Single serving Mason jar steel cut oats: throw them in an electric pressure cooker while you are getting ready the next morning, and you’ll be able to enjoy those chewy and healthy oats on the fly. Send your family off on their day with a substantial and delicious breakfast.
UPDATE 9/5/2016 After personally making this recipe over 50 times and having read the experience of others, I’ve made a couple changes to the recipe to include putting room temperature or hot water inside the jars, a longer cook time, a 10 minute natural release instead of a quick release, a slight change in water and oat amounts, and a caution to allow the oats to cool a bit before removing the lid. I also strongly encourage you to use water instead of milk as the cooking liquid inside the jars and to follow my measurements as written. To prevent jars from breaking, do not use cold jars straight from the fridge and be sure they are high tempered glass Mason jars like Ball or Kerr. Screw the lids on until fingertip tight (meaning to screw the lids down just until you meet resistance) to allow air to escape. Last thing (I promise) when I make these, I typically start the cooking right when I wake so that by the time my family is ready for breakfast, the oats have cooked and cooled inside the cooker and are ready to eat (about 45-60 minutes). If your pressure cooker has a delay function, they can be prepared the night before, placed inside the pot and set to start an hour before you will be ready to eat. Talk about being efficient! Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions, concerns or just to tell me how it worked out for you. Thanks!
I’ve been on the edge of my seat and burning the midnight oil to get this post to you. I am that excited about it!
First, let me ask you a question. Have you ever tried steel cut oats? Do you understand what they are?
If I understand correctly, they are basically oats that haven’t been rolled and pressed yet and turned into rolled or instant oats. Which means, they make your body work harder to digest, are less processed, very filling and so so good for you.
So why do we always eat oatmeal from pressed oats?
From my previous experience, it’s because steel cut oats are a pain to cook.
Until now, my friends. Until now.
The first time I tried to boil steel cut oats, it took 40 minutes. When my husband crunched into the oats that just haaaad to be done by now, they were nice and crunchy still. That was the last time I made steel cut oats.
Until now, my friends. Until now.
So what changed? It was solely my decision to finally take my older and wiser sister’s advice and cook them in the electric pressure cooker.
Now, all you do is throw some oats in a jar, add your favorite mix-ins, add water, set in pressure cooker, push the magic button, hop in the shower, apply your make-up, do your hair, and voila! Chewy, fully cooked, to-die-for steel cut oats are waiting and ready for you!
(Okay, if I’m being honest, the oats are done long before I’ve finished making myself presentable. I could use a magic button for that task – can I get an amen sista!).
My sister Marci, is actually the pressure cooking genius behind this proven method of cooking steel cut oats. She and I had a little play date of making oats, taking pictures and cooking up our favorite varieties to share with you. We want to show you step-by-step how we did this so you too can be successful at making the “best breakfast your family has ever eaten”.
We’ll also share the recipes and tips along the way.
Marci makes these oats for her dirt biker, adrenaline junkie husband, and he has more than enough energy to see him through his shenanigans throughout the day, without a sugar crash from other highly sweetened breakfasts. His favorite is the Carrot Cake Oats.
Marci keeps her recipes pretty much zero sugar, and uses honey or real maple syrup to add all the sweetness it needs. I was skeptical about this no sugar in oatmeal concept, until she brought me some Apple Cinnamon Oats to try, and my 2 pickiest eaters gobbled it up in seconds.
Marci came up with this method of cooking steel cut oats after noting the popularity of the overnight oats method, where you place regular rolled oats in a jar with moisture and they are softened by morning. While this is still a great idea, if you feel like upping your breakfast game and trying steel cut oats in a mason jar – please give this a try!
While Marci and I go through this process, we’ll talk about “The Base Recipe”. This is what you’ll pretty much put into every jar or serving of Mason Jar Steel Cut Oats. Then we’ll address “The Extra’s”, which is what you can add, mix or match to make 6 different varieties. Feel free to experiment with “The Extra’s” to come up with your own family favorites.
There will be a printable recipe at the bottom of this post, for your convenience.
*Please also note, one 6 Quart Pressure Cooker will typically fit 3 Pint size jars. We are using 1 jar for an adult size serving or you can split it to serve 2 kids.
First you add 1/4 Cup of Steel Cut Oats to each pint size jar.
Then prep approximately a half cup of extras for each jar. We will get into our favorite combos in just a minute 😉
Add 2 Tablespoons of pure maple syrup or honey to each jar.
As well as 1-2 teaspoons of Chia Seeds and a pinch of salt, and any other spices that might go well with your extras. You can certainly leave the Chia Seeds out but we love the extra nutrition and that yummy pop in your mouth when you eat them.
Then you are going to throw in your extras.
Chocolate Covered Strawberry Oats
- 1/2 Cup Strawberries
- 1 Tablespoon of mini chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)
Apple Cinnamon Oats
- 1/2 Cup diced apples
- 2 Tablespoons of golden raisins
- 3/4 Teaspoon cinnomon
Cherry Almond Pie Oats
- 1/2 Cup half cherries
- 2 Tablespoons sliced or slivered almonds
- 1/4 Teaspoon almond extract
Carrot Cake Oats
- 1/2 Cup finely shredded carrots
- 2 Tablespoons raisins
- 3/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 Teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Lemon Blueberry Oats
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 Cup blueberries
- Optional: While the oatmeal is cooking, place 1 cup of frozen blueberries in a saucepan. Add 2 Tablespoons of water and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of cornstarch. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened and syrup like. When oatmeal is done, stir and then swirl in a scoop of the blueberry syrup. Yum!
Peanut Butter Banana Oats
- 1/2 Cup chopped bananas
- 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
- Substitute maple syrup with 2 Tablespoon of honey
Next, you will pour in hot or room temperature tap water, leaving 1 1/2 inches of headspace.
Screw the lids on tightly and give your jar a very thorough shake. The chia seeds can be hard to break up so shake until those look evenly distributed. Unscrew the lids and again tighten just until resistance is met. Note: to prepare the night before, place oats, sweetener, salt and chia seeds in a jar and leave at room temperature. In the morning simply add the extras and water.
Place a short rack on the bottom of the pressure cooker and pour 1 cup of water inside and place 3 pint size jars inside the pressure cooker.
If the rack is too tall, the jars will not fit inside with the pressure cooker lid on, but you certainly do not want to place the jars directly on the pot.
We are using our White Fagor Lux model, which we love. But any pressure cooker model will do. We kind of have a love affair with a lot of them actually.
Now you will secure the lid on your pressure cooker, select a high pressure and set the timer for 20 minutes. This means, once it comes up to pressure, it will begin the 20 minutes of cooking.
When the beep sounds, turn off the pressure cooker and let pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then release any remaining pressure. Can also use a full natural release if you’re not in a hurry. When the valve drops, remove the lid. Remove the jars from the pot and place on a cooling rack or hot pad.
Warning: The jars will be very hot! If the jars contents are in motion (boiling), allow the oats to cool for another 10-20 minutes before removing the lid. Once the oats have settled, I either wrap a towel around the jar to open it or use two silicone hot pads to safely unscrew the lid.
Then you can give the oats a good stir and top with a Frozen Whipped Cream Dollop (or simply pour in milk or cream – but the dollop is just heavenly).
Then you can choose to garnish with extra toppings if you like.
And that is all there is to it! It might seem like a lot at first, but once you have it down it just might become your go-to breakfast.
Our favorite thing about these oats is how much our kids love them. They gobble them up and are full and satisfied all the way until lunch. And they digest very well – if you know what I mean. 😉
We would very much appreciate it if you would pin and share this recipe with your friends! Feel free to print the recipe to have on hand and have fun with the mix-ins!
We’d love to hear what you think and if you want to give it a try!
- ¼ cup steel cut oats
- 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1-2 Teaspoons chia seeds
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup of the extras (fresh or dried fruit, nuts, coconut, spices, etc)
- About 1 cup hot or room temperature tap water
- Add oats, syrup, chia seeds, salt and the extras into a pint size mason jar. Add water, leaving 1½ inches of headspace.
- Shake until everything is well distributed and the chia seeds aren’t clumping together.
- Unscrew the lid and again tighten just until the lid meets resistance.
- Place a short rack in the bottom of the pot.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the pressure cooking pot.
- Select high pressure and set the timer for 20 minutes.
- When the beep sounds, turn off the pressure cooker. Use a natural release for 10 minutes and then release any remaining pressure (can also allow a full natural release).
- When the valve drops, remove the lid.
- Remove the jars from the pot and place on a cooling rack or hot pad. Warning: Do not open the jars until contents have settled (no longer boiling)
- Carefully remove the lid (it may still be hot to the touch)
- Give the oats a good stir and top with a dollop of frozen whipped cream and garnish.
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