Freezer Friendly Steel-Cut Oats (Vegan)
I'll be the first to admit I never liked oatmeal even though my mom always tried to get me to try it. I was definitely a picky eater as a kid (Jake would tell you I still am, oops!). However, in the past year or so, I've gotten into oatmeal because its so cheap to make and I was getting tired of the toast or yogurt with granola I'd been making for work/school. During the week, I'd often use the instant pack of oatmeal because I rarely wake up early enough to make a batch of oatmeal before I run off to school. During the weekends though, I'll use old-fashioned rolled oats and cook the oatmeal on a stove top for Jake and I. While it doesn't take a terribly long time to do this, I wanted to see if there was a way to freezer meal prep this dish other than making overnight oats.
I've been seeing a lot of people post that they make oatmeal with steel-cut oats and then freeze them for later. I thought, "gee, that's genius!" So this past weekend I decided to give it a try. I love how easy it is to customize these. I made 2x batch so that I had a lot to freeze in individual portions. Finals are right around the corner so I can't wait to have these on deck as I get ready for my exams.
I ended up making mine vegan (used coconut oil to lightly toast the steel-cut oats and coconut milk to cook them) but you can easily use butter or any type of milk that you prefer as a heads up.
Full recipe and directions below.
Step 1: Roast steel-cut oats with coconut oil
I decided to make this recipe vegan. If you don't have coconut oil, you can also use butter.
I found that roasting the steel-cut oats only adds another 2 minutes to the recipe but adds such a deep and delicious flavor.
Step 2: Add water and milk of choice. Season with cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 25-30 minutes.
The ratio ends up being 4 cups of wet ingredients to 1 cup of dry ingredients. I used coconut milk, but you can use any milk of choice. Add a dash of salt to the oatmeal and stir.
To add a bit more flavor to the oatmeal, I added a dash of vanilla extract and cinnamon. You can also add toasted shredded coconut for extra flavor if you are using a different type of milk other than coconut milk. A small dash of salt brings all the flavors together.
Once the mix comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Stir occasionally.
Step 3: Once oatmeal has thickened, take off heat and add optional toppings. Let oatmeal rest for 5 minutes before serving.
If you're making one variety of oatmeal, you can add the toppings directly into the pot and stir. Since I wanted to try different toppings, I poured the oatmeal into my Souper Cubes® trays and then added the toppings into each cube.
For my oatmeal, I made four different types:
- Apple-cinnamon oatmeal
- Blueberry-coconut oatmeal
- Cinnamon-almond-raisin oatmeal
- Coconut-almond oatmeal
Looking back, I probably should have stirred the toppings into each serving of oatmeal so that it would be even easier to pop them out and place in a freezer bag without any loose toppings. Luckily I plan to go through these quickly so its not a big deal to keep them in the trays for now.
Step 4: Freeze in Souper Cubes® trays to enjoy for later
Step 5: To warm up, place in microwave for 3-4 minutes
When you're ready to eat one, pop one in a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 3-4 minutes. I stirred it at the 2min and 3min mark. I also added a splash of coconut milk (you can also use water) to create steam in the microwave.
Freezer Friendly Steel-Cut Oats Recipe
Makes 8 individual portions (roughly 3/4 cup each)
- 2 cups of steel-cut oats
- 4 cups of water
- 2 cups, milk of choice (I used coconut milk)
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or butter
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- Optional: 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
- Toppings: apples, coconut shreds, sliced almonds, raisins, chocolate chips, fruit, brown sugar, etc.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or butter in a pot over medium heat. Once hot, add 2 cups of steel-cut oats. Stir for 1-2 minutes, until lightly toasted.
- Add 4 cups of water and 2 cups of milk. Stir. Add salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover with lid for 25 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Once oatmeal has thickened, take off heat and rest for 5 minutes.
- If you're making these for freezer meal prep, portion into Souper Cubes® trays. Add toppings to either the entire pot (if you're going to make just one flavor of oatmeal) or to individual portions of oatmeal. Cover with lid and freeze until solid.
- To heat up, place in microwave-safe bowl for 3-4 minutes. Add a splash of water of milk in the bowl to create steam. Stir after 2 minutes in the microwave. Enjoy!
Interested in other freezer meal prep friendly recipes? Be sure to check out our recipe page too!