Never having prepared them before and wanting to learn a little more about their nutritional value, I did some internet searches. If you are interested in learning more, you can look here and here. To my surprise, the steel cut oats are not really any better for you than old fashioned rolled oats. The benefit is more a matter of taste preference. Those two varieties do rank a little higher than quick oats, and instant oats comes in last with a little more nutritional gap between them and the above varieties; however all varieties of oats are good for your body and so yummy.
Cooking Steel Cut Oats
The one negative about steel cut oats is that they take a long time to cook. Because of this, they were reserved for non-teaching mornings for me and I never served them to the kids on a school morning. Then I saw some suggestions for shortcuts to cooking the oats.
One of the shortcut methods was to cook them in a crockpot. There were mixed reviews about the crockpot method. They aren't supposed to cook all night, so not very convenient if you were hoping to wake up to hot oatmeal. Making a whole crockpot of oatmeal is way more than we can eat, so I would have to portion and save or figure something out with the extras. Starting out my day with a messy crockpot and the job of dividing oatmeal wasn't all that appealing. Although, I suppose I could do this method during the day some time when I am not working and portion and save for the week.
The other method I saw was boiling the oats for 3 minutes and then ladling the hot oats into individual sealed jars overnight. This seemed rather difficult and dangerous for someone as clumsy as me, but it gave me the idea for what I tried.
I didn't find this idea anywhere, although I'm sure someone else out there probably does this. It only took me a few minutes before I went to bed and the oatmeal was ready to eat when we got up making steel cut oats even quicker than traditional oatmeal.
Quick Cooking Method for Steel Cut Oats
To make 3-4 servings of oatmeal, cook 1 cup of steel cut oats in 3 cups of boiling water for 3 minutes. Let it boil the whole 3 minutes stirring if necessary to keep from sticking. Turn off the heat and cover the oats with the pan lid. Leave them sitting like this on the unlit stove until morning.
When you wake up, you will have perfectly cooked oats. All you need to do in the morning is warm each bowl for 1 minute in the microwave. This method makes them taste exactly the same as when cooked the traditional slow method.
The oatmeal did look a little odd when I first lifted the pan lid, but I saw pictures of the crockpot method, so I wasn't worried. This is how it looks before you stir it. Do you see the milky looking top? Don't worry, it really is okay.
After you stir the oatmeal, it looks perfect and tastes even better. Sorry, no in-the-bowl pictures. We ate it all up before I thought to get a picture.