The need for good self-care is more essential than ever. Life has always held challenges, but it seems like everyone I know is facing difficult circumstances or significant life changes lately. At the very least, things are uncertain and weird for people, and it’s easy to fall into habits of self-soothing that might not be optimal for one’s health.
I’ve often wished I were one of those people with no appetite when dealing with grief, but I tend to eat my feelings after the initial shock. It helps if I prepare big batches of healthy meals ahead of time to have more control over what I am consuming. Veggie-packed soups and chilis, grilled chicken, and healthy treats are great to have on hand, and, for breakfast, nothing beats a batch of steel-cut oats ready to eat with nuts and berries.
Using an Instant Pot makes it easy to cook steel-cut oats. I like to infuse them with flavor by adding whole pieces of nutmeg, cardamom pods, and cinnamon sticks. I offer some additional flavor suggestions in the recipe below. I like that there is no added texture when I use the spices in their whole form, but the pressure cooker locks their essence into the oats.
Cook up a batch at the beginning of your workweek and enjoy a quick, healthy breakfast or midday snack throughout the week.
Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
(5 – 6 servings)
1.5 cup steel-cut oats
4.5 cups water
a pinch of salt
*a piece of a whole nutmeg
about 5 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
**star anise, cloves, dried ginger root, large coconut flakes, or a vanilla bean (optional)* If you buy whole nutmeg for grating into baked goods and sauces, you might have a piece left that you can toss in. You can skip it altogether or add some ground nutmeg before serving if you don’t. ** These are some other flavors you could use in their whole form to infuse the oats. It really comes down to what you like and what you have available. A vanilla bean/cardamom combination would be delicious, but I didn’t have any vanilla beans hanging around.
Place the oats, nutmeg, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, and water in a 6 or 8-quart instant pot.
Place the lid on the Instant Pot and seal it (make sure that the silicone sealing ring is in there!). Select the Pressure Cook button and set the time for 10 minutes.
The Instant Pot will take approximately 10 minutes to reach the pressure point at which it starts to cook, then another 10 minutes of cooking time. Once the timer has ended, allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 10 minutes before turning the pressure valve vent to depressurize. The whole process could take 30 -40 minutes.
Remove the lid and carefully remove the spices. Give the oats a stir, and they are ready to be eaten. Refrigerate leftover oats for up to six days.
Top with your favorite sweetener and milk and berries, nuts, or seeds.
My favorite combo is shown below: maple syrup, coconut milk, blueberries, and chopped almonds and pecans.
God knows I need all the strength I can get right now. I bet you do too.
Be well. Thanks for stopping by.
It all begins with you. If you do not care for yourself, you will not be strong enough to take care of anything in your life. Leon Brown