Looking for a tasty and healthy treat your whole family will love? Try steel cut oats granola.
In this article, we’ll discuss the ins and outs of this crunchy snack and give you our favorite recipes so you can DIY a batch of steel cut oats granola in your very own kitchen.
We’ll also let you in on how you can be a part of The Soulfull Project’s unique community efforts to supply servings of our hot cereal to food banks in your area.
What Are Steel Cut Oats?
The easiest way to understand what steel cut oats are is to imagine that you’ve just picked a stalk of oats right out of the field (it’s OK; you got permission from the imaginary farmer first).
Now, imagine that you remove the kernels from the stalk and pile them in a bowl. The kernels in the pile in front of you are called groats and are the most basic form of oats or oatmeal that you can get.
But, because of their size and density, those groats can be difficult to eat.
So, you get the bright idea to cut them into smaller pieces! You grab a large knife and proceed to dice the oats into a more manageable size.
Congratulations! You just made your very own steel cut oats.
Steel cut oats (a.k.a. Irish oatmeal) are as close to the natural oat groat as you can get without actually eating the kernels right off the stalk.
Because they are so close to au naturel and have been processed less, steel cut oats have a coarser feel, a chewier texture, and a nuttier flavor than other types of oatmeal.
They also take longer to prepare because they’re much denser and thicker than both rolled oats and instant oats.
What Is Steel Cut Oats Granola?
At its most basic, granola is a mix of dried oats, a sweetener that also serves as a binding agent (like maple syrup), and an oil or butter.
You can make granola with any type of oats you want (most recipes use rolled oats), but when you use steel cut oats in the mix, you make — drum roll, please — steel cut oats granola.
It’s amazing how that works.
Most granola also contains other ingredients for flavor and nutrition, such as blueberries, coconut, brown sugar, hemp seed, chia seed, chocolate chips — the list literally goes on and on when it comes to the extras you can mix into your steel cut oats granola.
A Word About Soaking
Steel cut oats without proper preparation are hard to digest.
Straight off the stalk, oats and other grains include a chemical barrier called phytic acid. The purpose of phytic acid is to deter animals from eating the seeds — which is essentially what oat groats are — or, at the very least, prevent the groat from being completely digested.
That same chemical barrier can cause an upset stomach if you don’t take steps to break down the phytic acid before eating steel cut oats.
Phytic acid also has a tendency to bond with other minerals you might consume at the same time and make them unavailable to nourish your body.
But all is not lost and you don’t have to risk digestive issues when it comes to steel cut oats granola. Soaking the dry oats in water first helps eliminate the phytic acid that can cause so many problems.
We’ve included two basic recipes in the next section — one for soaked steel cut oats granola, and one for dry steel cut oats granola.
Try both and see which one you like better.
How To Make Steel Cut Oats Granola
Soaked Steel Cut Oats Granola
- 6 cups of steel cut oats
- 1 cup of coconut oil (or butter)
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 2 cups of water
- 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup of maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon
- Melt coconut oil, coconut milk, water, and apple cider vinegar in a saucepan over low heat until combined
- When ingredients are mixed well, pour over steel cut oats and soak for 12 to 24 hours
- After soaking, preheat your oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper
- In a separate bowl, mix honey, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon and add to soaked oats
- Mix well
- Spread granola mixture on two baking sheets
- Bake for four to six hours, stirring the granola every two hours
- Remove from the oven when slightly brown (but still slightly moist)
- Allow to cool on the baking pan for another hour, then store in an airtight container for up to two weeks
If you’d like to add more flavor to this granola recipe, feel free to include any extras that sound good, such as dried cranberries, chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips, and shredded coconut.
Dry Steel Cut Oats Granola
- 4 cups of steel cut oats
- ½ cup of whole flaxseed
- ½ cup of chia seed
- ¼ cup of coconut oil
- ½ cup of maple syrup
- ½ cup of water
- ¼ cup of honey
- 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of chopped pecans
- ¼ cup of chopped dates
- ¼ cup of dried cherries
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
- Mix steel cut oats, flax, chia, pecans, and cinnamon in a large bowl
- In another large microwaveable bowl, mix the coconut oil, maple syrup, water, and honey
- Microwave for one minute
- Stir the mixture until the coconut oil melts completely
- Add the vanilla and stir (you can also do this on the stove if you don’t have a microwave)
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir well
- Feel free to add more oats if the mixture is too wet (steel cut oats don’t absorb water the way regular oats do)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Pour mixture onto the baking sheet
- Bake for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through
- The steel cut oats granola is done when it is slightly brown and dry (it will continue to dry as it cools so don’t over bake it)
- Remove granola from the oven and pour it back into your big bowl
- Add the dates and cherries (and any other extras you might like)
- Mix it well
- Allow the granola to cool completely before storing in an airtight container
As with the soaked steel cut oats granola recipe, feel free to get creative with the extra ingredients until you find a combination that works for you and your family.
Make Your Granola Even Better
Steel cut oats granola is pretty spectacular all by itself. But you can make it even better — more nutritious and more flavorful — by hot adding hot cereal into the mix.
Hot cereal is packed full of vitamins and minerals along with hearty and heart-healthy grains, including:
And, at The Soulfull Project, we add even more delicious and nutritious ingredients to our hot cereal to create flavors such as:
Any one of these varieties will transform your granola into a treat the whole family will love.
Don’t want to DIY? Try The Soulful Project’s three delicious (and nutritious) flavors of crispy granola:
If you’re concerned about food allergies, you can rest easy that many of our hot cereals and crispy granolas are vegan-friendly and gluten-free.
If nuts are an issue, try our Don’t Go Nuts soy spreads and chewy granola bars.
Either way, you get a tasty and vitamin-packed treat that does your body good.
If that weren’t incentive enough, you’ll also be helping out those in need in your community. For every serving you purchase, The Soulfull Project will donate a serving of our hot cereal to a food bank in your area.
Who knew steel cut oats granola could do so much good!
To get more information on the serving-for-serving program and check out all of our delicious oatmeal and hot cereal flavors, visit TheSoulfullProject.com today.