The Mix: Steel-cut oats cooked with powdered ginger and banana, topped with walnuts.
The Story: My husband, John, has mastered steel-cut oats. He works 10-hour days Monday through Friday, but still wakes up before sunrise on Saturdays to maximize every hour of his free time. Since firing up his tractor before dawn probably won’t earn us any summer barbecue invitations, he devotes his early mornings to the quite exercise of making breakfast and reading the local newspaper. In winter, this means that by 7:30 am, we sit down to a hot bowl of steel-cut oats. It’s the perfect fuel for our weekly 9 am group run.
Last weekend I saw John scooping powdered ginger into the oatmeal pot. I was skeptical. But I managed to keep my mouth shut. So glad I did! Warm and spicy, the ginger perfectly complimented the ripe banana he added in the last few minutes of cooking.
The Workout: We did a 12-mile hilly run from Lenape Lane to Skytop in the Mohonk Preserve. After a 1-mile warm-up, it was 3.5 miles of hard uphill tempo-pace climbing, 2 miles flat recovery, 4.5 miles strong downhill running, and a 1-mile easy cruise cool down.
The Instructions: Follow the directions on the McCann’s steel-cut oats can: “Into four cups of briskly boiling water sprinkle one cup of oatmeal, stirring well. When the porridge is smooth and beginning to thicken, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.” Add ½ teaspoon of powdered ginger to the oats while cooking. Stir in one mashed ripe banana 5 minutes before the oats finish cooking. Top with a small handful of chopped toasted walnuts.