Steel Cut Oats with Dried Cranberries

By Sally Cameron on April 02, 2013

Breakfast & Brunch, Gluten-Free, the daniel plan, Vegan, Vegetarian

Spring might be here on the calendar but mornings are still chilly. Instead of my usual frozen berry and protein smoothie I needed something warm to start my day. The solution was steel cut oats with hemp seeds and dried cranberries for sweetness. Try it to get your morning started.

Steel Cut Oats with Dried Cranberries and Hemp Seeds |

Steel Cut Oats with Dried Cranberries and Hemp Seeds

Steel cut oats have 7 grams of protein per dry ¼ cup (44 grams) serving, so the oats alone are a good start for a high-protein breakfast. Add 1½ tablespoons (15 grams) of hemp seeds, and that adds 5 grams of protein. For even more protein, double the hemp seeds. Gain a bit more with the almond milk, and you have a healthy, high-protein breakfast that comes from whole grain and plant-based sources.

Hemp Seeds: Complete Plant-Based Protein

Grown for thousands of years, hemp seeds are known as one of nature’s most perfect foods. Like many other seeds that we eat like grains (think of quinoa), hemp seeds are an  excellent source of plant-based protein. Hemp seeds provide complete protein, meaning it has all of the essential amino acids as well as magnesium, iron and zinc. Another benefit, hemp seeds supply an ideal balance of omega-3 and omegs-6 fatty acids.

Cooking Steel Cut Oats: Safe and Not Safe

I’ve tried a few ways of cooking steel cut oats. One technique I found on TheKitchn suggested cooking them the night before and allowing them to stand all night on the stove. While it works (I tested it), I have concerns about it from a food safety standpoint. Allowing the pan to stand all night on the stove, unrefrigerated, risks pathogens growing in your oatmeal. Not what you want for breakfast.

The safest ways to cook steel cut oats is to cook them according to package directions, slowly until they are creamy, then cool and refrigerate. Most packages have directions for cooking steel cut oats in a slow cooker as well. This method is safe because a slow-cooker maintains a constant, safe temperature. If you want to cook them overnight, this is the best option. Cooked oats will last 4-5 days in the refrigerator, covered.

Breakfast is Ready

In the morning scoop a portion of oats into a small bowl. Add a little milk of your choice, homemade almond, coconut, dairy, rice, etc. cover and microwave at 70% power for a minute or two and test for heat. Stir and continue as needed. You can also place oats and milk in a small saucepan and heat over low temperature, covered, until hot. Stir occasionally so they don’t stick or burn.

To your heated oats add the hemp seed and a few dried cranberries. You can add a sprinkle of nuts, a drizzle of honey or raw coconut sugar, a bit of toasted coconut or fresh berries. Be sure to add the hemp seed, because it pumps up the protein and adds nice texture and flavor.

1 cup of dry steel cut oats (176 grams) is enough for 4 servings. Cook oats in just the water. Unlike rolled oats, steel-cut oats get creamier when re-heated. They don’t turn into wall paper paste. A healthy, high-protein breakfast is within reach even on time-crunched mornings.


Steel Cut Oats with Dried Cranberries and Hemp Seeds |
Print Pin
No ratings yet

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Hemp Seeds and Dried Cranberries

This high-protein breakfast can be ready in minutes in the morning if you cook your oats the night ahead and refrigerate. In the morning, heat up a portion, then add hemp seeds and other garnishes for a fantastic breakfast. Cooked steel cut oats will last in the refrigerator 4-5 days. Cook them Sunday and enjoy through the week. If you're GF be sure to buy GF oats.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword oatmeal, oats
Servings 4


Steel cut oats

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Customizable Options Per Serving

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons organic hemp seeds
  • Almond milk as needed
  • 1 tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 1 handful fresh berries
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons raw coconut sugar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 sliced banana
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 tablespoon coconut or chasew butter


  • Cook steel cuts oats according to package directions, either on the stove top in a pan or in a slow cooker (overnight). If you cook them on the stove top, cool within 1-2 hours and refrigerate covered.
  • In the morning, place cooked oats in a small bowl, cover and microwave until hot or heat oats in a small pot over low heat, covered, with milk, stirring occasionally so they do not stick and burn. Place in bowls, add hemp seeds and any options. Serve warm.
  1. Mary - April 2nd, 2013

    Sally, you always manage to make healthy eating so inviting. I’ve never eaten Hemp Seeds but I can imagine that oatmeal is the perfect way in which to try it.

  2. Sally - April 4th, 2013

    Mary, they are so good and so healthy! They are lots of things you can add them to for a great source of plant-based protein. I want to develop an oatmeal cookie with hemp seeds. That’s on my list! Try them!

  3. Marie - November 21st, 2016

    I have what I call a “gourmet” oatmeal that I make fresh every AM: oats (1/2 c) , salt (to taste), cinnamon (generous), Thompson (dark) raisins (handful), water (1 c), cooked on stovetop in small pot. While cooking, I place: hemp hearts (2 rounded tablespoons), ground flax (1 tablespoon), peanut butter (1 very rounded tablespoon), dark maple syrup (to taste) in my bowl. Once cooked add oats to bowl mix and add milk…enjoy! Very hearty!

  4. Sally Cameron - November 21st, 2016

    Hi Marie. sounds delicious, warming and healthy. O do something similar but I use cashew butter or almond butter, and coconut butter is good too. Add some unsweetened coconut flakes. I also love cinnamon and flaxseed in my smoothies. So good for us! Sound like we like the same stuff ‘). Thanks for commenting, It might inspire others to kick their oatmeal up a notch.

  5. Mister Big - August 29th, 2017

    I cook steel cut oats in a rice cooker on the porridge setting. Works great, takes about an hour. I use half 2% milk and half water. I also set the timer at night sometimes so I am guaranteed creamy oatmeal when I wake up.

  6. Sally Cameron - August 29th, 2017

    Sounds like a good idea and easy too. Thanks for your comment. I have an old rice cooker I never use any more (I use a pressure cooker for my brown rice), but I might have to dig itout of storage and see if it has that setting. I don’t think it does, it’s pretty old.

  7. Didi - September 7th, 2017

    I love all the ideas ,steel cut is my favorite breakfast what I do ,I soak my steel cut overnight and leave it in the fridge,it doesn’t take too long in the morning to be ready it’s already puffed.

  8. Lauren - September 26th, 2017

    Instant pot steel cut oats are amazing!

  9. Sakshi - May 31st, 2021

    This recipe looks one of the must try ones. I am surely going to try this out with True Elements Steel Cut Oats and True Elements Dried Cranberries.

Leave a Comment