Organic Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats

 

On a chilly morning there is nothing better than a nice bowl of steamy hot oatmeal.  I must admit that over the years the main source was from those little Quaker Oat instant oatmeal packs.  Strawberries and Cream was my favorite, I probably went through a box a week.

Now-a-Days I focus on whole nutrition, real foods and making most everything from scratch.  So unfortunately, no more quick oats, only the steel cut kind.  So why steel cut oats?  Well the difference lies in how processed the oat is and what nutrients are left over after the processing.  Steel cut oats, also called coarse oatmeal or Irish oats are made by chopping the groats of whole oats into two or three pieces.  This is why steel cut oats take the longest to make.  Rolled oats take it a step further and roll the oats into a flat version of the groats.  Instant oats take it even further by steaming and rolling the oats.  Instant oats cook so quickly because you are not really cooking them, you as simply warming and rehydrating them.  I prefer the Steel Cut version because it is the least processed edible version of the oat.  Just remember that you cannot use these oats interchangeable in most recipes as the outcome will not be the same.

The nutritional benefits of oats are amazing and then you have the added benefits of the endless topping options.  This recipe calls for Apples & Cinnamon but you can add almonds, almond butter, bananas, berries, cacao nibs, shredded coconut, dates, honey, pure maple syrup, pecans, pumpkin seeds, raisins….I could go on forever.  The nutritional benefits are listed below for each of the ingredients.

Another reason I love this recipe is because it is kid approved, super easy and you can make it up to 3 days in advance to save some time on those busy mornings.

 

ORGANIC CINNAMON APPLE STEEL CUT OATS

Yield: 4 Servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 10 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cup almond, cashew, coconut or hemp milk unsweetened
  • 1 ½ tbs honey
  • 1 cup organic steel cut oats
  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • 1 tbs hemp seeds

Directions:

This recipe is super easy and nutritious.  All you have to do is mix all of the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  Then you place the oats in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a minimum of 10 hours.  The oats can sit refrigerated for up to 3 days.  So that is three whole days worth of breakfast ready to go.

Now when you are ready to eat your oats, simply get a serving out and eat cold, you can even add some more nut milk of your choice, like you would a bowl of cereal.  You can also warm on the stove at a low temperature for a piping hot bowl.  Just be sure to stir constantly so it doesn’t stick to the pot.

In the first few days the oats will be nice and chewy like Muesli.  The longer you leave your oats to sit, the softer they will be.  I find them to be perfect after two nights but try at different times so you can see what is best for your preference.

CHECK OUT THE NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF EACH INGREDIENT BELOW.

APPLES:

Scientific Name: Malus domestica

The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” might just turn out to be a pretty true cliché. Apple nutrition benefits include the ability to improve your digestion — thanks to being one of best high-fiber foods — lower disease-causing inflammation, improve heart health and help you better manage your weight. Plus, apples make a great, portable post- or pre-workout snack thanks to their quick-releasing natural sugars than can raise your energy.

With a diverse family of phytonutrients present in apple pulp and skin, some studies have linked the consumption of apples with a reduced risk of certain forms of cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disease, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease and even diabetes.  A medium size apple contains:

Vitamin C: 14% RDI

Potassium: 6% RDI

Vitamin K:  5% RDI

Vitamin B6:  4% RDI

Manganese: 3% RDI

 

CHIA SEEDS:

Scientific Name: Salvia hispanica

Bottom line: Chia seeds are an excellent source of many essential minerals, but a poor source of vitamins. They are high in manganese, phosphorus, copper, selenium, iron, magnesium and calcium.  The absorption of some minerals, such as iron and zinc, may be reduced because of the phytic acid content of chia seeds.

Calcium: 18% RDI

Phosphorus: 27% RDI

Manganese: 30% RDI

CINNAMON:

There are two main types of cinnamon:

  1. Scientific Name: Cinnamomum verum or Ceylon cinnamon: Also known as “true” cinnamon.
  2. Scientific Name: Cinnamomum cassia or Cassia cinnamon: This is the more common variety today, what people generally refer to as “cinnamon.”

Cinnamon is made by cutting the stems of the cinnamomum tree. The inner bark is then extracted and the woody parts removed from it.  The distinct smell and flavor of cinnamon is due to the oily part, which is very high in a compound called cinnamaldehyde.  It is this compound that is responsible for most of cinnamon’s powerful effects on health and metabolism.

A little bit of cinnamon goes a long way, and its antioxidant abilities are what makes it especially beneficial to include in your diet. As little as ½ teaspoon of cinnamon daily can have positive effects on blood sugar levels, digestion, immunity and more; however, stronger doses are also extremely beneficial for improving heart disease risk and cutting your risk of diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

Manganese: 68% RDI

Calcium: 8% RDI

Iron: 4% RDI

Vitamin K: 3% RDI

 

HEMP SEEDS:

Scientific Name:  Cannabis sativa

In it’s perfect organic natural state hemp seed is considered by many to be the safest, most digestible, balanced, natural and complete source of protein, amino acids, and essential fats found anywhere in nature.

Phosphorus: 33% RDI

Potassium: 14% RDI

Magnesium: 34% RDI

Calcium: 5% RDI

Iron: 20% RDI

Manganese: 60% RDI

Zinc: 14% RDI

Copper 15% RDI

STEEL CUT OATS:

Scientific Name: Avena sativa

Both rolled oats and steel cut oats come from the same whole cereal grain. The real difference is in how, and how much they are processed. Known in their whole form as “groats,” both have been separated from their hard outer “hull” to become oats. They still include both the germ (where the healthy, unsaturated fat lives) and the endosperm (where all of that gut happy fiber and protein lies). They’re also both high in B and E vitamins.

The nutrient composition of oats is well-balanced. They are a good source of carbs and fiber, including the powerful fiber beta-glucan.  Oats are high in the soluble fiber beta-glucan, which has numerous benefits. It helps reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels, promotes healthy gut bacteria and increases feelings of fullness.

They also contain more protein and fat than most grains.  Oats contain many powerful antioxidants, including avenanthramides. These compounds may help reduce blood pressure and provide other benefits.  Oats are loaded with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidant plant compounds. Half a cup (78 grams) of dry oats contains:

Manganese: 191% of the RDI

Phosphorus: 41% of the RDI

Magnesium: 34% of the RDI

Copper: 24% of the RDI

Iron: 20% of the RDI

Zinc: 20% of the RDI

Folate: 11% of the RDI

Vitamin B1 (thiamin): 39% of the RDI

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 10% of the RDI

Smaller amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B3 (niacin)

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