Once the air gets a little chill, I start wanting a hearty bowl of oatmeal for breakfast.  The only problem is, prepared the typical way, steel-cut oats take about 45 minutes to prepare.  That’s a long time to wait on a cold morning.  Fortunately, there’s a way to get hearty oatmeal quickly without resorting to instant mush.

It all started with a class on soaking grains.  You see, all grains contain phytic acid, which binds to nutrients to prevent your body from absorbing them, and enzyme inhibitors which impair digestion by preventing digestive enzymes from doing their work.  In order to neutralize the phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors you simply soak the grains over-night.  In the case of oats, since they don’t contain very much phytase (needed to neutralize phytic acid) you simply use a technique called “companion soaking” by sprinkling a little wheat flour on the oats while you soak them.  The phytase in the flour helps neutralize the phytic acid in the oats.  🙂

So, here’s what I do so we can have quick oatmeal without having to wait 45 minutes every morning.

I start by placing 1 cup of steel cut oats (or any other variety except quick oats) in a mason jar.

Pour 1 cup of hot water over the oats.

Sprinkle 1 T of wheat flour over the oats and stir.

Cover, and let sit over night.

When I’m ready to cook, I put the oats in a pan and add 1 cup of milk, a dash of Real Salt, and some cinnamon.  I could also add fruit at this time if I wanted.

I bring it to an almost boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the oats are cooked.  This only takes about 15-20 minutes from start to finish!

BUT, here’s how I make it one better.  🙂  Instead of preparing just one mason jar for the next day, I prepare 3-4 jars and place the others in the refrigerator after it’s cooled so I can pull a jar out whenever I want oatmeal!  I don’t have to think about it the night before and remember to soak my oats because they’re already soaking in the refrigerator!

Nothing beats warm, hearty oatmeal on a cold day!  Especially when it’s prepared in less than half the time!  🙂

If desired, you could  lightly brown the steel cut oats in butter before placing them in the mason jar.  This adds a bit of a nutty flavor to the oats.


This post was shared with The Healthy Home Economist.

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