Remember the days when making oatmeal was a matter of adding water to a package of flavored Instant Quaker Oatmeal sticking it in the microwave for about a minute and voilà breakfast was made?
Thinking about my childhood, I remember all the flavor choices from the box and mixing two different packages together to make unique combinations – they were all so delicious! The only problem is they really aren’t all that nutritious.
When I changed the way I viewed food and started to pay more attention to the nutritional impact they had on my body, stuff like Instant Oatmeal were among the first to go.
But oatmeal, even instant, is good for you right?
Well the answer is both yes and no. While oatmeal is one of the healthiest grains you can eat, flavored instant oatmeal contains more bad than good.
Why? Unless it’s plain, it’s loaded with junk. Junk like sugar, sodium, and artificial flavors/coloring. Even if it does taste good, how does it benefit your body? Or better yet, how does it damage your body?
Without going into all the nitty-gritty of why flavored Instant Oatmeal isn’t good for you, let me talk about an oatmeal that IS good for you!
Steel-cut oatmeal is an amazing grain! It’s hearty (both in lowering cholesterol and keeping you full) and beneficial (especially to your blood sugar and your immune system).
Unfortunately, it does take 30 minutes to make and for most people that’s not really in the “quick & easy” category like instant oatmeal. However, there is a way to make it quick & easy!!
When making steelcut oatmeal in our house, we usually make a big batch on the weekend for the week. That way we have a great breakfast that we can heat up (or eat cold) in the morning. (It’s great travel food too.) This makes it not only easy but it’s also quicker than instant when it’s pre-made!! Wahoo! This is especially helpful with a newborn in the house. 🙂
It’s also healthier, heartier, and believe it or not tastier than instant!
I thought I’d share a recipe that I made today that totally reminded me of that strawberry flavor from Quaker’s Instant Oatmeal–that I used to eat just straight out of the packet. 😉
Steel-cut oatmeal is a little tricky at first to make but once you get it down you can pretty much walk away and do other things for a half hour. (warning: before walking away for a half hour, make sure you stand near-by first round or else you might end up with an oatmeal explosion all over your stove!) There are several ways to make this, I’ll share the way I’ve found to be the least explosive! 🙂
2 cups dry steel-cut oats (I use Bob’s Redmill Gluten Free version)
4 cups water
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
3-5 drops of liquid stevia
Combine water and oats into a stainless steel pot, cover and turn heat to high. Cook for 2 minutes on high heat, turn heat to low and cook for 30 minutes.
After 30 minute, turn off heat and remove lid. Stir and add 3-5 drops of liquid stevia, then mix in the strawberries. Cover with lid and allow residual heat to soften strawberries for approx. 2 minutes.
Serve and enjoy and/or transfer to glass sealed container, refrigerate and enjoy throughout the week!
Instant Strawberry Oatmeal
- 2 cups steel-cut oats
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries (or fresh strawberries)
- 3-5 drops liquid stevia (or sweetener of choice)
- Fill a medium sized pot with 4 cups of warm water
- Add 2 cups of steel-cut oats
- Stir, cover, and heat on high for 2 minutes
- Reduce heat to lowest setting and allow to cook for 30 minutes
- Remove from heat, stir and mix in liquid stevia (add to taste of desired sweetness)
- Mix in frozen strawberries and cover for 2 minutes allowing strawberries to thaw and soften from residual heat.
- Serve hot or allow to cool before storing in fridge.
- Will keep for approximately 5 days, though it rarely lasts that long!!
P.S. Even though my day is crammed to the max with taking care of the little one, I’ve really wanted to post a recipe that’s not too complicated. I thought, “why not blog about one I make all the time?” As simple as it may seem this easy oatmeal recipe is one that has kept me alive the past 2 months with a baby! Not only is it healthy, it’s also excellent for boosting breast milk production AND it’s a quick grab out of the fridge when I’m like super-mega hungry-which is practically all the time!
p.p.s This “easy” blog post took a total of 9 hours from start to finish with baby interruptions. 😉