I'll be the first to admit I never liked oatmeal as a kid even though my mom always tried to get me to try it. However, as an adult that needed something filling for breakfast other than yogurt with granola or eggs and toast, I learned to appreciate oatmeal. Unfortunately, I ended up depending on the instant packets of oatmeal because I rarely woke up early enough to make a fresh batch. While still good, I try to limit any processed foods that I buy and this seemed like an easy fix. I had considered overnight oats but never got into it. My solution was to batch cook steel-cut oats and freeze them in individual portions with various toppings. This would let me have variety for my breakfasts while taking very little time to prepare in the mornings.
Why I Love Batch-Prepping Steel-Cut Oats
- Saves me so much time in the morning - especially helpful for stressful times like final exams.
- Low-cost meal. Typically, I purchase steel-cut oats in the bulk foods section for less than $1/lb
- Healthy and filling. I love adding various fruits and lately have gotten into adding a scoop of protein powder to make them even more filling.
- So many options! I love adding different toppings to each of my oats, which means I rarely get bored of eating these for breakfast.
How To Make Freezer-Friendly Steel-Cut Oats
I opted to make this recipe vegan. Though, you can easily use butter instead of coconut oil to toast the steel-cut oats and any type of milk you like instead of coconut milk. Full recipe and directions below.
First roast steel-cut oats with coconut oil over medium heat. Make sure it doesn't burn.
Roasting the steel-cut oats only adds another 2 minutes to the recipe but adds such a deep and delicious nutty flavor.
Add water and milk of choice. Season with cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 25-30 minutes.
3:1 Liquid to Steel-Cut Oats Ratio
For each cup of steel-cut oats, you want to add 3 cups of liquid. I typically split it with water and coconut milk. You can use any milk of choice or just water too.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover with lid. Simmer for 25 minutes. I stir every 8-10 minutes or so.
For Extra Flavor
There's a lot of ways to customize this to your preferences. Some options include:
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (highly recommend)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (highly recommend)
- 1/4 cup of shredded coconut
- 1 banana, sliced into pieces
- 1 scoop of protein powder
- 1 tablespoon of cacao powder
Make sure to add a 1/4 teaspoon of salt
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
I've found that if you stir in the toppings in the oatmeal a bit, it's easier to pop them out of the trays and place in a gallon-size freezer bag without the toppings falling loose.
Freeze in Souper Cubes® trays to enjoy for later
Reheating Your Steel-Cut Oats From Frozen
To warm up, place in bowl with a splash of water or milk and 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.