Thursday, December 1, 2011

Steel Cut Oats with Cinnamon and Vanilla

On the weekends, I like to make steel cut oats because they are so much better for you than your typical rolled oats or instant oats.  Why are they better? Below you will find a description of each type of oats that I grabbed from The Cancer Dietitian that explains their differences:
  • Steel-cut oats are the whole oat kernel, which is cut into two or three pieces using steel discs. They are a better source of fiber than rolled oats, but take longer to cook.
  • Rolled oats have the bran mostly removed and are rolled flat to make them easier to cook. With the bran removed, they have less fiber than steel-cut oats.
  • Quick-cooking and instant oats are rolled oats that have been cut into smaller pieces and rolled thinner, thus cook quickly. They are an easy source for preparing many oatmeal dishes.
The steel cut oats have a higher nutritional value, but they take about 30 minutes to cook, which is why I only cook them on the weekends. I must admit that during the week, I eat the instant oatmeal packages. Who has the time to cook breakfast for 30 minutes before going to work?

When I saw that Jill Nussinow aka "The Veggie Queen" came out with a new e-book called The New Fast Food™: The Veggie Queen™ Pressure Cooks Whole Food Meals in Less than 30 Minutes, I knew I had to try some of the recipes. My new pressure cooker hasn't been used much!  The first recipe I tried was her steel cut oats recipe, which turned out great!  It actually tasted like bread pudding and I ended up eating some of it for dessert that same night after dinner!

Steel Cut Oats with Cinnamon and Vanilla
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1-2 tsp agave syrup
The recipe is pretty simple. Just add the water, milk, salt, oats, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick and raisins to the pressure cooker.

Bring the cooker to high pressure over high heat, then lower the heat and cook under pressure for 3 minutes. The cooking time starts once the pressure is up. Then, remove it from the heat and allow the pressure to come down naturally. During this time, the oats will continue to cook.

Then, carefully remove the lid and check to see if the oats are cooked enough. Mine were not at this point. If not, remove the pot from the heat, lock on the lid, and let them sit for another 10 minutes.  They will continue cooking during this time.

Remove the lid. Then remove the vanilla bean and cinnamon stick and set aside. Stir in the cinnamon, walnuts, and agave syrup to taste.

As I mentioned, this is a very sweet-tasting breakfast which doubles as a great dessert. Enjoy it either way!


  1. Wow, steel cut oats in three minutes?! That sounds amazing, though I admit I am nervous about using a pressure cooker! Are they hard to handle?

  2. No, not at all. Everyone is so scared of them! The new ones like the Fagor-brand are particularly safe. You just bring it up to pressure and once it reaches full pressure, you turn the heat down and let it cook. If it gets too hot, it will release steam on its own...much better than the earlier versions! I love mine!

  3. Hi Angela,

    Thank you so much for posting the recipe, photos and the comment about using the pressure cooker. You know how I feel about mine.

    Any smart vegan will have at least one pressure cooker around to cook their beans, grains and vegetables.

    I love that you can make items from breakfast through dessert in it. I'd never considered eating the oats for dessert, but why not?

    You can see what I do on my website at and on You Tube at to see me in action with my pressure cookers.

  4. Jill - I love my pressure cooker!
    Kit-Kat - it is!

  5. No need to eat oatmeal packets! You can make a big batch of steel cut oats on the weekend and eat it all week. It refrigerates really well. Just cut off or scoop out what you want, put it in the microwave for a minute or two with some vegan milk on top, and you have an almost-instant breakfast all week long. You can even freeze it (like how Trader Joe's sells frozen portions of it wrapped in plastic).

  6. Wonderful, this is my to do this weekend.

  7. Are you aware that there are quick cooking steel cut oats that take from 3 to 6 minutes to cook in the microwave? They're good and make quick work out of breakfast.

    1. I'm sure she's fully aware. I have had quick, old fashion and steel cut. I, like many others, prefer the taste and texture of steel cut. Nuking things isn't all that great or healthy either.