I’m apparently very late to be jumping on the steel-cut oat bandwagon.  Previously I operated under the assumption that all oatmeal for breakfast was tasteless and chewy.  Then I found a few variations that I liked by topping them with deliciousness.  Several readers recommended that I try steel cut oats, but my main problem was that I could never find them in my grocery store.  Finally, after over a year of keeping my eyes peeled, I found some.  As it turns out, they keep them in a different spot than all the rest of the oatmeal, but I still think it may be a fairly new item.  Either way, they have completely changed my perspective on oatmeal.  The flavor is nuttier, the texture is smooth and just a little bit chewy.  I’m sure I can’t do them justice with a description, you’ll have to try them for yourself.

I used to view oats as one of the very last things I would choose to eat for breakfast, but now I actually find myself craving them!  It’s only a shame that they take 30 minutes to cook, otherwise I might eat them daily.  At least for now I’ve found a weekend breakfast that I look forward to and is also nourishing (you know, as opposed to most waffles and pancakes).  Our whole family loves this dish and it is gobbled up in no time.  The recipe supposedly yields four servings, but I normally make a half batch and it is plenty filling for Ben, Andrew and I.  You can certainly play with different mix-ins as well.  The cookbook suggests honey and figs, cranberries and walnuts, or bananas (I add peanut butter).  This apple-raisin combo is our favorite but all are sure to be tasty.

  • Yield about 4-6 servings


3 cups water
1 cup (2% or 1%) milk
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup steel-cut oats
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 apple, peeled, cored and grated
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup maple syrup


  • 01

    Combine the water and milk in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a simmer.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add the oats and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.

  • 02

    Stir the toasted oats into the simmering liquid.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the mixture is very thick, about 20 minutes.  Stir in the salt, cinnamon, apple, raisins and maple syrup.  Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the oatmeal is creamy, about 10 minutes more.  Remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes before serving.