A few weeks ago I did a post on steel cut oats after we did our breakfast grains day at school. I love them but that 40 minutes of cooking in the morning just takes too long. I read about a quick cooking method and decided to give it a try. You parcook the oats the night before, boiling them for 2 minutes. The next morning you stir and cook for about 10 minutes. Presto, steel cut oats without the long cooking time! I decided to up the nutrition a bit and continue the Fall flavor theme by adding cinnamon and pumpkin. The color is a little drab with the good amounts of pumpkin and cinnamon but the taste is delicious. Winter finally arrived here in Austin so it was also nice to have a warm breakfast this morning.
You might think that cinnamon is just a spice with no real value other than flavor, but that is so wrong. Cinnamon is much more than just a good taste. Cinnamon helps reduce your low density lipids (your bad cholesterol), keeps your blood sugar stable, improves headaches, and helps brain function and memory. See this article for more information.
In the other oats post I talked about the benefits of oats. The most important one is the soluable fiber. Oats in fact are one of the best sources of soluable fiber along with apples, carrots, barley, and beans, especially chickpeas. In nutrition class this week our teacher really stressed the benefits of fiber in terms of weight control, feeling full, reducing cholesterol, removing fat from the GI tract, and keeping your bowels moving as they should. All good reasons to have oats for breakfast!
Pumpkin is also a nutrition powerhouse. It is full of vitamin A, beta carotene, fiber, B vitamins, copper, calcium, and potassium. Pumpkin is especially good for your eye health. Here and here are two pages that tell you more. As I have I mentioned before, I usually don't count up why something is good for me, but try to eat real food from across the color spectrum. Pumpkin is a win in the orange column! I hope you'll give these a try…
Quick Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes, divided
Ingredients (2 servings)
- 2 cups of water
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup steel cut oats
- 1/2 cup pumpkin (canned puree, not pie filling)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- chopped nuts, fresh or dried fruit of your choice
The night before you want to eat these for breakfast:
Bring the water, salt and oats to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling cook for 2 minutes. Be careful, this can easily boil over if the heat is too high. Remove from heat, and stir in the pumpkin and cinnamon. Cover. When cool, put in the refigerator overnight.
In the morning, stir well. (It will be dark in color from the cinnamon) Cook over medium low heat for 9 - 12 minutes, until tender. If you think it is too thick, you can add a little extra water or milk as you are finishing the cooking. When tender to your taste, add maple syrup. Spoon into two bowls and top with chopped nuts and fruit of your choice. Pecans, almonds, bananas, blueberries, dried canberries. The options are endless!
Note: I save the extra serving and heat it with a little more liquid the second day. It is just as good the second go round!