Steel Cut Irish Oats – 5 Ways. A hearty breakfast that you can customize to make your own. Almond Joy, berries and cream, maple and pecan, English spring, and sugar and spice flavors.
For the last few months, I’ve really been upping my brunch game. I like to make one big brunch-y meal on Saturday and Sunday and take the rest of the day off. (Everybody needs to fend for themselves after that – I’m off duty.) I’ve been known to make the usual suspects – pancakes, waffles, muffins, quiche, frittata. All of these things are great, but every now and again, I like to switch it up.
A lot of times we also have some sort of sports to do to on a weekend, and I want the kids to have a little more substance in their tummies before I send them off to play. Better-for-them breakfast – not empty calories. Something with whole grains, protein, and if I’m really lucky – some fruit.
As much as I love to cook my family breakfast, a pattern that I’m seeing is that I’m slaving away in the kitchen while everyone else is enjoying their hot meal. By the time I sit down to eat, everyone else is finished and wanting to go do something else. I’m sitting by myself and it feels a little lonely. I’ve been thinking about things that I can make that I can enjoy at the same time as everyone else. I got the idea for a steel cut oatmeal bar.
While the oatmeal is cooking, I can get everything else together. (The toppings are what sell this breakfast.) When it is time to eat breakfast, everyone can ladle themselves a bowl of hot oatmeal right from the stove and top it is however they like. Kids love anything interactive, so this is a winner breakfast.
I have recently discovered that I like steel cut oats. I like that it has some bite to it, and has more texture than regular oatmeal (I save that for making cookies.) It does take longer to cook, but it is worth the few extra minutes. The end result is a nutty, creamy, oatmeal that is a canvas to add anything you like to make it your own. I think that toasting the oats before you cook them takes them to a whole new level.
I shopped my fridge and pantry and came up with 5 different ways to dress up a hearty bowl of Irish steel cut oats. Even the simplest of ingredients can make something that is already good – incredible.
But first, we need to make some oatmeal.
You will need:
- McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal®
- milk or almond milk
- vanilla (I like to use vanilla bean paste)
Heat butter over medium heat.
Add the oats and stir to coat the oats in butter.
Toast gently in the pan, this takes about 5 minutes.
While the oats are toasting, pour the milk, water, sugar, and salt into a large pot. A large pot helps the oats not get mushy.
Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat while you are toasting the oats.
Stir in the oats. Bring to a slow boil, then reduce the heat to low. Partially cover the pot.
Stir occasionally to avoid the oats from getting clumpy and sticking to the pan.
Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the oats have thickened and have softened. It might be a little loose, and that’s okay, it will soak up liquid as it cools. Stir in the vanilla bean paste.
I came up with 5 simple toppings to add to the oatmeal. While the oats were cooking, I shopped my pantry and fridge. (I had roasted the rhubarb earlier in the day.)
First up – maple and pecan. Use the best quality syrup you can get your hands on. (Use the pure stuff, it is worth it.) Top with toasted pecans. Super easy.
I call this one English spring – It what I imagine the upstairs eating at Downton. Roasted rhubarb with vanilla bean, lemon curd, and a pouring of heavy cream.
Almond Joy – toasted coconut, toasted almond slices, and mini chocolate chips.
Berries and cream bowl. Freshly whipped and slightly sweetened cream, fresh raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries, and white chocolate chips.
Sugar and spice – brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, and crystallized ginger. Sweet with lots of warming spices. (Not the prettiest, but probably my favorite.)
The possibilities for topping the oatmeal are essentially endless. I feel better sending my kids off for a busy sports day with a full tummy full of good things.
I’m also a sucker for good packaging, and I don’t think that it gets better than a can of McCann’s Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal®, which also doubles as an adorable vase. (I made it waterproof by adding a mason jar of water to the inside of the can.)