I love oatmeal. In fact, love might be a mild understatement: I adore oatmeal. It’s hot, it’s creamy, and it’s cheap. What’s not to love?
Up until last week my love affair with oatmeal has been limited to Quaker Instant Maple and Brown Sugar. I know I could get more frugal and healthier than that (like making my own from slow-cook oats), but I’m lazy in the morning. At least, until I get two cups of coffee in me.
All this means that the thought of making steel cut oats was out of the question. They’re tricky to make on the stove (they can easily boil over if you’re not careful) and they take a long time. Snooze.
Well, they were tricky until I found this fabulous recipe!
The Benefits of Steel Cut Oats
Steel cut oats (also called Irish Oats) don’t look like regular oats at all. Regular oats, like Quaker, have been rolled, which gives them that oatie-looking shape. Steel cut oats are just cut right off the stalk. They look like something you’d feed to a chicken.
But, don’t let the chicken-feed analogy disturb you. Steel cut oats are extremely tasty and good for you.
For instance, regular rolled oats (like Quaker) have been steamed, rolled, and steamed, and rolled again, and then toasted. All this processing takes away their natural texture, their flavor, and quite a bit of their nutritional value.
Steel cut oats are oats in their natural form. They’re high in protein, fiber, and B-vitamins. Plus, they’re an excellent source of whole grains.
The Cost of Steel-Cut Oats
So, here’s the breakdown. I bought one bag of Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats. I paid $3.20 for one bag, which contains 4.25 cups of steel cut oats. This breaks down to .75 per cup.
The Quaker Maple and Brown Sugar oatmeal I usually buy costs $3.79 per box, or .37 per packet (there are 10 packets per box). But, each packet contains only 1/2 cup of oatmeal (in addition to the 13 grams of sugar that goes along with it), so the true cost is .74 per cup.
As far as the energy cost is concerned, I used my handy dandy Kill-A-Watt energy monitor (which can be found in my Green Store if you want one!) to see how much it was costing me in kilowatts to make this oatmeal. Final total? It came to 2.05 kilowatts, or about .20 per 8 hours.
Cooking Steel Cut Oats In A Crockpot
Ok, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, right?
I found this recipe on RecipeZaar.com, and couldn’t wait to try it out.
Here’s their recipe:
- 1 cup steel cut oats (DO NOT substitute old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats)
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 tablespoons butter
- cooking spray
1. Start by spraying your crock pot with cooking spray– This was a reader tip in the comments section, and it really helped cut the clean-up time the next morning because the oatmeal didn’t stick a bit! So, don’t forget to do this.
2. Pour in the water, oats, salt, and butter
3. Cook on Low for 6-8 hrs.- The first time I made mine I did it for 8 hours with no problem. I even left it on warm for another hour after that until my husband woke up, and it still tasted great. I think you could easily get away with cooking these on low for 10 hrs., but I’m not sure if longer cooking time would impact the nutritional value.
Tasty Additions To Your Oatmeal
There’s tons of yummy things you can add to your oatmeal once it’s done.
I added brown sugar, pecans, and a splash of vanilla soymilk to mine. And, it was YUM.
You can also add:
- Dried fruit like strawberries, blueberries, bananas, raisons, dates, etc.
- Maple syrup
- Fresh apples
- Anything else that seems divine…
The great thing about steel cut oats is the texture; they’re wonderfully chewy. And, I loved waking up to hot, cooked oatmeal. It takes less than two minutes to prepare, and two minutes to wash the crockpot the next morning. Perfect!
Like this post? Great! You’re welcome to reprint anything that’s posted on TheGreenestDollar.com, as long as you link back to the original article. Please see my Republishing Policy for more information.