Date Nut Overnight Oats is the best way to jump start a frosty morning — the oats soak to the perfect creamy texture while you sleep, and chopped dates, walnuts, and brown sugar add just the right amount of decadence, am style.
A beautiful hot bowl of oatmeal is one of the perks of winter, and it’s as seasonal right now in February as a ripe peach is in August. I’m eating as much of it as I can get lately, because before we know it spring will have sprung and delicious healthy oats will be shoved to the back of the cupboard. If you follow this easy (life-changing) overnight method, you won’t have to lift a finger in the morning to get it ready.
This overnight method is particularly great for steel cut oats, the healthiest, least processed type of oat. There are basically three types of oats you’ll find at your supermarket, here’s the lowdown if you’re confused —
- STEEL CUT (aka pinhead, on the left) are the whole oat groats (groats are the whole grain) that have been chopped into a few pieces. This is the most traditional form of oats for oatmeal. They take the longest to cook, but have the best texture and flavor of them all. Steel cut oats have a slight edge over old fashioned rolled oats in terms of nutrition. They’re both high in fiber and protein, but steel cut oats rank lower on the glycemic index, (that’s good!) because they take longer to digest, and so they are slower to convert to sugar.
- ROLLED, or OLD FASHIONED (center) oats have been steam softened and flattened, or rolled. They can be eaten as is, or cooked. You can use rolled oats to make granola and muesli as well as oatmeal.
- INSTANT or QUICK COOKING (right) oats are flattened even more, so they cook even faster, but lack the character of the other two.
Steel cut are my favorite because they have a wonderful chewy nutty texture — they never get ‘gloppy’ — the technical term for yucky oatmeal ;) You can buy American steel cut oats from Bob’s Red Mill and even Quaker nowadays, but my favorite is McCanns, they come straight from Scotland in a beautiful tin.
Here’s how I do it — just before bed I put three and a half cups of water and a pinch of salt in a pot, and bring it to a boil. I stir in 1 cup of good steel cut oats, and then turn off the heat. I put the lid on the pot and leave it on the stove overnight. In the morning the oatmeal is perfect. All I do is reheat it, ladle it into bowls, and add my toppings. Sometimes for a special treat I’ll throw an old vanilla bean into the pan with the water (I hope you reuse your vanilla bean pods, they’re the gift that keeps on giving!)
What You Will Need
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla paste (optional)
- brown sugar
- walnuts, chopped
- pitted dates, chopped
- milk or half and half
- Bring 3 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt to a boil in a pot. Stir in the oats. Turn OFF the heat, and cover the pan. Let the pan sit on the stove overnight.
- In the morning, simply reheat the oatmeal and ladle into bowls. Top with a little brown sugar, and the chopped dates and walnuts. Add cream, milk, or half and half as you like.
- Any leftover oatmeal can be stored in the fridge and reheated the next day.
The beauty of this method is that not only do you get perfect steel cut oatmeal in the morning without the work, but the texture is even better than when you slave over the stove to cook it. The overnight soaking doesn’t pull out the gluey starch like cooking on the stove does, so the oats are much more appealing. I can’t say enough about this — hope you give it a try :)
Don’t forget to PIN IT!
if you like oatmeal, you’ll love…