My Relationship with Oatmeal
I ate oatmeal as a child. I think most children do. According to my mother, I liked it a lot.
Still, I remember getting to a point where oatmeal disgusted me. The texture, the noise it makes when you stir it, the pasty colorlessness of it... Eww.
Then, about a year ago, my diet changed... a lot. I became a vegetarian and tried to incorporate more of that magic stuff: fiber. Apparently, whole grain oats are a great way to get fiber, iron, and protein, as well as a ton of other vitamins and minerals. So... golden!
I was sure to get the plain oatmeal (no added sugar, salt or unpronounceable ingredients) and add my own fresh fruit.
But then, I learned about steel cut oats. I'd had no idea.
Most oatmeal that you see in the store is rolled oats, which means that they are just a little more processed than they are in nature. When they get rolled out, they do lose some of the fiber content, but do retain a lot of it, as well as the nutritional value.
The other differences are mainly about texture. While rolled oats get mushy in water, steel-cut oats maintain their grain-like shape (about half the size of a grain of rice) and stay firmer when cooked (which does take longer than with the rolled oats).
The extra fiber is great, but I really love the more solid texture of the steel cut oats. One of the things I really like to do is chop up a soft boiled egg to mix in or maybe some natural peanut butter and raisins. These options don't work nearly as well with the rolled oats.
So, if you've ever been put off by the texture of 'regular' oatmeal, give the steel cut a try. They're not as easy to find as the rolled oats, but I've started seeing them more and more in the large grocery stores, so maybe it'll get easier.