It’s the time of year for warming breakfasts, and seriously – there’s nothing more comforting than oatmeal! Another comforting thing – at least to me – is knowing that I have something healthy waiting for me in the morning. I’m usually pretty bleary-eyed and forgetful at that time of day and breakfast often gets short shrift. But what could be easier than dumping some ingredients in the crock pot in the evening, and – like magic – waking up to delicious cinnamon-y goodness?
I am a recent convert to the wonders of steel-cut oats – I am now a dedicated fan of its chewy texture and nutty flavor. So much so, that I am no longer interested in that box of regular ol’ rolled oats sitting in my cabinet.
This recipe makes 5 servings, enough for an entire workweek of fruit-filled nutritiousness. I portion it out into containers and keep them in the fridge, ready to pop in the microwave after I’ve had some coffee and I’m awake enough to push a few buttons.
RECIPE: SLOW-COOKED APPLE CINNAMON STEEL CUT OATMEAL
Makes 4-5 servings
- 2 apples, peeled, cored, chopped
- 1 ½ cups almond milk (regular or vanilla)
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
- 2 tablespoons turbinado (or brown) sugar
- ½- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cardamom (optional)
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Optional additions: dried cranberries, chopped nuts, raisins
Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray or oil. Add all ingredients to slow cooker. Stir (apples will float to the top – that’s perfectly OK), cover, and cook on low for approx. 7 hours or overnight Don’t worry about overcooking – I’ve cooked it for up to 10 hours and it turned out just fine.
Serve topped with maple syrup, milk, butter, or even some flavored coffee creamer (that’s my personal guilty pleasure). Store leftovers in refrigerator. Freezes well, too!
Note: you can leave the apples unpeeled if you wish; I’ve tried the recipe with both peeled and unpeeled apples, and I personally think the peels detract from the pleasing texture. But – if you want peels, knock yourself out!