Getting Healthy: Steel Cut Oats

I am seriously struggling to get my weight under control since quitting the smoking. It frustrates me enough to think about having a smoke! Just one.
I’m not able to exercise as much as I was a year ago as I’m busier with work and some other projects and hobbies. So I need to get my diet back under control after losing my good habits this last summer. Vacations have a way of wrecking a schedule and a diet.
One of the discoveries I made last year was the fact that fiber is the key to a balanced diet. Things high in fiber tend to be more nutritious and lower calorie than those things without fiber. More fiber also carries its own energy cost just in digestion and chewing it. Plus it keeps the entire digestive tract regular and in shape. Those who have tried weight watchers know higher fiber food is worth less points than things with no fiber. Some food products use “net carbs” as a selling point, with the weight of the fiber being subtracted from total carbs to establish the net carb amount. Any way you count it, fiber is a key part of any sensible diet.
Oats are one of those high fiber foods that are one of the few that has earned a designation as being “heart healthy.” This is largely due to its soluble fiber. It also contains little fat and protein. There’s good stuff in oats. But not everyone finds them very palatable. I’m one of those people who do not like oatmeal, mostly because of its mushy texture. I like some chewy, crunchiness to my oats like you find in an oatmeal cookie. But I generally dislike oatmeal or any hot cereal for that matter. That includes cream of wheat and the south’s beloved grits. However given a choice, grits win over oatmeal.
Cheerios is a major way I’ve ingested my oats, as it has some good flavor and crunch. Over the years, Cheerios (and the assorted oat cereal knock-offs) has added sugers and extra processing to the cheerios to add flavor but I still prefer the plain sort with fruit to any of the sugared varieties. Cheerios are good and good for you, but they are still a pretty highly processed version of oats. Plus when they get soggy they are total mush. YUCK.
Then I discovered steel cut oats. These have virtually no processing to them so they are huge in fiber compared to any kind of oatmeal. They might be perfect except they advertise this stuff as a hot cereal that takes 30 minutes to cook, which in today’s world of rushed schedules is not going to fly. Most people are too lazy to open a can of soup and pour it in a pan on a stove for 10 minutes let alone stir and nurse anything for 30 minutes! Thus, these things, despite their healthiness, were doomed by their pinheaded marketers. Last night I went into Kroger to buy some and they have every other type of crap there except for these! They pulled them from the shelves.
So let me help you and the steel cut oat marketers out at the same time. Steel cut oats are in fact a food that fits into today’s busy lifestyle very easily but not as a hot cereal (although I’ve heard of some people cooking them in a crockpot). I liked them as a cold cereal and all it involved was putting some in a bowl with milk the night before. The next morning, I added fruit and ate it. How complex and tough is that? It takes the same amount of time to prepare as a bowl of cereal, except you have to preplan ahead of time. The texture (very chewy) and the nutrition are well worth it!
It seems as though the best place to get them nowadays is online or if you’re close to Amish country you might be able to find them in one of their stores. At least until the pinheads in marketing figure out that there is a bright future for this product if marketed properly.
If you are a fan of hot mushy cereal, you are presently being served well by the variety of products that fill store shelves. If you like something chewy but maybe less crunchy the steel cut oats will fit the bill if you can find them. I might try this with some stone ground grits I have, too. But that’s another article entirely.
D.

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6 Responses to “Getting Healthy: Steel Cut Oats”

  1. selkie Says:

    I have been following a high fibre, low carb eating plan for years now – steel cut oats ROCK. For your Canadian readers, Loblaws carries a really excellent Steel Cut Oats in their cereal sectin (Blue Menu) and also, most bulk barns and health food stores carry them. They’re yummy.

  2. Desmond Jones Says:

    My mom used to give us steel-cut oats when I was a kid, and you are right – it’s the absolute best oatmeal on the planet.

    I’ve seen them in stores – I think Meijer’s has ’em, but if not, then Better Health or Whole Foods ought to. . .

  3. MK Says:

    Do the crock pot thing and they are available at Trader Joes….

  4. diggerjones Says:

    FWIW, I bought 10 pounds of them on Amazon and it was definitely worth it. Having said that, I have also learned to like the more garden variety oatmeal by eating it without cooking with some pecans and honey.

    It’s the whole mushy texture that I dislike. It’s like putting hot water on any other kind of cereal. If you like your cornflakes soggy, good for you! Chewy is okay, but soggy mush…no thanks.
    D.

  5. {Tee|Gruentee|Zubereitung} Says:

    I agree… green tea will give you power.. its like whole wheat bread compared to the analogy of coffee.. green tea is just the best legal stimulant booster 🙂

  6. Molly Says:

    I also love the steel cut oats. I find if I cook up a larger batch the beginning of the week then I can have them in a hurry every morning!

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