Steel cut oats became my new favourite breakfast item about six months ago. I started working at Bridgehead as a barista — it’s a local, Ottawa coffee chain that focuses on fair-trade and organic products — and they served steel cut oats. They were creamy, warm and topped with fruit compote or maple syrup. The best thing about them was they were pre-made, which sounds like a bad thing but with steel cut oats it isn’t. They keep well and take awhile to prepare. So it’s better to cook in bulk. At work, we stored them in trays like a cake. When someone ordered them we simply lifted a slice out of the tray, heated it and put on their desired toppings.
Sadly, I had to leave Bridgehead not long after starting there. I wanted to pursue theatre opportunities in Toronto. No more steel cut oats for breakfast. Then, I had an epiphany. Why don’t I make the stupid oats myself? Of course, easier said then done. It’s not like cooking normal oatmeal. You have to be patient. They take longer to cook because they aren’t flat like rolled oats. That’s part of their charm though. It makes for a beautiful texture.
I would love to say that I figured it out on my own but that would be a huge lie. I consulted one of my go-to blogs Cookie and Kate for some much needed advice. Her method for cooking the oats is seriously fool-proof. My only note is that I added about a 1/4 to 1/2 cup more water and simmered for about five minutes longer than the recommended time. This may or may not have been the result of having the heat a touch too high.
As for the toppings add whatever you like. I decided to go with fresh, crushed blackberries in the bottom of these adorable jars I found floating around my cupboards. They’re the perfect portion size since these oats are amazingly filling. Now, I have breakfast stashed away for the next two days.
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