Steel-Cut Surprise

This has been a week of steel-cut revelations for me. Here are two new things you might not have thought of doing with steel-cut oats:

(1) Toasting steel-cut oats before cooking as per package instructions

The Kitchn blog writes about Kim Boyce, cookbook author, who toasts her steel-cut oats in butter so they get all dark and delicious before you cook them.

Toasting just keeps on surprising me. A couple of weeks ago, food-blogger Amanda Laird told me she always toasts cumin before using it in recipes.
'Oh yeah, cumin seeds? It brings out the flavour,' I responded cooly.
'No, ground cumin. I toast that too.'
Cue me falling off chair
Toasting makes basically everything better. I now toast nuts, seeds and quinoa habitually (and a bunch of spices now that Amanda told me the good news.) It makes sense that those healthy little oats would benefit from a toasty little prep.

(2) Blending cooked oats in a smoothie

Thanks to Meghan Telpner, I've been opened up to a whole new world of what a smoothie can be. 

A lot of the time now, I blend smoothie ingredients in water as opposed to sugary juice or lactosey milk. I've also started using a lot more vegetables: keeping things green so it's not a sugar-fest of berries and sweetness.

Nuts? No problem. Soak them overnight in water to soften them. Oils, avocados? Open your mind! Celery? Spinach? Broccoli? You can basically blend anything.

This morning, I tossed in a few tablespoons of steel-cut oats and couldn't believe how edible (err, drinkable) they were in smoothie form.

Sometimes if I get up at 5 or 6 AM, the idea of a robust bowl of steel-cut oats is a little daunting for my stomach, but I can handle anything in liquid form at that time.

Revelations all around! Steel-cut revelations.


  1. Funny, I was just thinking of toasting in regard to quinoa on Monday when I was reading the back of the package. (I had forgotten whether to use 1 or 2 cups of vegetable broth per cup of quinoa...)

    I agree with your blending revelations... a while back I was putting black beans in smoothies which added an interesting richness to the flavor. I certainly couldn't identify them as a separate taste...

  2. Thanks Jack! Beans sound like another filling option. When I'm consuming the liquid meal, I'm always interested in things I can add that will keep me satisfied for a good long time! That's a really good suggestion.

    If you toast your oats, let me know how it goes? I haven't had the chance to try that yet!

  3. Try this brown butter-toasted oatmeal from Simple Bites! I didn't think you could make steel cut oats any better than they already are, but then I added BUTTER and they went to a whole new level of awesome: I used peaches on mine instead of pears, but really any good fruit would be amazing. This is definitely more of a weekend breakkie then a five or six am meal.

  4. I've recently taken a liking to a wheat berry salad that I buy at Metro. Love the crunch. Wondering if, when I try to replicate that salad at home, I might trying toasting the wheat berries?

  5. Hi Christine,

    It's so funny you should mention wheat berries. I think they are on my list of new favourite foods that I haven't tried yet! ;) I keep reading about them on blogs! I think toasting would definitely be in order.

    Amanda Laird, I love it. I love it, I love it, I love it.