I started to put this post together about my winter morning ritual of steel-cut oats last night. This morning I was sitting down to eat a bowl full of warm oats and as usual I opened up my blog reader to catch up on the happenings of other potters. I discovered that Keith Kreeger had blogged this morning about his morning bowl of steel-cut oats. What are the odds?
At least now I know that I’m not the only one who loves waking up on a cold winter’s morning to a warm pot of steel-cut oats. Usually that would require someone else getting up early and spend an hour cooking the oats (they take much longer than rolled or quick oats). That’s just not going to happen at our house. I used to cook a big pot of oats on Sunday afternoon and then reheat it in the mornings. Still too much work. Then I discovered something great. You can cook them in a rice cooker, set the timer and wake up to a fresh warm breakfast. Here’s how I do it…
- A rice cooker. One with a timer is best. If you don’t, I think you can still set it up with a plug in timer. I haven’t actually tried this, but I think it’ll work.
- A rice cooker measuring cup. All rice cookers come with their own measuring cup. Even the $15 ones. They aren’t equivalent to a cup.
- Steel-cut oats. They’re really cheap if you buy them in bulk. Even from Whole Foods. But you can also get them at a regular grocery store.
- Cinnamon. I go through a lot of cinnamon in the winter so I buy a big thing from Costco.
- Salt & water.
The night before, pour 2 cups (the rice cooker kind) of steel-cut oats into the pot of the rice cooker.
Add cinnamon to taste. I like a lot of cinnamon. I don’t ever measure, so I can’t tell you how much. But it’s probably several tablespoons of cinnamon.
Add salt to taste. Every once in a while I will forget to add the salt and you can really tell it’s missing. Mix up the oats, salt and cinnamon well. Cinnamon is a fat soluble spice so it doesn’t mix well in just the water. If you mix it up and sort of coat the oats before adding water, it works best.
Add water up to the 5 cup mark. On my cooker, that’s as high as I can go. It gives me a thinner consistency but I usually make enough for a couple of days, and thinner is better if you’re going to reheat. You can play around with the ratio of oats to water and figure out what works for you. I imagine it’s not the same as mine, but you can use it as a starting point.
I then set it to the “porridge” setting and set the timer for the next morning. If you don’t have a porridge setting, I’m sure it’ll work on the default setting. And again, the timer is something that you could set up if it’s not built into your cooker. The key is that the oats have to soak overnight. You could also set up the cooker and let it sit overnight and then turn it on manually in the morning if you’re not going to eat it first thing after you wake up.
Our rice cooker is kind of a fancy one, but we use it almost daily between steel-cut oats and brown rice for dinner. You can also make quinoa, your own pilaf and other types of grains. To make quiona, you do the same proportions of quiona to water as you would do rice to water and press start.
In the morning you’ll wake up to a nice pot of oats that only took a couple of minutes of actual prep time! I like to add raisins, but I usually add them directly into my bowl. If you add them too early, they’ll bloat and lose flavor and texture. And if I have leftovers, I wait until the oats have cooled down before adding raisins and refrigerating the leftovers.
I have two favorite bowls that I always gravitate towards for my morning oats. They’re a bit over sized, but I like how the size and shape prevent any spillage when I carry a bowl from the kitchen to my computer where I eat my breakfast while reading through everyone’s latest blog posts. What’s your morning ritual?
Any guesses on who made these pieces? (There are 2 different makers.) If you’re the maker, it’s ok to guess yourself… oh wait, was that a hint for one of them? I’ll give people some time to guess before revealing the makers in a day or so. Start guessing!