Skip to main content

How to Cook Steel-Cut Oats (With 3 Recipes)

Sharon is a human resources professional who enjoys sharing simple recipes that make mealtime deliciously easy!

Learn how to prepare steel-cut oats

Learn how to prepare steel-cut oats

Is Oatmeal Healthy?

Oatmeal has always been considered a healthy food—but is it? There are many different types of oats, and not all are alike in terms of nutrition. Of all the types, the steel-cut variety contains the most nutrients and is the best choice for your health. Read on to find out why.

Why Are Steel Cut Oats the Most Nutritious?

Rolled, instant, and quick oats may be more convenient to prepare, but they also undergo more processing. Processing reduces the nutritional values of the oats. Steel-cut oats are the closest to their natural state, so they maintain significantly more nutrients.

Why Eat Oatmeal?

Cooking oats for breakfast is a tradition that goes back many generations. Breakfast is generally considered the most important meal of the day because it is the first meal after breaking your "fast." If we start the day with a coffee and a muffin we have only succeeded in elevating our blood sugar levels, and this is a recipe for weight gain and poor health. This habit may also lead to diseases such as diabetes.

Maintaining blood sugar levels consistently throughout the day is important in achieving a healthy body weight. A low sugar breakfast is the best way to nourish the body by providing the fuel we need to begin an active day. The body needs food that is going to satisfy our hunger and keep us feeling full until lunch or last least until a mid-morning snack. Steel-cut oats, in particular, are an excellent choice that fulfills this nutritional requirement.

Field of oats

Field of oats

Oatmeal and Nutrition

There is no question that oatmeal is a healthy food as long as you are avoiding the highly processed instant version. It has been proven to be beneficial to our health in these ways:

  1. Lowers blood sugar levels and may help protect against diabetes
  2. Protects the heart and may help protect against cardiac disease
  3. Helps to controls blood pressure and keep it within normal ranges
  4. Aids in weight loss

A diet that includes oats will contribute significantly to your cardiovascular health and prevent the development of diabetes that is so common in North America today. It is a good idea to think about adding oatmeal as a staple in your diet.

Bob's Red Mill is a well known organic brand of steel-cut oats. It is available in most stores that have a health food section, or you can order it online.

The steel-cut variety of oatmeal is the least processed and the most nutritious of the oatmeals.

The steel-cut variety of oatmeal is the least processed and the most nutritious of the oatmeals.

What Are the Different Types of Oatmeal?

  • Steel-cut oats are made when the groat is chopped up with a steel blade knife. This is only one level of processing, therefore the least processed type of oat and the most nutritious. Oatmeal is made from the "groat" or the grain of the oat which makes it a whole grain food. They are also known as Irish oats as they are commonly prepared in Ireland for use in porridge.
  • Rolled oats are steamed and rolled and flattened. That is three levels of processing. These are more common in England and thus became the more common oatmeal in North America. Prepared oatmeal is generally known as porridge in the UK.
  • Instant oats are processed even further in order to make them instant so this makes them the least nutritious as there are more than three levels of processing. These oats are a more recent addition to the market in order to accommodate our busier lifestyles.
Berries of all kinds are powerhouses of nutrition and a perfect addition to oatmeal.

Berries of all kinds are powerhouses of nutrition and a perfect addition to oatmeal.

The Taste of Oats: Just Add Berries

Steel-cut oatmeal is the most flavorful because they have undergone the least amount of change and therefore retain their natural flavor. The flavor is slightly nutty.

In spite of this nutty flavor, oatmeal can be pretty bland and unappetizing on its own—so brown sugar or syrup is often added as a topping. Adding this sugar topping changes the nutrition as it now becomes a high-glycemic food. The best way to eat steel-cut oats is with fruit if you desire sweetness.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Delishably

One of the easiest and healthiest fruits to add is blueberries. Topping the oatmeal with lots of blueberries and having a blueberry in every bite adds that sweetness that we crave and makes the oatmeal more enjoyable. If you don't care for blueberries try strawberries, raspberries or any berry for that matter. When using strawberries try cutting them up into tiny chunks so you have a little sweetness in every bite.

A healthy bowl of oatmeal

A healthy bowl of oatmeal

Quick Oats Recipe


  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup blueberries or berry of choice


  1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan
  2. Add the steel-cut oats and reduce heat to medium
  3. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until desired consistency (longer will produce a dryer oatmeal)
  4. Remove from heat, put in your favorite bowl and add as much fruit as you like!
  5. For more than one serving just double or triple the amounts. For four people the ratio is one cup oats to 4 cups water.

Let's Add Cinnamon and Almonds

Cinnamon Is a Super Food

Cinnamon is becoming known for its healthy properties. Research has shown that it is instrumental in keeping your blood sugar in check.There is some speculation that it may even lower blood sugar levels but more investigation is needed to confirm this finding.

This makes cinnamon the perfect partner for a low-glycemic breakfast. Cinnamon has many other benefits and one study demonstrates that it plays a role in preventing the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Cinnamon is a super healthy spice; if don't have any berries to add to your oatmeal, just sprinkle some cinnamon to add flavor and nutrition.

Cinnamon is a super healthy spice; if don't have any berries to add to your oatmeal, just sprinkle some cinnamon to add flavor and nutrition.

Almonds Are Super Healthy, Too!

Almonds are also a low-glycemic food that lowers that troublesome blood sugar. Although almonds are high in fat, studies have proven that those who eat them frequently are actually thinner than the average population who rarely consume nuts.

Other benefits include keeping bones and teeth healthy, protecting your arteries and supporting brain activity which is also preventative of Alzheimer's and similar to cinnamon. So put these foods together and you have an incredibly nutritious breakfast.

Cinnamon Oats With Almonds Recipe


  • Prepared oatmeal (recipe is above)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped almonds


  1. Prepare the oats as in the recipe above.
  2. At about the halfway mark of cooking, add the chopped almonds.
  3. Sprinkle with the cinnamon to taste.
  4. Mix it up well.
  5. Continue cooking for the remaining time.

It's super healthy and tastes good, too!

Are you rushed in the morning?  Make your oatmeal the night before.

Are you rushed in the morning? Make your oatmeal the night before.

Overnight Steel-Cut Oats Recipe

How would you like your breakfast all ready to go first thing in the morning? This super easy recipe for steel-cut oatmeal is perfect and serves four—great for the whole family.


  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup steel-cut oatmeal
  • Pinch of salt
  • A large saucepan


  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Add a pinch of salt to the boiling water.
  3. Add the steel-cut oats.
  4. Cook oats for 1 minute.

If the oats rise up too much in the pot, give it a stir or turn the heat down slightly. Turn the heat off when the minute is up and leave it in the pot covered overnight.

In the morning, turn on the heat to medium and give them a stir to heat through.

That's all there is to it, now add your favorite fruit, some cinnamon whatever you like!

More Oat Recipes: Online Resources

A healthy and filling breakfast starts with oats!

A healthy and filling breakfast starts with oats!

Steel-Cut Oats and You...


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Sharon Bellissimo

Related Articles