted to fuel my body with something hearty and filling that would stabilize my blood sugar and also give me energy for my morning workouts. Cooking steel cut oats on the stove, however, takes forever. Or at least 30 minutes. Who has time for that in the morning?
Enter the Crockpot. It is one of my most favorite inventions ever, especially since I discovered that they aren't just for pot roast. In the evenings, before I go to bed, I put 1 part steel cut oats to 4 parts water, hit the "start" button, and voilà—I wake up to a hot, healthy breakfast that's already cooked.
Here's my official, uh, "recipe":
1 c steel cut oats
4 c water (or soymilk, if you want it creamier)
1. Put oats and water in the Crockpot
2. Put Crockpot on the 8-hour setting
3. Go to sleep
4. Wake up in the morning feeling gleeful because someone (you) made breakfast for you, and it's ready to go
5. "Garnish" oatmeal with yummies: e.g., bananas, cranberries, raisins, honey, brown sugar...you get the idea.
The quantities I listed here will make about 4 cups of cooked oatmeal. Needless to say, I don't eat this in one sitting. It stores very well in sealed container and lasts for the 3 following days it takes me to eat it. It takes just a few minutes to heat up in the morning.
And there you go.