The Cheap-Ass Gourmet: Steel-cut Oats, Smiter Style

Steel-cut oats seem to be all the rage right now: they’re tasty and nutritious and they stick to the ribs in the way that, say, Cocoa Puffs don’t.

Mornings. No.

Mornings. No.

Trouble is, they take forever to make. I don’t know about you, but if I have to wait 45 minutes before tucking into my breakfast, someone’s gonna get hurt.

An acquaintance of mine recently posted on Facebook that Trader Joe’s offers frozen “pucks” of steel-cut oats: they’re already cooked, so all you have to do is bung one of the things into the microwave and two minutes later you’ve got a nice tasty bowl of cereal.

And of course, this got Yours Truly thinking: if oatmeal can be cooked and refrigerated/frozen for later, what’s stopping ordinary shlubs like you and me from doing it ourselves and saving a few bucks?

oatmeal - 7Answer: nothing.

So I gave it a whirl, and I’m delighted to report 100% success.

Here’s what you do:


1) Obtain a tub of steel-cut oats. I use President’s Choice.

Double, double, toil and .. . oh, wait...

Double, double, toil and .. . oh, wait…

2) Cook oats according to directions.

3) Remove pot from stove and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally.

If just refrigerating:

a) Pour cooled oats into a handy Tupperware container (or storage thingamajig of your choice).

b) Refrigerate. Cut yourself a nice slice of oatmeal, as needed, and microwave in a bowl for 2 mins. Decorate with milk, brown sugar, butter, dried fruit, etc. Omnomnom.

If freezing:

Ready for deployment.

Ready for deployment.

a) You’ll need to make individual servings. Use smaller/single-serving Tupperwares (or whatever) and freeze.

b) Microwave yourself a serving, as needed (no need to thaw beforehand!), decorate and engulf (see above).

There, now. Wasn’t that easy?

Cost per serving:

1 container (approx. 6 cups) of oats: $4.99

To the microwave we go...

To the microwave we go…

So about 82 cents (1 cup) for a pot of oatmeal, which makes six or seven servings…

…and therefore about 13 – 14 cents per serving.

Unless you want to add in the cost of the water and electricity, in which case you probably should have a stiff shot of Scotch with those oats. 😉

~ Smiter out.



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