My Relationship With Steel Cut Oats

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Good morning! Happy Monday!

Steel cut oats and I have a love-hate relationship. After eating and loving the steel cut oats at La Pain Quotidien, I went out and bought some to make at home. It’s been about a month since I bought the canister of steel cut oats, but I still haven’t made them. The main reason: they’re a lot of work to cook!

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The recommended preparation for steel cut oats is boiling water (or milk) in a saucepan, adding the oats, and letting them simmer for 25-30 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed and the oats are tender. In the past, I’ve made steel cut oats this way, and they usually turn out great, but I don’t always want to wait that long for my breakfast to cook. I’m all about convenience, especially when I’m starving in the morning!

I know there are other methods of cooking steel cut oats, so I tried the microwave preparation on the back of the Whole Foods 365 Organic Steel Cut Oats canister:

Mix 1/2 cup of steel cut oats with 2 cups of water in a microwave safe 8 cup bowl (the size of the bowl is important as it must be large enough to allow the oats to bubble up without spilling over). Cover and microwave at full power for 5 minutes. Stir and finish cooking for another 5 minutes (as microwaves vary in size and power, cooking times may need to be adjusted).

It sounded easy enough and only required 10 minutes of my time, so I gave it a try this morning. I had a large Pyrex bowl with a lid that I thought would be perfect for cooking steel cut oats, so I added them and popped the whole thing in the microwave for 5 minutes.

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GAH! Explosion! Apparently, my bowl wasn’t big enough.

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I cleaned up the mess, added some canned pumpkin, and microwaved the oats for another 5 minutes. I didn’t think it would bubble over again since so much of the liquid was absorbed/lost in the explosion, so I didn’t try a bigger bowl. Unfortunately, the oats exploded again, but they turned out really well (tender and chewy), so I guess the mess was worth it in the end.

There are also soaking overnight and crockpot methods, so I’m going to attempt those next””unless I can find a bigger bowl to cook my steel cut oats in the microwave. The microwave method did seem really easy. I guess I just need to get it right.


My breakfast this morning was steel cut oats with pumpkin, chia seeds, and a big scoop of peanut butter. I also had a glass of iced coffee with eggnog.

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Mmmmm! So good. They’re a lot of work, but steel cut oats are so delicious. I love how chewy and tender they get.

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Last night’s dinner was courtesy of the Whole Foods salad and hot bars. Mal and I needed to go grocery shopping for the week, so Whole Foods made perfect sense. Two birds, one stone.

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Plus, after feeling crappy all day, I wanted something healthy and delicious for dinner.

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Just what I wanted!

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While shopping at Whole Foods, Mal and I stumbled upon some White Chocolate & Peppermint Pretzel Crisps. Holy yum.

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We only planned to eat a few of them to satisfy our sweet tooth.

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Pug creeper.

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But we ended up finishing the bag! Holy crap, they are awesome.

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Weekly Workouts

Mal and I are heading out to Oregon on Thursday afternoon, so my workouts are frontloaded this week.

  • Sunday: Off
  • Monday: 4 miles + Crossfit (!!!)
  • Tuesday: 2-mile walk + CrossFit
  • Wednesday: 3 miles + 15 min. elliptical
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: Off
  • Saturday: Off

Question of the Day

What food(s) do you have a love-hate relationship with?

Along with steel cut oats, I’d also add granola to my love-hate list”” for a different reason, of course. I love it becaus it’s delicious, but I hate it because I eat it ALL when it’s around!

P.S. Here’s an adorable pic for the pug lovers!



  1. You need to rice-cooker that bitch! I love steel cut oats but they are so much easier in the cooker. Most slow cookers are so big you have to make a ton – not so with RCs!

  2. So funny…I had the same breakfast-steel cut oats, pumpkin, and chia seeds. The messy microwave stresses me out, so I stick with the pan. Try grinding them first…they cook much faster!

    I love/hate Kale Chips
    First time I made them they were undercooked, the second time they were fried. Made them this week and they actually turned out. Love the taste though!

  3. Try the crock-pot method for steel cut oats, you will love it! Steel cut oats all warm and ready for you in the morning is awesome!

  4. I love following your blog! You have the cutest little pug too!

    I used to have the same problem with steel cut oats! I found that cooking a large portion ahead of time and sticking in the refrigerator and microwaving with some milk for about 2 mins in the AM works great! and McCann’s instant steel cut oats are stove-top ready in less than 10mins and they are delish!!

    Best of luck with all of your endeavors!! I look forward to great holiday posts =)

  5. I’m too lazy to read the comments and see if someone else already told you this, but I have been making perfect lazy steel cut oats in my Little Dipper Crock Pot! I use the Whole Foods brand that you have, 1/4 c oats to 1 1/4 c water (the 1 1/2 cups they call for is too much!) and let them cook for 4 hrs or so. You can let them go overnight, but I prefer them cooked less (that way they still have some texture). In the early evening, I throw in the oats & water, let it cook for 3 or 4 hours, and put it in a container to grab in the morning. Works perfectly without a half hour spent watching the stove!

  6. I work @ Whole Foods, so I knew what pretzels you were talking about before I saw the picture!! Those pretzels ARE yummy!!! 🙂

  7. I can tell you right now, I’d definitely be having a serious love-love relationship with those Pretzel Crisps. Chocolate-covered pretzels are one of my favorite desserts….add Christmasy peppermint to that? Ahhhh I must try them.

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  9. Make a large batch of the steel cut oats on the stove one day and then divide them into individual glass containers. In the morning, add some liquid (Almond milk, milk, coconut milk, water, whatever you want) and microwave them to warm them up. So easy!

  10. If you love steel cut oats but are frustrated with the cooking time, etc you have to go to Holly has created an amazing combination of ingredients that produces an oatmeal that is far better and more nutritious than steel cut oats. You can even create your own flavor – and she has a gluten-free oatmeal for those who follow that diet.

  11. Love the pug creeper picture! I have many food pictures with whiskers and noses from my one cat. She is always drooling!
    And I agree about the oats, its too hard to cook and I always overflow it in the microwave. I find that its easy to make 4 servings on Sunday and throw it in the fridge in 4 containers. I cook it until there is no liquid so I can “cut” it into 4 equal servings. Haha. Then I just add milk when I’m ready to eat. It is delicious! Just have to remember to make it ahead of time…

  12. I make oatmeal often, and about two months ago I switched to steel cut oats. I like the grainier texture and the nuttier taste especially when I mix in a bit of ground flax seed. My trick is to cook them the night before in a large batch. I seperate the batch into smaller containers and in the morning I add a bit of milk, plop in the microwave for 1-2 minutes to warm up and it’s done! Best breakfast on the go.

  13. if you just want one serving, do like TheEdiblePerspective and cook 6 TB of steel cuts, 1 c. milk of choice, 3/4 c. water on stove. Bring to boil, stir, reduce to simmer an cook for just 12-18 min. Way shorter.

      1. @Roxanne: I use the bulk steel cuts from whole foods, follow the directions I described and after 17-18 min they’re ready. Steel-cut will always be a little chewy, but shouldn’t be hard. You can also always grind them in a coffee grinder which will make them creamier.

  14. I accidentally discovered a no-mess way to microwave steel cut oats. Obviously, there is a logical thermodynamic explanation as to why this works, but I haven’t a clue. However, I do know empirically that it does.

    1. Place 1/2 cup of steel cut oats in a 4″deep, 7″ square Corning Ware
    casserole dish.
    2. Add 2 cups water (I also add two tablespoons of almond slices and
    pecan meal). Cover with glass lid.
    3. Place 4″ dish inside 2″ deep, 9″ square Corning Ware casserole dish,
    and place in microwave oven on high setting.
    4. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, then stir.
    5. Place back in microwave for 5 minutes, remove, stir and serve.
    6. Yum yum! No overflow at all, no mess, perfect each time.

  15. I had a similar problem with my oatmeal and found out that if you change the power setting on your microwave your oatmeal won’t explode. Try cooking it for the first 5 minutes at high power so that water gets hot and to a boil and then readjust the power to low (mines is around 2 or 3 out of a scale of 10), stir the oatmeal, and heat for another 5 minutes so that the water and oats just simmer. Hope that works out for you! Steel cut oatmeal is the best!

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