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Steel Cut Oats with Seared Plums

Steel Cut Oats with Seared Plums

Oatmeal is one of those dishes that I can convince myself to eat days on end because it is healthy, cheap, and always available in the pantry. Especially in the winter, when a warm breakfast is needed to start my day, oatmeal has become my de facto breakfast when I’m feeling lazy and uncreative. I think I can make it sleepwalking by now (just ask my husband!) because all it entails is a simple five-step process: wake up, stumble to the kitchen, pour oats into pot, add water, and let it simmer on the stove. Conveniently, while that is happening, I can brush my teeth, splash some water on my face, and get dressed. By the time I’m back in the kitchen, all I have to do is tip some milk in the oatmeal, sprinkle some sugar and voila! Breakfast is served.

Steel Cut Oats with Seared Plums

But that gets boring and is utterly uninspiring.  I could hear my oatmeal asking for more attention with every spoonful I ate.  I knew I needed to stop abusing the way I cook and eat oatmeal, and let it shine a little to let it know that I appreciate it.  Listen to your food (or rather, give your food some love), and your stomach will be thankful!

Steel Cut Oats with Seared Plums

This recipe is for steel cut oats, which, when cooked correctly, has a unique texture and structure, as well as a bit of a chew. Though it takes more time and attention to cook than instant oatmeal or traditional rolled oats, its nutty taste is so much more flavorful that I never want to make the lazy version of it again. To show the steel cut oats some additional love, and to give it an even deeper richer flavor, I first toasted the steel cut oats in butter before simmering it into oatmeal.  For those who are sleepyheads in the morning like me, this can all be cooked the night before and left in the fridge overnight. Just heat it up in the microwave the next morning, then top with the plums.

Steel Cut Oats with Seared Plums

The plums are easy to sear, and by coating the plums in sugar first, the browned sugar adds a tint of caramelized flavors and crisp to them. The plums introduce a touch of tang to the dish, but it pairs nicely with the sweetness from the sugar. If you want to prep as much as you can the night before, you can also cut up the plums before going to sleep. And in case you don’t have plums on hand, give the recipe a try with another stone fruit (nectarines or peaches) or even berries. [Keep Reading…]

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