Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats

So, my husband is bad at eating breakfast in the morning, so we are making a effort to remedy that. He does like oatmeal, so we decided to try to do that more often. I knew how healthy steel cut oats were, so I wanted to give that a shot. I knew I wanted to try a slow cooked version, but I needed to try the normal method to actually see how it was supposed to feel and taste. It has much more texture than regular oats, so be aware of that if you have never tried them before. They have a "al dente" bite to them. But that is a little less apparent in the slow cook method. So on the other hand, if you are used to the texture of steel cut oats on the stove, be aware this might be a little mushier than you would expect.

I am sure you could do this in a large crock pot, but I am not sure how that would change the cook time. And every slow cooker is different. So you might have to try the plain version of the recipe a few times to get the liquid ratio just right, as well as the cooking time. I went to Target and got a 2.5 quart Crockpot for $12 for this purpose. Totally worth it! Also try spraying the crockpot to help the sticking, but expect to have to soak it :)

You could try this water bath method too in a large crock pot

Long story short, don't cook this for the first time for a bunch of guests, lol.

Spray or butter the bottom and up the sides of the crock pot for easier clean up

I add a couple tbsp of chia seeds to each batch. You don't even notice them. You could add ground flaxseed also/instead.

You can add any type of milk you like. Almond, coconut, hemp, rice, skim/2%/whole, goat. Whatever floats your boat.
Same goes for "sugar". If your prefer stevia, honey, maple syrup, white sugar, or whatever sweetener toots your horn.
You can also substitute virgin coconut oil for butter. Especially recommended for the coconut flavors.

**I kept forgetting to take pictures in the craze of morning routine, so I will add more pictures as I can!**

Basic Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats.

1 cup steel cut oats
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups milk of choice
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp butter, cut into pieces

Add all the ingredients. Give a light stir. Cook on low 8 hours. Reheat leftovers with a little milk added.


*Unless specified as "when serving" or "top with", all variation ingredients are added for the cooking process.

Maple Brown Sugar:

Add 1/4 cup packed brown sugar in the cooking process and drizzle with a little (REAL) maple syrup when serving.

Maple Bacon:
Top with 1/2 slice crumbled bacon and drizzle with maple syrup

Apple Cinnamon:

Peel and chop 2 apples into bite size pieces
Add to crock pot along with 1 tbsp cinnamon and 1 tsp ground ginger. Add brown sugar to taste when served.

Cinnamon Spice:

Add 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1/4 tsp ground cloves to liquid.

Chocolate PB:
Add 1 tbsp cocoa powder and some sugar. Top with a dollop of PB when serving

Chocolate Banana:

Whisk 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 2 tbsp white sugar, and 1-2 mashed very ripe bananas to milk before adding to crock pot. Add more sweetener to each serving if needed (depends on sweetness of bananas) (banana ones don't keep well in our experience, so don't plan on leftovers! Or add the banana when serving)

Chocolate Coconut: 
Replace milk with plain coconut milk (I used canned) and add 2 tbsp cocoa powder, 2 tbsp sugar, and a palmful of shredded sweetened coconut (I chopped it up a little more)

Banana Coconut:
Use coconut milk and mash 2 bananas. Add a palmful of sweetened, shredded, and chopped coconut.
(banana ones don't keep well in our experience, so don't plan on leftovers! Or add the banana when serving)

Add a dollop of nutella and a sprinkle of hazelnuts when serving, plus maybe a little sugar if needed.

Add 1 cup pureed pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie stuff), 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, and 1/4 cup sugar. Can top with chopped pecans if desired

Banana Bread:
Mash 2 ripe bananas and add to liquid along with 1 tbsp cinnamon. When serving, sweeten as desired and add chopped walnuts and/or a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips.
(banana ones don't keep well in our experience, so don't plan on leftovers! Or add the banana when serving)

Blueberry Lemon:
Add 1 cup frozen blueberries and zest and juice of one lemon when assembling to cook. Top with slivered almonds, if desired.

Strawberries and Cream:
Add 1 cup frozen strawberries and a couple tbsp sugar.

Lemon Poppyseed:
Right before serving, zest and juice of one lemon and stir. Add a palmful of poppy seeds or, heck just use chia seeds. :)

Mango Coconut:
Use coconut milk. Add 1 cup frozen mango, and a palmful shredded, chopped, sweetened coconut.

Substitute 1 cup water with 1 cup cooled brewed coffee. Add 2 tbsp cocoa powder and 3 tbsp sugar.

PB and J:
Sweeten and then top with a dollop of PB and a dollop of preferred jam/jelly/100% fruit spread

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