In the past couple years I have fallen in love with steel cut oats. I love oatmeal – in cookies, pastries, quick breads, regular breads, and cakes. What I don’t love is oatmeal in its true form as a porridge for breakfast; never could stand it, growing up and now as an adult. I always wished I liked it because it’s a most wonderful food for health reasons. And then….I discovered steel cut oats! Oh yes. NOW I like oatmeal! There is something different about the texture and taste. If you haven’t tried them, just make them once to see what you think. One of the downfalls of steel cut oats is that they take a long time to cook, so most people don’t have time to bother with them in the morning.
Enter…this recipe for overnight, crock pot steel cut oats. This thing is genius! Not only does it solve the problem of the length of cooking time, but it allows you to wake up in the morning to your breakfast hot and ready. Almost like someone made YOU breakfast! On top of that, they are delicious. I feed them to all my kids, and once the baby was old enough it was great to wake up and have his breakfast ready in about 3 seconds…you know, when they are screaming because they are hungry and want to eat!?
This recipe was originally designed to eat with apples, but you can add any kind of fruit. In these pictures I used frozen blueberries. Next time I might also throw in some frozen cranberries I put in the freezer when they were on sale at Christmas time (I’m sure you could use craisins as well). I also think peaches would be yummy. Or throw in a bunch of different fruits – get crazy.
Overnight Steel Cut Oats
2 apples, peeled and chopped, or blueberries, cranberries, peaches etc
1 1/2 cups milk (use whatever type you want)
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon cinnamon
several tablespoons of ground flax seed (I just dump some in. This stuff is VERY good for you, so the more the better. We like the golden flax seed)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons of vanilla
I like to sprinkle in ground cloves when I use apples, makes it taste like apple pie
(Get creative, add anything that sounds good!)
Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients (except optional toppings) to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for 7 hours. Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Freezes well. I use my “smaller” slow cooker (I think it’s 5 quarts) and I always double this recipe. I eat my oatmeal sprinkled with brown sugar.
Optional garnishes: chopped nuts, raisins, maple syrup, additional milk or butter
Note: you should be able to buy steel-cut oats in most grocery stores now. However, if you have access to a Mennonite type store or a bulk foods store, it will be much cheaper at these type places.