Oatmeat report back

kaismomMarch 9, 2012

I made the steel cut oats in a crock pot per recipe inserted by someone. It was TERRIBLE for our family.

The dried fruit turned into stewed fruit and mush. The texture of the cooked fruit was not good at all. I will give it another try without the dried fruit.

If that does not work, I will try the steel cut oats boiled the night before, and finished in the morning. :)

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The only thing I can think is that crock pots vary greatly. I cannot imagine anyone here giving you a bad recipe. If I remember that thread correctly the thermos method sounded interesting and several people were pleased with it.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 3:19PM
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Dried fruit, when cooked for a long time becomes stewed fruit. Lots of people love stewed fruit. Obviously you don't. Try leaving the fruit out, or adding it after the steel cut oats are in your bowl.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 3:25PM
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Kaismom, that was probably me. I offered Alton Brown's recipe which had some good reviews, but will say I've never tried it myself. I've kind of quit sharing recipes, and think I should just stick to my resolve. (I realize all recipes are subjective.) I'm sorry it didn't work for you, but am glad you came back to report. I relearned something today!

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 4:41PM
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I haven't tried the crock pot method either. I like the idea of the bowl inside the crock pot method shared by Shaun. And if I remember will try that tonight and report back. I have a 25 year old crock pot so it isn't one of the new hot ones.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 4:57PM
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Do you really like oatmeal in the first place? I'll eat it only if mixed with some flour, sugar, eggs, raisins and baked, as in cookies. I made oatmeal every day when my son was young because he loved it. OTOH, now, many years later, any oatmeal not in cookie form makes me gag.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 6:33PM
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When I fix steel cut oats, I do the boil the night before method. It's very easy. You could stir in raisins etc in your hot cooked SCO and everyone can put whatever they like in their own bowl of oats.

Here is a link that might be useful: overnight steel cut oats

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 6:41PM
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Helene, that made me smile, I thought the same thing, that kaismom doesn't really LIKE oatmeal, she's just trying to find a way to make it acceptable at all, LOL.

Clare, don't stop sharing recipes, please. As you stated, taste is subjective, not objective. Since kaismom had stated that she likes oatmeal cooked until it's very soft and well done, I also thought that she would like the extremely well cooked fruit and oatmeal. Apparently not, but I'm sure others here will.

Kaismom, I'm also glad you came back here to report, because I absolutely cannot eat mushy, slimy oatmeal. So, if the oatmeal is mushy and slimy and the fruit is mushy and soft too, it wouldn't be the technique for me!

I do like baked oatmeal. I'll post a recipe here, although since your version of palatable oatmeal and mine are nowhere near the same, I don't know if it would suit you either. It's kind of like an oatmeal cookie in flavor, but softer in texture.

Helene, you might like this, I got it from an old copy of Country Woman.

Baked Oatmeal

9 Servings
Prep: 10 min.
Bake: 40 min.

3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
Additional milk

In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, milk and butter. Stir into oat mixture until blended.

Spoon into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350� for 40-45 minutes or until set. Serve warm with milk.
Yield: 9 servings.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 10:24PM
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Oh, that sounds good Annie. I love oatmeal. I just wish I knew a way to make it that doesn't leave a gluey, sticky pot or bowl. I guess that's inevitable -- right?

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 9:37AM
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I fix oat meal for 1....or oat bran...for one...in the microwave.
I use a big white antique stone ware soup bowl. Measure the oats and water, I use Old Fashioned oatmeal, add a pinch of salt and micro on high 1 minute, let it rest for a minute and then cook on half power for 3 minutes. Stir once during the rest time. It comes out perfect for me....still a bit chewy.
AND only the bowl and spoon to wash.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 10:02AM
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Hmm, I make oatmeal almost the same way but I spoon it from the big bowl into a smaller bowl to eat. Guess I should just eat from the big bowl.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 10:12AM
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I've kind of quit sharing recipes

Claire! Where would we be without your pizza recipe? (don't answer that! Shudder!)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 10:20AM
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Just because someone says a recipe "doesn't work for them" doesn't mean it is a bad recipe or they think it is bad, it's just not to their taste. I have had oatmeal cooked in a crockpot with dried fruit, at a friend's house brunch, and while I think it tasted yummy, the texture was just not to my liking. I told the host that it was delicious, and it WAS, but it just wasn't the texture I like, and I knew that texture is a key component in food and it is subjective, like Annie said. I'm sure a lot of my recipes would not be to the taste of many folks here, I use whole grains and low sugar so my stuff tends to have a rougher texture and less sweet taste. So don't get discouraged about sharing recipes, you never know who might be lurking or reading and LIKE the recipe. BF and I are at odds about new recipes about half the time--he likes it, I don't, or the other way around. Again, not the fault of the cook or the recipe, just personal taste.

I got the suggestion here on CF to try the overnight oatmeal by putting it in another smaller dish inside the crockpot, and putting water in the crockpot, so that it was more like a bain marie or double boiler kind of cooking. I haven't tried that, but I hope to soon.

I'm a big porridge fan, but I have to say that it is not an easy thing to get right, cooking-wise.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 12:17PM
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I didn't make any oatmeal last night. A migraine hit and I went to bed. Perhaps tonight.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 12:31PM
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Pam, you said, I just wish I knew a way to make it that doesn't leave a gluey, sticky pot or bowl. I guess that's inevitable -- right? No, not if you use the right container. Recently, I've found something called FoldTuk, that I'm liking very much. It takes up no room in the cabinet, and the surface is non-stick. I bought some pieces on Ebay just to try it out, and am really satisfied with it. This would work quite nicely with the baking method, and probably even the bain marie crockpot method.

Jessy, I think you're the only one who cares about my pizza recipe, but for that I Thank You!

Here is a link that might be useful: FoldTuk Bakeware

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 1:20PM
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To avoid the gluey, sticky bowl, get a dog! When you are done eating,just let Fido do a final lick through. Your dishwasher pre wash is done and it works on all plates.

This will also cut down on the number of over night guests you have to cook breakfast for. Consider it a 2 for 1 deal.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 4:11PM
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Is there a reason to soak or cook steel-cut oats or cracked grains the night before? I've cooked it in the morning, using a 3 to 1 ratio, water to cracked grain, then simmer, covered and stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes. I tried it once after forgetting to soak overnight, and it seemed about the same.

We flake our own oats into oatmeal, then microwave 1/2 cup with 1 cup water or soymilk for 2 minutes, and it seems 'perfect' to me, and is like LindaC describes. We add fruit after. We use soup bowls, too, and for comfort holding it, especially for our youngest, I sometimes transfer it to a smaller, cool bowl.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 4:24PM
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Peppi, Dylan isn't going to stop me from visiting, LOL, I just give him my bowl too!

Cooper loves Cheerios but doesn't seem to like oatmeal as well, maybe he's funny about texture too, LOL.



    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 5:14PM
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I think dogs are funny about texture. I've seen starving dogs turn down wet kibble. I couldn't believe it. Evolution, I guess, dry things are less likely to harbor bacteria and make them sick.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2012 at 5:39PM
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I have made the steel cut oats in the crockpot many times and I love it. My husband thinks I'm crazy though. So yes, to each his own. For me that method is wonderful.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 8:08AM
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As far as I can see, the only benefit to doing the over night method is that it only takes 10 minutes to cook in the morning as opposed to the usual time it takes. Other than that, they taste the same. I have tried fixing them in the microwave but cannot find a method that doesn't boil over. I use a really large microwave rice steamer but still it boils over even at 50% power.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 8:28AM
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The method I used in the original post about oatmeal - the recipe for "Overnight Oatmeal" - isn't cooked in a pan at ALL, and that's one of the chief reasons I like this method. You can enjoy the oatmeal cold (which actually wasn't bad at all, just a bit on the chewy side), warmed, or cooked by-the-bowl in the microwave to the texture desired (I like 1-minute on high, stir, cook an additional 30-seconds), so it should make everyone happy, especially the person who usually has to clean the pan ;-). I also love the coarsely-chopped almonds in this recipe (for the added protein), but they could easily be left out.

As already mentioned, overnight soaking speeds up cooking, just as chopping (steel-cut oats) and flaking whole oat groats speeds up cooking. With commercial oatmeal, the oat groat has been steamed (tempered), then flattened, which also shortens the cooking time. Quick oats have been processed the same, except the grain has been cut into 2-3 parts to help it cook even quicker. You can cook whole oat groats and make oatmeal, it just takes nearly forever.... Years ago (before the advent of Quick Oats and Instant Oatmeal), overnight soaking was included in the recipe on the oatmeal box.

Ye old traditional methods for making oatmeal included the overnight soaking method. In Scotland it was the custom to soak the whole oat groats overnight and prepare it in large batches. Then they would pour the cooked cereal into a drawer in the kitchen hutch or dresser. Squares of congealed oatmeal could then be cut out as needed and reheated by adding a little water - the original "instant" oatmeal. This process allowed the oatmeal to ferment a second time (the overnight soak was the first time it was allowed to ferment).

I make a traditional Scottish scone called "Oat Farls" and the old-fashioned oats are soaked in buttermilk overnight before making the scones. Once again, incorporating an overnight soak and lacto-fermentation.

Oats also contain higher levels of phytates than almost any other grain. The phytates are contained in the bran and can have a "cheleating or detoxifying effect". This is why during the oat bran fad, people who frequently consumed large amounts of oat bran without the benefits of soaking had mineral losses, allergies develop and often had problems with their intestinal tract. By soaking oat products, especially if you add an acid ingredient (lemon juice or vinegar) or do a lacto-fermentation by adding a small amount of whey/yogurt/kefir/buttermilk to the mixture, the enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms break down and neutralize phytic acid. The end result from this additional step is the oats cook quicker, are easier to digest, and have more available nutrition.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 9:40AM
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Thank you! I was particularly wondering if there were nutritional or digestion benefits, which you answered. I was trying to give my family the most nutrition with the freshly flaked oats or freshly cracked grains, but maybe I should rethink that...

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 12:50PM
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Grainlady - Could you expand on that last point? I dislike oatmeal but enjoy and eat a lot of oat bran. I'd hate to add additional steps to a 2-3 minute process but if you say it's healthier maybe I'll give it a shot. How should one soak oat bran?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 1:00PM
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The link below will give you some information.

Another piece of information I stuck in my "Book of Odd Knowledge" - "Oats can lead to iron deficiency by chronic consumption via the effects of phytate binding and making minerals unavailable for absorption in the intestines; this trial shows the iron binding effects of oat grains (Free PDF. The effect of phytate and other food factors on iron absorption. J Nutr. 1950 Jul;41(3):433-46.). Below are the meals each containing relative same amounts of radioactive-iron and the resultant radioactive-iron retention over time -- the best retention was the water only + iron. Next was milk only + iron. Milk has calcium which may chelate iron and make bio-unavailable."


Here is a link that might be useful: Grains and phytic acid: Soak, sprout, ferment?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 1:16PM
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I finally got around to cooking some of the steel cut oats that I bought last month. I used Bob's Red Mill brand and followed instructions on the package, except that I omitted the salt and added unsalted butter. I used 1-1/2 cups of water, 1/2 cup oats, and 1 tbsp (more or less) unsalted butter. I brought the water and butter to a boil, added the oats, and then cooked them 10 minutes on medium low heat without a lid. At that point, they were perfectly done, and I added Splenda for sweetener and a tiny bit of Vietnamese cinnamon - just a hint, as I do not like overpowering cinnamon. I was very happy with how they came out, although there was an excessive amount of water, and so I'll reduce that in the future. If I had cooked it with a lid, there would have been even more excessive water.

Now I find out that I should have soaked the oats overnight to reduce the phytic acid. I'll probably add yogurt or powdered buttermilk in the future as Grainlady recommended. However, if presoaked, I would expect them to get done in 7 minutes instead of 10. I can't imagine cooking them longer than 10 minutes.

There was no stickiness to the oats that I could tell, probably because they were a bit watery. I really liked the texture of them because they were not mushy that ordinary oatmeal is. I also think that they taste sweeter by omitting all salt.


    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 2:26PM
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Especially now that spring is coming, I like to make Bircher Muesli. Oatmeal is soaked overnight in yogurt with fruit and nuts. I like to add dried apricots and always put some nuts in. I usually make it with rolled oats, but did make it with steel cut oats once - it is pretty chewy with them. Either way it isn't slimy and has a good flavor.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bircher Muesli

    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 5:22PM
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An overnight method for steel-cut oats.... You may want to change the ratio of ingredients and make 1/2 or 1/4 of a recipe. I use the leftover oatmeal for other things when I make a large batch (such as Cooked Oatmeal Scones, refrigerate or freeze for future bowls of oatmeal, chilled in a loaf pan to use sliced and fried).

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a pan that has a tight fitting lid. Turn off the heat and add 1-cup steel-cut oats (for lacto-fermentation, add 1-2 T. of your choice yogurt, whey, buttermilk, kefir, etc.). Cover the pan and leave overnight (your choice room temperature or in the refrigerator - I've done both). The next morning cook the oatmeal on low for 9-12-minutes, stir occasionally. Add salt if you'd like.


    Bookmark   March 12, 2012 at 8:24PM
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Grainlady, thanks - I'll try that recipe. I was concerned that granola would have the same problem as unsoaked oatmeal. I'll start it this week-end.


    Bookmark   March 13, 2012 at 11:29AM
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I hope it's okay to chime in with how I prepare McCann's steel cut oats. I use a 2 to 1 (water to oats) ratio. I never cook less than 8 servings which for me is 4 cups of water and 2 cups of steel cut oats. I boil the water with a little salt, then add the oats, turn the temperature to simmer, and cook approximately 25 minutes. You can eat a portion right away if you want but I cool it, cut it into serving size portions, put each one in a small ziplock, and throw them into the freezer. Then when I want steel cut oats, I take the frozen portion out of the bag, put it in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. Fresh, hot, steel cut oats.......with minimal fuss.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 12:09AM
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alicio, that's how I make McCann's steel cut oats too, I have some Scottish oats that take 10 minutes, but the McCann's take longer.

I've never frozen them, though, so thanks for that tip. I usually make 4 servings and refrigerate three to eat some time later that week. I've kept them as long as 4 days but haven't tried to keep them longer.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 8:32AM
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