Oatmeal: The Superfood
Oatmeal is a “superfood.” Although superfood is a made-up marketing term and can be misleading, it is absolutely the proper term for oatmeal. Oatmeal is very filling when eaten, high in fiber (with both soluble and insoluble), rich in nutrients (including iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, thiamin, selenium, and zinc), a unique antioxidant known as avenanthramide that help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, the list goes on and on.
Oats can be purchased in several different forms: groats, steel cut, rolled, Scottish, and oat bran. Several of these varieties come in various forms also with quick cooking, 1 or 3 minutes, extra thick, and old-fashioned. It is a lot to take in when trying to decide which is the right one for you. Just check the nutrition label and compare. Be certain to pay particular attention to serving size. The various forms of oats really do have different serving sizes.
Our family’s favorite is steel cut oats. The problem is they take 10-20 minutes to cook and you have to watch them closely so that they do not scorch or overflow the pot. This can be an issue on busy mornings when you don’t have time to babysit them on the stove. After many internet searches and reading many slow cooker oatmeal recipes, we decided to give it a try.
Many of the recipes are similar. The key to remember is 4 parts liquid to 1 part steel cut oats. These numbers will change for quick-cooking steel cut oats. The liquid used is up to you – water, milk, or milk substitute – as long as it fits the 4:1 ratio. The recipe we used called for 1/2 teaspoon of salt. We thought that the slow cooking intensified the salt flavor so we are giving a range for salt in the recipe.
As with any cooking appliance, slow cookers vary. We used a 4-quart cooker that tends to cook quickly. It is recommended that the first time you try this recipe you do it when you can check on its progress. Our steel cut oats were done to our liking (creamy) in just 4 hours.
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 1/4-1/2 tsp salt
- Spray interior of slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
- Add all ingredients to slow cooker and stir.
- Cook for 4-8 hours on low or until desired texture is achieved.
- Serve with the toppings of your choice such as fruit, cinnamon, raisins, etc.
- A single cup of uncooked steel cut oats will make 4 servings each with 5 grams of fiber. If you want more protein, use 4 cuts of fair life milk in place of the water. It would add 13 grams of protein and 80 calories per serving.