I’m writing this from Jackson Hole where I’ve spent an incredible few days with my husband. We’ve hiked, biked, and dined our way through the Grand Tetons. And yesterday while enjoying a lazy breakfast on the patio, sitting in the early morning sunshine and watching the horses on the property frolic, I realized something IMPORTANT I need to share with you.
It’s a mistake almost everyone I work with makes that sabotages best intentions to feel and look their best. And it has to do with breakfast.
Breakfast is a HUGE area of confusion.
Many times I’ll have someone proudly tell me they eat oatmeal for breakfast every morning. When I ask which kind, they almost always say, “The microwaveable kind in the packets.” This is often followed with descriptions of brown sugar and maple or cream-of-some kind of fruit. And an explanation that they need a fast breakfast option.
This hurts my heart because despite their best intentions, these folks are victims of mass marketing and food confusion. “Instant” or processed oats are the grain equivalent of white bread. Then add the artificial flavoring to make it brown sugar and maple and you are basically eating Wonder Bread with sugar, food coloring, and high fructose corn syrup.
If you enjoy oatmeal (and really enjoy it because I deeply believe we should actively enjoy what we eat), there is another way.
A better way, really. And it includes whole grain oats and real fruit and nuts. Don’t fret — this can be done quickly and efficiently and also tastes great. Much better than the microwaved oatmeal in packets.
The better way is steel cut oats (sometimes called Scottish or Irish oats). Steel cut oats are unrefined and have not undergone steaming or rolling. They are literally oat groats cut into smaller pieces. A whole grain approach to oats.
Because they are not previously steamed or rolled, steel cut oats have a toothsome texture and naturally nutty flavor. They keep you fuller longer and have a glow glycemic index. Once cooked, they reheat nicely (unlike quick cook oats) and retain their shape and texture.
Some are scared off because steel cut oats take longer to cook than their quick cook and instant varieties. While it is true (steel cut oats take around 25 minutes to cook), I’m going to let you in on a secret.
You can whip up steel cut oats in a large batch and enjoy them all week.
That’s right. You can make a batch once or twice a week, portion into daily servings, add your toppings of choice, and quickly reheat once you are ready to enjoy them.
And I’m going to share my recipe for steel cut oats plus the toppings I am loving right now.
Morning Glory Steel Cut Oats
For the Steel Cut Oats
1 cup steel cut oats (my favorites are these from Bob’s Red Mill)
3 cups of water
1 cup of almond milk
1/4 tsp salt
Optional: 1 Tbsp coconut oil
For the Toppings
1 green apple, cored and cut into pieces
1/4 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped
Almond milk to desired consistency
If you like sweeter breakfasts: A sprinkling of coconut sugar or pure Grade B maple syrup.
1. Combine milk and water in a pot and heat on medium to medium-high. Bring just to boil.
Optional step (but highly recommended to enhance flavor and texture): In the meantime, add 1 Tbsp coconut oil to a small pan on medium heat. Add steel cut oats and cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant.
2. Add oats to pot with milk and water and stir. Bring back to boil and reduce heat to low.
3. Cook, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
4. Add salt and stir. Cook for an additional 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
5. Divide and serve with toppings of your choice.
Consider yourself warned on the biggest breakfast myth and shown an easy way to cook up better oats.
If oats are your thing, I challenge you to make up a batch of your own steel cut oats this week. You’ll find they taste better and keep you full longer — you won’t ever go back to the instant variety! If you take the steel cut oatmeal challenge, take a photo and tag @a.better.way.wellness. I would love to see and hear all about it.
If oats aren’t for you, try my Glow Getter Smoothie.
Sending you light until next time.
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