Fall is here and school is back in. For our teen this marks some changes; a new school, new routines and new responsibilities (like taking the bus). It’s only been about two weeks, but I’m already struggling to get my daughter to eat breakfast. That’s why I was thrilled to find this booklet of breakfast recipes from Breakfast for Learning (BFL) called Before the Bell – Breakfast by the Batch for the School Week. The unique thing about these recipes is that they are all tried and true batch recipes meant to be made ahead of time and stored so that breakfast prep is quick and easy. As BFL says, make mornings easier; prep breakfast by the batch and involve your (little) helpers in the kitchen. There are four steps to this strategy:

  1. Batch – cook larger quantities
  2. Store – divide into equal portions
  3. Prepare – defrost and/or reheat
  4. Serve – and enjoy!

Steel Cut Oats with Apple and Cinnamon

The recipe for Steel Cut Oats with Apple and Cinnamon was super easy and used common ingredients. The only change I made to the recipe was substituting a steel cut oats blend (steel cut oats, oats, oat bran, wheat bran and flax) for the steel cut oats. That’s what was in my cupboard and the blend actually boosted the fibre content even higher (18 grams compared to 11 grams for one cup).

What are steel cut oats?

Steel cut oats are oats that are cut into coarse pieces with a steel blade rather than the traditional method, rolled into flakes. Nutritionally, they are about the same but the texture is a little different; steel cuts oats are a bit chewy, which some people like and others don’t. The instructions called for toasting the oats in butter before boiling them, which I had never done before but it gave the oats a nice nutty smell and flavour. Even though my oat blend called for 3 cups of water, I used the 4 cups the recipe called for, and all the moisture was soaked up after adding the apples and raisins. The cooked oats were divided in equal portions into glass bowls with lids. My yield was four servings of ¾ cups of cooked oats; not exactly a big batch. Next time I’ll double the recipe and make it for a weekend breakfast and then have leftovers for the rest of the week.

Kids will love this!

My daughter was very interested in knowing what I was cooking. She commented that it smelled good and kept asking when she could eat it. We tried the oats two different ways, with milk and brown sugar, and with vanilla yogurt. Both were delicious. I didn’t tell her that this was part of my strategy to encourage her to eat breakfast. Now we just need to work on a plan to avoid missing the bus!

What are your favourite big batch breakfast recipes?


Big Batch Breakfast – Steel Cut Oats with Apple Cinnamon
Prep Time
5 minutes
Cook Time
55 minutes
4 servings


2 tbsp (30 ml) butter
1 cup (250 ml) steel cut oats
1 cinnamon stick
OR 1/8 tsp (a dash) cinnamon
1/8 tsp (a dash) vanilla (optional)
8 cups (1 L) water
1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt
1 (medium) apple, diced
1 cup (250 ml) sultana raisins
2 cups (500 ml) low-fat milk
4 tbsp (60 ml) maple syrup (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat butter, add steel cut oats and cook for about four minutes until fragrant, stirring constantly.
  2. Add cinnamon stick, vanilla and water and bring to a boil. Notice some extra company in the kitchen? It’s thanks to the enticing aroma filling the house. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add apples and raisins and cook for an additional 8 – 10 minutes until all moisture is absorbed.
  4. Serve with low-fat milk and a drizzle of maple syrup.