I didn’t follow close enough, ending in a major microwave clean up. Oh well, it needed it.
The doctor started me on these. A slightly high cholesterol level led to a conversation of how to control it and a prescription. He said most of us wouldn’t need medicine to control cholesterol if we all took Metamucil every day. Metamucil is a psyllium product. Psyllium, a name for several related plants, contains something called soluble fiber. Finally, soluble fiber is the sworn enemy of cholesterol. While potentially good for many of us, it’s not the most fun way to obtain dietary soluble fiber.
So the conversation turned to oatmeal, especially steel cut oats, as being the next best thing to help control cholesterol. The quote was something like, steel cut oats really suck up cholesterol. I’m going to take him for his word.
If you’re interested in eating more soluble fiber to help control cholesterol, compare the nutrition labels on the package and look for the amount of soluble fiber in the product. However not all products list soluble fiber. Some just list total fiber which is not the same. Total fiber is the sum of both soluble and insoluble fibers. You may have to do a bit more research to find what you need. Or you can take what’s known already, that oats are one of the best foods to help lower cholesterol. A serving of steel cut oats has about 2 grams of soluble fiber. Three grams of soluble fiber per day is about what’s needed to help with cholesterol. Although I couldn’t find this information exactly, instant oatmeal has about 1 g of soluble fiber.
The difference between steel cut oats and regular oatmeal is in the way they are processed. Steel cut oats are the oat kernel cut into little pieces by steel knife blades. Regular oatmeal further processes the pieces of kernel by crushing them into flat flakes. The flat flakes cook faster. In fact even more processing may be done to the flat flakes, which may include partial cooking, so that they finish cooking even faster in your kitchen.
That brings us to the disadvantage of steel cut oats, they take longer to cook. Twenty-five to thirty minutes on the stove or 10 minutes in the microwave. The microwave won me over as the cooking method of choice. But that wasn’t counting the unexpected 15 minute clean up after cooking. The microwave oaks cooked just fine. What I failed to follow was the direction to use a large enough microwave cooking container to keep the oats from bubbling up and over the top of the bowl. Flow over is exactly what they did. Fifteen minutes of cleaning up flows of oats.
Both the taste and texture of the steel cut oats are a little nuttier than the usual mushy instant oatmeal. That’s good. With a pinch of salt added to the oats, they were pretty good, even without adding sugar, milk, fruit or other things to bump up the flavor. While the texture had a little more bite to it than normal oatmeal, a nice little “gravy” was also formed by the cooking. It’s similar to what happens when making risotto. In fact the stove top method of cooking the oats is similar to the traditional risotto cooking method. That leaves open the option to reply back when the family asks, “What’s for breakfast? ” ”Special risotto guys.” They’ll never know.
Price $2.49 Calories 150 per 1/4 cup (40 g) uncooked Soluble fiber 2 g