Eating a small bowl of oatmeal daily might be a key for a longer life, a new study by Harvard University researchers has found.
The findings, published this week in the JAMA Internal Medicine, indicate that those who ate whole grains daily cut their risk of premature death by 9 percent compared with those who barely ate whole grains.
Oatmeal for breakfast is a good way to get those whole grains into your diet.
But before you reach for the can of rolled oats, give steel-cut oats a try.
Unlike rolled oats where whole grains of oats are steamed, pressed between rollers and dried, steel-cut oats are whole oat groats cut into pieces.
When cooked, they retain much of their shape and have a nuttier taste and a chewy texture.
You can find cheap steel-cut oats in many grocery story bulk bins.
The drawback is that steel-cut oats take longer to cook.
My girlfriend and I experimented with cooking steel cut oats in the crock pot overnight.
We tried several recipes we found on The Yummy Life website, including Overnight, Slow Cooker, Cherry Almond Steel-Cut Oatmeal; Overnight, Slow Cooker, Apple Cinnamon Steel-Cut Oatmeal; Overnight, Slow Cooker, Banana & Coconut Milk Steel-Cut Oatmeal and Overnight, Slow Cooker, Pumpkin Pie Steel-Cut Oatmeal.
While they were all good recipes, we had problems with the oatmeal sticking to the crock pot. We thought too much oatmeal was wasted.
Instead, my girlfriend came up with the idea to make plain steel-cut oatmeal ahead of time, storing it in single-serving containers in the refrigerator.
In the mornings, it takes about 11/2 to 2 minutes to reheat in the microwave.
We then add our own toppings to give it extra flavor — cinnamon for her and cinnamon and honey for me.
Here’s the quick recipe we follow.
Easy Steel-Cut Oatmeal
Makes 4 servings
3 cups water
1 cup steel-cut oats
4 single-serving containers
Bring the water to boil. Add the oats and turn down the heat to low. Stirring occasionally, let oats simmer until porridge reaches desired chewiness and thickness, 20 to 30 minutes.
Separate the oatmeal into four equal servings and refrigerate.
In the morning, we reheat the oatmeal in the microwave for about 11/2 to 2 minutes.
Some topping ideas that go well in the oatmeal include cinnamon and raisins, maple syrup and brown sugar, dried cherries and almonds and even jelly for a fruit swirl.
Note: You can use up to a total of 4 cups of water if you want to make the oatmeal silkier.
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