the taste space

Balsamic Lemon-Blueberry Steel Cut Oats

Posted in Breakfasts by janet @ the taste space on March 11, 2011


I eat oats for breakfast, in some shape or form, nearly every day. Lately, I have been enjoying steel cut oats. Steel cut oats are less refined than old-fashioned rolled oats, which means they retain more nutrients, but it also takes 40 minutes to cook (unless you snag some quick-cook steel cut oats from Trader Joe’s which have been partially steamed beforehand). I make a big batch of steel cut oats on the weekend and reheat portions in the microwave for 60 seconds each morning. Fast and simple.

While I typically make my oats quite plain, I can add different toppings each day to the blank canvas. I went through a phase where I added pomegranate molasses. Then, I tried soy sauce and/or toasted sesame oil for something savoury.  My current favourite oatmeal topping is ponzu sauce, a citrus-flavoured soy sauce. The saltiness really enhances the oatmeal.

However, this weekend, I wanted to try something completely different, to highlight blueberries. I figured a lemony oatmeal with a touch of vanilla would complement the blueberries well, and after I topped the oatmeal with the blueberries, I thought of my recent Blueberry Salmon Teriyaki Spinach Salad, so I drizzled some balsamic vinegar overtop as well. It was divine.  A cheery, gourmet way to start the day.

I haven’t tried yet, but I think dried blueberries could work as well when you can’t find fresh blueberries – just add them at the beginning to plump up nicely.


This is being submitted to this month’s Breakfast Club, featuring whole grains (hosted by me this month).

Balsamic Lemon-Blueberry Steel Cut Oats

1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
1/4 tsp salt
zest and juice from 1 large lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp agave nectar, or other sweetener, or to taste
1.5 cups fresh blueberries
6 tsp balsamic vinegar (or balsamic vinegar glaze, homemade or storebought if you have it)

1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, toast steel cut oats until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Do not let it burn!

2. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil with the salt. I find the oats to be done toasting when my water begins to boil.

3. Add oats to boiling water. Cover and turn heat down to low; allow the oats to cook for 30 minutes.

4. Remove lid and stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, vanilla, and agave nectar. Continue cooking, uncovered for 10 minutes, or until oats reach your desired texture.

5. Serve in a bowl and garnish with blueberries and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Serves 4.

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13 Responses

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  1. megi said, on March 11, 2011 at 7:17 AM

    What a great breakfast to start the day. My 15 months old has steel cut oats every morning, hers usually has dates, cinnamon and a little bit of orange blossom water.
    I find soaking them overnight in cold water reduces the cooking time to minutes. For toasted one, I just toast them, let them coold, and then soak overnight.

    • Saveur said, on March 11, 2011 at 9:12 AM

      Awesome idea, Megi! I will have to try that. :)

  2. Dawn Hutchins said, on March 11, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    Awesome mix of flavors!

  3. Joanne said, on March 11, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    I’m an oatmeal-for-breakfast-every-day girl as well although I’m definitely not QUITE as adventurous with my toppings as you are! I love the idea of celebrating some of my favorite berries and that splash of balsamic is a genius addition!

  4. Priya said, on March 11, 2011 at 5:01 PM

    Wat a healthy bowl of filling dish..

  5. Kim Winson said, on March 13, 2011 at 1:03 AM

    This looks wonderful! I’ve been looking for “alternative” ways to make oatmeal…I actually dislike oatmeal immensely but a friend suggested that I try steel cut oats…I’ve bookmarked your post for future reference!

    Cheers,
    Kim @ Incandescent Blue Flame

  6. Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours said, on March 13, 2011 at 6:02 AM

    We soak overnight, and use a mix of equal quantities of pin head (steel cut), rolled oats and oat groats.

    Oddly the over priced Wholefoods is the cheapest place for oats – all are 99p per kg!

  7. BB Talan said, on March 14, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    Oh, this was the right recipe at the right time! I was getting so tired of my steel cut oats in the morning. I will also try the savory suggestions, but today it was balsamic blueberries (had some frozen one’s from Trader Joe’s in the freezer). What a treat! I was hesitant to ad the vinegar, because it already tasted quite good without it, but am happy I took the plunge. What a great combination of flavors!

    • Saveur said, on March 14, 2011 at 7:18 PM

      Thanks for the feedback! Glad to hear it worked well for you! :)

  8. [...] I also made my stovetop steel-cut oats with blueberries, but paired it with lemon and balsamic vinegar for a gourmet start to my day (Balsamic Lemon-Blueberry Steel Cut Oats). [...]

  9. Ashley said, on April 8, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    Soy sauce, sesame oil and ponzu sauce on oatmeal!!! You are brilliant Janet. I’m much more of a savoury than sweet person, and I too eat oatmeal everyday so thank you thank you for the awesome ideas. :) Love the sound of balsamic vinegar too! Maybe a balsamic reduction would be delicious.

  10. [...] I love my breakfasts to feature all kinds of fruit, I have recently been smitten by savoury oats for breakfast. Playing around with different [...]

  11. [...] with Cranberries Mango Pistachio Steel Cut Oatmeal (aka Mango Shrikhand Oatmeal) Mango Oatmeal Balsamic Lemon-Blueberry Steel Cut Oats Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Roasted Flax Seeds Pan-Fried Oatmeal with Peach-Blueberry Vanilla Compote [...]


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