Friday, January 20, 2012

Oatmeal Cubed.

Thanks to Lea,
of The Adventures of Alpha and Omega blogdom, I now know the pleasures of steel-cut Irish oatmeal. I recently wrote a post about Not Yo Mama's Oatmeal, and Lea commented about steel-cut Irish oats:
Lea said...

Have you tried Irish Oatmeal or Steel Cut oats? Oh MAN, such an improvement!!!!

I have now tried them , Lea, and there's no going back to to regular oats. Just like when I ate stone-ground grits for the first time and I knew there was no going back to Quaker grits. I will continue to use the regular oatmeal for oatmeal cookies, but for my porridge in the morning, it's McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal. There is one drawback: the price. That 24-ounce canister was over $6.00. But it's worth every penny. Let's take a look: Regular oatmeal on the right. McCann's steel-cut Irish oatmeal on the left. Oatmeal is made from the ground or rolled seeds of oat grass (Avena sativa). Oats thrive in cold climates with a short growing season, hence its prevalence in Germany, Scandinavia, Scotland, and Ireland. In these European countries, oatmeal became a basic foodstuff. However, in the United States, oats were nothing more than horse feed until Ferdinand Schumacher, a German grocer, emigrated to the United States in the mid-19th century and saw a ready market for oatmeal in the growing immigrant population. Most of the US was farmland at that time and breakfasts consisted of meats, eggs, breads, potatoes, fruits, and vegetables. Immigrants arriving in the growing urban areas had neither the means nor the resources to produce such morning meals. The climate of the American Midwest was conducive to growing oat grass and in 1854, Schumacher began grinding oats in his Akron, Ohio, store, using a hand mill. In 1856, he opened The German Mills American Oatmeal Company. Schumacher used a water wheel to generate power and rotate two large millstones, a method for grinding oats that had been used for centuries. Oats were hulled by passing them through two mill stones turning in opposite directions. The hulls and residue were sifted out of the oat grains, known as groats, and crushed under a second set of stone wheels. This produced an oatmeal that needed a 3-4 hour cooking time. Oatmeal manufacture involves harvesting, washing, steaming, and hulling. Quick-cooking oats are additionally rolled between cylinders to produce a flatter flake.
Steel cut oats are different. Steel cut oats are whole grain groats, which is the inner portion of the oat kernel. The outer husk has been removed from the oat kernel and steel discs are used to cut the oats. No steaming and rolling like conventional oats. This results in a distinct texture and nuttier flavor. Which oatmeal would you prefer if choosing just by looks?
The quick cooking oatmeal was the only type I saw at the Teeter.
I cooked the oats according to package directions, and I added in frozen blueberries, sliced strawberries, some cream, some butter, and sourwood honey.
Swirl around to semi-combine.
I don't totally combine my ingredients. I like pockets of flavors.
To this oatmeal, I added slices of apples, some raisins, brown sugar, cinnamon, and Pure Maple Syrup.
My stomach is so happy, it's singing. And I feel positively virtuous.

6 comments:

MommaSue said...

Steel cut oats are my favorite! A little apple, cinnamon, brown sugar and butter and it's almost like an apple pie for breakfast.

Lea said...

YAY! I did just see steel cut oats at our discount grocery store (Aldis, if you have them) for about FOUR DOLLARS less than the regular grocery. I haven't tried them yet, so I'll update on the quality!

Woodduck said...

Well I learned something new today! Live and learn...happy trails

Rosie Hawthorne said...

I aim to edumacate, Woodduck.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Lea, I'll be in Danville in a few weeks and they have an Aldi's. I'll check it out.

Again, thanks!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

MommaSue,

I love it when I find something new that's so good!

I'm waiting for peaches and cream steel cut oats. Maybe a little vanilla. Some almonds. Amaretto.
And whipped cream!

Sorry, I got carried away.