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Baked Blueberry Peanut Butter Steel Cut Oats

Baked Blueberry Peanut Butter Steel Cut Oats

Love oatmeal, but wish you didn’t have to spend the time cooking it every morning? You probably could use those few minutes getting ready to get out the door, or just sleep some more. This recipe is just what you need then.
 
Steel cut oats are my favorite kind of oats because they have this awesome texture with more chewiness and bite than old fashioned rolled oats. However, they take a pretty long time to cook, which makes it hard to enjoy them often when there just isn’t time in the morning to prepare them. Cue this super easy technique of baking them ahead of time so you can just reheat and enjoy a bowl of steel cut goodness to start the day.

Let’s back up. What’s even the difference between steel cut and old fashioned/rolled oats? They both are oats, just processed in different ways. Steel cut oats are made by chopping the whole oat grain (groat) into chunks. Rolled oats are produced when the groat is simply rolled out thinly. Both have essentially the same nutritional profile, however the method used in producing steel cut oats leaves the bran a bit more intact versus when oats are rolled.

Why would this matter? The less a food is broken down or processed before we eat it, the longer it takes for our body to break it down. Less processed foods may also be a little less digested and absorbed than refined foods. More “whole foods” (less processed) will therefore keep you feeling satisfied for longer after you eat them because they tend to stay in your digestive tract longer.

What else keeps you feeling full? Fiber and fats. Two things that this oatmeal provides as well. Oats are a great source of fiber, as are blueberries and peanut butter. Each bowl of this oatmeal has a generous serving of heart healthy unsaturated fats. Fiber and fats take longer than carbohydrates to be broken down in the body. This means you feel satisfied long after eating them. An important quality for breakfast to have, I think.
 
This oatmeal also has plenty of energizing carbohydrates. Carbs are essential in a good breakfast to give you energy to focus on work or school, give it your all in the gym, or whatever else you need energy for. Oats are a great source of complex carbohydrates that give your body more steady, long lasting energy than simple carb sugary foods (looking at you Pop-Tarts…).  This helps to keep blood sugars in check and can control cravings as the day goes on.

A big scoop of Greek yogurt is the perfect way to make this oatmeal into a balanced breakfast providing carbs for energy, fats for satiety and extended energy, and protein for fullness and muscle support. And there is already fruit baked in! No need to worry about getting in your breakfast fruit serving when you are enjoying a bowl of these oats. I hope you try these chewy, peanut buttery, blueberry-y steel cut oats soon and start your day with some delicious, energizing nourishment!

Baked Blueberry Peanut Butter Steel Cut Oats
Makes 4 servings
 
4 cups low fat milk
½ cup peanut butter
1 cup steel cut oats
1 ½ cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. coarse/kosher salt
+ cinnamon if you like
 
Preheat oven to 375°F,
 
Choose a baking dish or loaf pan that can hold at least 2 quarts of liquid. I used a 9 x 13” loaf pan here that worked perfectly.
 
Whisk the peanut butter with 2 cups of the milk in the baking pan/dish. It’s okay if it won’t fully incorporate. Then stir in the rest of the milk and the remaining ingredients. Cover with foil and bake for 75-90 minutes, until the liquid has been absorbed.
 
Serve hot with Greek yogurt to make a balanced breakfast. Extras can be stored in the fridge for a couple of days and reheat excellently.

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