Ounce for ounce, oats have more fat and more protein than most grains, making them perfect fodder for our keenly cold late winter. With their fat and fiber, they stick to your ribs, as people used to say. Folk wisdom has it that the Romans and the English believed that the invincibility of the Scots in battle was because of their oatmeal-heavy diet. True or not, the old ways aren’t wrong about oatmeal’s warming and filling effects. So while the cold winds howl and the temperatures hover south of 0°, here a few cozy oatmeal dishes to keep you full and cozy:
- Slow Cooker Steel-Cut Oats with Tasty Toppings
- Oatmeal Pancakes
Cooking tip: There’s oatmeal, and then there’s oatmeal. The most nutritious, and tastiest oats are whole (oat groats): these are the entire oat package, roasted, so they have a lovely flavor to them. Steel-cut oats are oat groats that have been chopped into several pieces by whirling steel blades, so they remain high in food value as well. From there, the nutritional and taste values decline: rolled oats, quick rolled oats, and instant rolled oats offer less fiber and flavor. For the recipes here, use the oats specified.
Slow-cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal
Makes enough for a week’s breakfasts.
8½ cups of water
2 cups of steel-cut oats
1¾ cups of whole milk
½ cup of brown sugar
½ teaspoon of sea salt
Put all of the ingredients in a slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 7–8 hours. Be sure that your cooker remains above 140°F. while the oatmeal is cooking. Once the oatmeal is done, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla and stir it in.
• Chopped dates, toasted hazelnuts, a dollop of plain whole yogurt, topped with a thinly sliced kumquat
• Orange zest, plain whole yogurt or mascarpone, dusting of cinnamon, and chopped dried
• Toasted walnuts*, plain whole yogurt or heavy cream, maple syrup
* The most reliable way to toast nuts is in the microwave. Put them in a glass dish and toast them, uncovered, for 2½ minutes, then taste them to see if they’re crisp enough.
This is a very old recipe from the Mother Lode country of northern California that yields the tastiest pancakes imaginable. The only catch is that you need to soak the rolled oats for at least 6 hours. Overnight soaks are just right.
Makes 4 servings.
2 cups of buttermilk
2/3 cup rolled oats
Refrigerate for at least 6 hours
Then, mix in
Add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/3 cup of whole wheat flour
1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of baking soda
½ teaspoon of sea salt
2 tablespoons of oil
Stir together until batter is as smooth as oatmeal batter can get.
Heat a griddle or large cast-iron skillet until hot. Add 2½ tablespoons of oil or clarified butter; spoon the batter onto the hot surface, and cook until each pancake’s sides are slightly frilled and the center has mostly set. Flip over and cook the second side.
Sample overnight oats made with local Whole Grain Milling oats on Sunday, Feb. 23 from 11:30am-3:00pm at both stores.