Most grow up eating Pop Tarts or Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast. It isn’t until we leave home that we realize the insanity of having dessert for breakfast. Even those cereals billed as healthy, like Cheerios and Granola, tend to be less than ideal options. Immersed in the norms of our convenience food society, we have to rethink how we design breakfast.
Prior to fatherhood, I’d have a big spinach omelet every morning and had more than enough time to fit in all my other needs. When my wife and I adopted two children this past September, everything changed. It became a challenge to work out, make breakfast, and attend to the many needs of two children under two. I had to use my time better and, even more, we had to be less wasteful with our food budget. Still, I couldn’t allow these constraints to become excuses for eating less healthy.
This inspired the family to adopt steel cut oats as our staple breakfast. While I love the process of throwing these together on a Saturday morning, all that preparation is quite a burden on workdays. The sad reality is that to eat healthy without breaking the bank does require a little bit of time. I now batch that time to one easy Sunday morning. In less than 30 minutes I make a week’s worth of delicious, nutritious breakfast for the whole family and all for less than $3. A week’s worth of steel cut oats (I put in 5 cups of oats per week) is less than $1 per pound.
Shane's Steel Cut Oats Breakfast Solution
Making them is this simple:
- A large stovetop pot
- Steel cut oats (I buy them in bulk section of Sprouts for 99 cents/pound)
And that’s it! Other than, of course, the many other ingredients listed below which take this simple grain and turn it into a rockstar meal, you’ll come to crave. Other suggested ingredients include:
- Whole milk
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
- Walnuts, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, or peanut butter
- 3-4 lemons
- Fruit such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, or raisins
The exact measurements are variable to your palate and desires. It is far more art than science.
Here is what mine looks like:
- 1/4 cup of oats per serving (bear in mind a Shane-sized serving is an overflowing 1/2 cup)
- 3/4 cups of water (approximate) per serving
- 1/2 tsp of salt per serving
- Milk to texture (1/4 cup per serving if you need a starting point)
- Chia/flax as desired
- Walnuts, sunflower seeds, slivered almonds, or peanut butter, as desired
- Lemon zest to taste (this is surprisingly necessary)
- Cinnamon to taste
- Fruit to taste
To reheat each day, I fill my bowl with the desired amount of oats and I microwave for 2 and half minutes. Then I add my fruit and milk. It will be clumpy looking. Stir it all together and voila! Its as good as the day it was made.
Simple, tasty and healthy. The combination of oats and nuts makes for a very complete protein punch, especially when you add the milk. The berries add tons of flavor and essential nutrients and the bananas or raisins provide a very sweet touch. How many calories, you ask? Are you kidding? Healthy families don’t count calories. Have a bowl—they’re healthy and delicious.