11.28.2010

Slow cooker oatmeal

Brown sugar, cranberries, and oats, waiting to enter the slow cooker.

Seeing as it's finally getting cold and rainy out, it seemed just about time to switch from cold morning cereal to hot morning cereal (at least for a bit).

Our first attempt at oats was an absolute failure. We used what we thought were steel cut oats but were actually quick cooking steel-cut oats. After 8 hours in the slow cooker, we ended up with soup. After it cooled, it solidified into something oat-like, but we decided it probably wasn't worth eating.

We learned a valuable lesson from that experiment, though. We put dried cranberries in the night before (with extra water to make up for them!), hoping they would rehydrate overnight. They sure did rehydrate, and I can tell you now that I prefer my cranberries dehydrated.

Breakfast the next morning. Yum.
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Slow cooker oatmeal
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1.5 cups of steel cut oats
4 cups of water
1 cup of half and half

cinnamon
brown sugar
cranberries
banana

Directions:
1. Place the oats, water and half and half into the slow cooker 8-9 hours before breakfast. Stir gently and set to low. Make sure your slow cooker is away from anything flammable.
2. In the morning, turn off the slow cooker and scoop out a quarter of the oatmeal into each bowl.
3. Immediately sprinkle with brown sugar, cinnamon and cranberries, stirring them in while the oats are still hot. Slice banana on top.
Note: If you wake up about an hour before you plan to eat the oats, add the cranberries to the slow cooker ahead of time. This way, they will plump slightly. Yum.

Other possible toppings: peanut butter, chocolate chips, dried apples
What do you put on your oatmeal?
Also, check out my post on savory oatmeal! That's right--cheese, in my oatmeal!
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A bite full of oats.
We added cinnamon to the liquids, but I think it would have been better to add it in the morning. Much of the cinnamon flavored disappeared overnight.

The oatmeal also reheats well. If you're serving fewer than four, don't decrease the recipe. Store any leftovers in microwave safe containers and microwave them with a little extra water (about a tablespoon) for breakfast the following morning.

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