*This article has been updated 2019
My friend, an outstanding Charleston hostess and ASE reader has given me a great idea for breakfast – steel cut oatmeal that heats up overnight in a slow cooker and is ready to eat before you can pour your coffee in the morning. If you add fruit your kitchen will smell like you have a pie baking. Good idea, right?
Consider the possibilities: Apple juice instead of water? Dried cranberries, almonds, apple chunks, blueberries, coconut milk, brown sugar, pumpkin, banana slices, apple sauce, raisins, currents, cinnamon, walnuts, honey, dried figs, vanilla, ground flaxseed, maple syrup, and quinoa – you get the idea.
Feel good about serving steel cut oats. They are less processed than rolled oats and retain more nutritional value and fiber. They are said to reduce cholesterol and lower high blood pressure. They are a good source of magnesium and they have a low glycemic index. They take longer to cook than rolled oats – and since we are all in a hurry in the morning, that has been a challenge. Not anymore.
Some basic hints might help.
- All slow cookers are not created equal. One might produce perfect oatmeal in four hours while another takes eight hours. Make your first batch or two during the day and figure out the right cooking time for your machine. You’ll want the edges to be slightly browned.
- Always put some oil, cooking spray or butter on the surface of the slow cooker. Forget once and you will understand why.
- Extra oatmeal can be reheated in the microwave for another meal.
Photo from All Recipes.com
My friend offers her tried and true recipe for Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal.
1 Cup of Organic Apple Juice
3 Cups of water
One cup of steel cut oats (or oatmeal)
2 Apples, peeled and diced small
½ TB of organic ground cinnamon
Raisins to taste
Assemble all ingredients in your slow cooker.
Set timer to heat your apple cinnamon oatmeal on low heat for five hours – ending at whatever time you want to spoon some into your bowl for breakfast.
She serves it with maple sugar, but her husband adds honey. Her mother adds peanut butter and ginger. The variations are limitless. Some like milk or half and half.
Note: She thinks the apples and raisins add enough sweetness. She has not greased the pot, but thinks it is a good idea.
The following are links to other slow cooked oatmeal recipes, but you can use your imagination.
From the Yummy Life.com
You may already have a slow cooker. If you need one, you can begin with a modest commitment.
This small, 1.5 quart Oval Slow Cooker has a removable inner ‘crock’ which is easy to wash. It does not have a programmable timer, but you can plug it into a hardware store light timer and get the same effect. Under $20.00
On-off light timer, under $20.00
This 3 quart Crock Pot is not programmable, but you can plug it into a light timer and get the same result. Under $20.00
This 4 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker with Ceramic Insert is on sale for $149.
This six quart programmable Crock Pot is $31.99.
Slow cooker disposable liners: Reynolds sells liners for your slow cooker which is just the kind of clean-up simplification I appreciate. $6.20 for four liners.
ASE has written several other articles on slow cookers – we must love them!
Did we miss something important? Let us know in the comments below ~ thanks!