How to Cook Steel-Cut Oats + Coconut Mango Oats Recipe
A couple months ago my bloggy friend Erica from Erica’s Pantry asked about cooking fruit into oatmeal. I sort of just throw it in, but I make oatmeal about 2-3 times a week (especially in the winter) so it seems like second nature. If you’ve never made oatmeal from scratch, then hopefully this will help you out!
First I wanted to show you the difference between old-fashioned oats (on the right) and steel-cut oats (on the left). Steel cut oats aren’t flattened like old-fashioned, but cut into little pieces. Because those pieces are thicker, steel-cut oats take longer to cook — 20-25 minutes instead of 8-10. They’re worth the extra time, though. Steel-cut oats not only have a great, chewy texture, but have a lower glycemic index than old-fashioned. I’m not sure why. If you ask, I could find out.
FYI, don’t try using steel-cut oats for granola. You might break a tooth.
Steel-cut oats also need more water than old-fashioned oats. You’ll need 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of steel-cut oats. Bring the water to a boil, then add the oats. I usually throw in a pinch of salt. I’m not sure why I do that. Maybe OCD or something.
Now for the fruit. The type of fruit you use (and the longer you want it to cook) will determine when you add it to the oatmeal. I love apples in oatmeal and add them pretty soon after I add the oats to the boiling water so they can be nice and soft later. If you want them a little crisp, then add them towards the end. Berries, pears, and mangoes are also added toward the end. You get the idea?
This time we’re doing apples and mangoes. I’ve already added the apples and while the oats are simmering away, I prepped the mango. There are much cooler ways to cut a mango, but this is how I always do it. (And I saw this method use in Cooks Illustrated a few of weeks ago, which made me feel like I knew what I was doing.)
Peel the mango. Because the pit is an oval shape, slice off the two “fat” sides on either side of the little dot on the end. (Wow, we’re technical today. I think it’s getting late for me.) Then slice off the other two “skinny” sides. Chop up the large pieces and add them to the oats about 5 minutes before they’re finished cooking.
These aren’t quite finished cooking, but they’re close. There’s still some water that needs to be cooked off and absorbed.
Now is when I add my sweetener and flavorings. Sometimes I use agave. Sometimes I use honey. Sometimes I use real maple syrup. It depends on what mood I’m in. You can also add spices and extracts at this point. For this recipe I added some agave, coconut milk, fresh lime juice, and ground ginger (not pictured, sorry).
Because I added extra liquid I let it simmer for an extra 5 minutes. It’ll thicken as it cools off (and even more after it’s been in the fridge overnight).
Throw a little Oatmeal Sprinkle on top and there you have it. In case you missed that post, Oatmeal Sprinkle is a combination of all the things I like to sprinkle on oatmeal. (My creativity in naming recipes knows no bounds.) This one has sliced almonds, unsweetened coconut, and bits of candied ginger.
I added some of our favorite steel-cut oat variations at the bottom of the recipe to get you started!
Coconut Mango Steel-Cut Oats
1 cup steel-cut oats
pinch of salt
1 apple, cored and diced
1 mango, peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 tsp ground ginger (or 1 tsp freshly grated ginger)
2-3 T agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, or preferred sweetener
1/2 cup coconut milk
juice from 1/2 a lime (about 1 T)
Toppings: sliced almonds, candied ginger, flaked coconut
Bring 3 cups of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the oats and a pinch of salt. Return mixture to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and let it simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in diced apple. Simmer for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the oats are almost tender enough to eat. Stir in mango chunks, ginger, sweetener, coconut milk, and lime juice. Simmer for 5 more minutes until heated through and oats are tender. (They're chewier than old-fashioned oats, so expect a little more texture out of them.)
Serve with toppings of choice.
Makes about 3-4 adult-sized servings.
Some of our other favorite variations:
Apple-Cinnamon: 2 chopped apples (added toward the beginning of cooking) + 2 tsp cinnamon + 1 tsp vanilla
Banana Bread: 1 or 2 smashed overripe bananas (added toward the end of cooking) + 1 tsp cinnamon or ginger + 1 tsp vanilla + chopped nuts
Berries & Cream: 1 cup fresh or frozen berries (added toward the end of cooking) + 1 tsp vanilla + 3 T half-n-half, or cream
Pumpkin Pie: 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin (added toward the end of cooking) + 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Blueberry Coconut: 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (added toward the end of cooking) + 1 tsp vanilla + 1/2 cup flaked coconut
Pear Ginger: 2 diced pears (added toward the end of cooking) + 2 tsp ground ginger (or 1 T freshly grated ginger)
Pina-Colada: 1 cup crushed or diced pineapple (added toward the end of cooking) + 1/2 cup coconut milk + juice from 1/2 a lime (I just thought of this one and haven't tried it yet. Sounds good to me!)
from Perry's Plate