The perfect blend of sweet cinnamon, tart apple, and nutrient-rich oats, this Apple Pie Overnight Steel Cut Oats is a game-changer.
Sometimes I get tired of the same old breakfast routine. Not that I don’t enjoy an egg sandwich, but sometimes I want something a little heartier and healthier. Enter this Apple Pie Overnight Steel Cut oats. It’s a twist on traditional overnight oats and uses steel cut oats which I love. These overnight oats are infused with sweet and spicy apples. So, say goodbye to your mundane breakfast and try this flavor-packed, make-ahead meal that will keep you fueled and focused throughout the day.
What do steel cut oats taste like?
If you think all oatmeal is pasty and gross, then you need to try this type of oats. Steel cut oats have a distinct texture and taste that sets them apart from their rolled and quick cooking counterparts. Regular oatmeal oats are rolled oats which are flatter and smoother. This makes them pasty when they’re cooked. But steel cut oats maintain their shape and texture. Which makes them delicious in both sweet and savory recipes like my apple, cheddar, and sausage baked oatmeal recipe.
Steel cut oats offer a rich and nutty flavor profile. They are slightly chewy and like cooked barley in texture. They’re also called pinhead oats because they’re about the size of pinhead. Their flavor is unlike any other cereal flavor I’ve tried. I’ve made baked oatmeal with them and turned them into a risotto style side dish. Because of the starch content, they make a delicious risotto. But typically I make steel cut oats in the Instant Pot or slow cooker.
The cooking method contributes to their unique taste. The longer “cooking” time in the fridge allows the oats to absorb more liquid, resulting in a creamier consistency. This slow absorption process also enhances the flavor of the oats, infusing them with a deeper and more intense taste. As you take your first spoonful of apple pie overnight steel cut oats, you’re greeted with a luscious, velvety texture and a burst of flavors that will leave you craving more.
Steel cut vs rolled vs quick cooking oats. What’s the difference?
Steel cut oats, also known as Irish oats, are the least processed of the three types. You make steel cut oats by chopping the whole oat groat into smaller pieces. Hence the name steel cut oats. Unlike rolled oats or quick cooking oats steel cut oats retain their original shape and require a longer cooking time. This unique, less refined process gives steel cut oats their distinct chewiness and nutty flavor.
To make rolled oats, you steam them then rolled them flat. Hence the name rolled oats. This results in a faster cooking time compared to steel cut oats. The steaming process partially cooks the oats, making them softer and more tender. Rolled oats are a popular choice for many people because they strike a balance between the hearty texture of steel cut oats and the quick preparation time of quick cooking oats. They’re usually the top pick for homemade granola. They make delicious baked oatmeal which is a perfect make ahead recipe or if you want to feed a large crowd.
Quick cooking oats are the most processed of the three types. They are pre-cooked, dried, and then rolled thinner than rolled oats. As their name suggests, quick cooking oats are the fastest to prepare, and take only a few minutes to. However, this convenience comes at a cost as the oats lose some of their texture and nutty flavor during the processing.
The key difference between steel cut oats, rolled oats, and quick cooking oats lies in the level of processing and the resulting texture. Steel cut oats offer a chewier, heartier experience with a more distinct nutty taste. Rolled oats strike a balance between texture and convenience. Quick cooking oats, although convenient, sacrifice some texture and flavor in exchange for a shorter cooking time.
How do you make steel cut overnight oats?
Steel cut oats require an additional step in order to make them overnight oats. To make the perfect batch of steel cut overnight oats, start by bringing 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of milk to a boil. Once the liquid comes to a boil you stir the oats into the liquid. Cover them with plastic wrap and let them sit for about an hour. After the hour is up you can stir in the any flavors, fruits, and nuts you want.
While the oatmeal was chilling on the counter, I sauteed the apples with butter, brown sugar, and spices. This is a super easy way to sauté up some apples for some easy skillet apple crisp, some apple pie pancakes, or a delicious side like that restaurant serves. I used my gingerbread spice mix, but feel free to use whatever combination of spices you like. When the apples are tender, just let them sit in the pan and come to room temperature.
There are two more steps left! When everything cools to room temperature, you stir the apples and the apple butter into the oat mixture. Yes, they will look like there’s too many oats, but those oats will soak all that liquid up and make the oats a deliciously chewy, nutty, and apple-y flavor. And the last thing you do is ladle them into your jars. I have a funnel that’s made just for filling jars. It fits perfectly around the rim of the jar. If you’re going to make overnight oats often, I highly recommend getting one.
What are the health benefits of this apple pie overnight steel cut oats?
Oatmeal is packed with dietary fiber, and steel cut oats have more since they’re processed less. This means they can help regulate your digestion and keep you feeling satisfied throughout the morning. The slow release of energy from the fiber will keep your blood sugar levels stable, preventing that mid-morning crash and helping you stay focused and productive throughout your morning.
Steel cut oats are also a great source of complex carbohydrates. These carbs are essential for providing your body with the energy it needs to tackle the day ahead. Complex carbs are less processed than other foods which means your body takes longer to digest them. This means that they provide a steady stream of energy that lasts longer.
Steel cut oats are also rich in vitamins and minerals. They contain essential nutrients like iron, magnesium, and B-vitamins. These are crucial for maintaining optimal energy levels, supporting brain function, and promoting overall health. These oats are also great for those looking to manage their weight. The fiber, protein, and healthy fats in them not only keep you fuller longer but reduces the urge to snack mid-morning. I am totally guilty of this. But my go to snack is usually microwave popcorn. But not that kind of popcorn! I have a popper so there’s no oil or butter in the popcorn I make.
What do apple pie overnight steel cut oats taste like?
So, I’ve already talked about what steel cut oats taste like. And that’s no exception here. They are nutty, with a great texture and taste, at least for me, how oatmeal SHOULD taste. And not how we grew up with oatmeal. Then there’s the slightly sweet apple mixture. The sauteed apples are sweet and tender with a hint of butter. I kept the peel on because there’s lots of nutrition and fiber in the skin. Peel yours if you want.
The apple butter adds another level of apple flavor I love. It has its own slightly sweet and spiced flavor. You could add apple sauce, but it’s a bit chunkier and doesn’t usually have those spices in there. It might have cinnamon, but apple butter has more than cinnamon. It probably has some cloves and maybe some ginger or allspice. You could mix if up and try this pumpkin apple butter for your overnight steel cut oats. And I like that the apple butter blends in without standing out. It makes these apple pie overnight steel cut oats rich and delicious.
Ditch the boring breakfast routine and get creative with apple pie overnight steel cut oats. Your tastebuds will thank you!
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup steel cut oats (not quick cooking)
- 1 1/2 cups diced apples
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon gingerbread spice
- 1/4 cup apple butter
- Bring the water and milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in the oats, cover, and let them come to room temperature.
- Place the apples with the butter, brown sugar, and spices in a nonstick pan and saute until the brown sugar is dissolved and the apples are tender.
- Stir the apple mixture into the oatmeal mixture along with the apple butter. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Top with a tablespoon of vanilla granola for added crunch and flavor or top with your choice of nuts.
Amount Per Serving Calories 631Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 36mgSodium 142mgCarbohydrates 107gFiber 11gSugar 48gProtein 13g