Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Best (and Easiest) Steel Cut Oatmeal

Oatmeal is one of my favorite things. I love it in the winter on a cold day. I love it cold from the fridge on a hot day. Thankfully 3/4 family members agree with me. Although The Husband is a fair weathered supporter, he would select eggs, hash brown potatoes, sausage, and toast every day if he could.

I am trying to eat more steel cut oats instead of the old fashioned variety. Why? Steel cut oats have been processed way less than old fashioned  oatmeal (even more true for instant oatmeal). Less processing means more nutritional value. More nutritional value means better for you. Additional bonus, discount grocery store, Aldi, now carries steel cut oatmeal.

The only down side, steel cut oatmeal takes longer to cook. Which means I can't just make a bowl and run off to work, unless I do some advance preparation. One of the little known facts about myself, the person everyone thinks about being a great planner, is that I actually do very little advanced planning when it comes to meals. I rush around every morning trying to throw The Short Chic's lunch together, my breakfast together, as well as my lunch.

One of the things I love the most about this recipe is with very little advance prep, I have a week's worth of steel cut oatmeal prepared and just waiting for me in the fridge. My mornings may still be hectic (why can I never make our lunches ahead of time) but the breakfast portion just got a whole lot simpler thanks to Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal.

Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal

2 cups Steel Cut Oatmeal
6 cups Water
1/2 cup Cranberries
1/3 cup Walnuts, Chopped
1/4 cup Ground Flax Seed
2 teaspoons Cinnamon

In a lined slow cooker add all dry ingredients (oatmeal, cranberries, walnuts, ground flax seed, and cinnamon. Make sure you give the dry ingredients a good stir to mix it all together before adding the water.

Here is the scoop, if you don't like cranberries, don't add them. If you don't like walnuts, don't add them. Get creative and add your favorite add-ins.

 Then add the water.   Then after you add the water, give it another good stir before you you walk away, just to make sure it is all mixed around.

Cook on low for 5 or 6 hours.

The top layers gets all brown and crusty. The inside is soft. Trust me this is good stuff right here!

After your oatmeal is cooked you will want to sweeten it. We all like something different so I do not sweeten the entire batch. I use Agave. The Short Chic likes a little brown sugar. The Husband likes Truvia. We also prefer to add a splash of Almond Milk to our oatmeal. YUMMY!

Here is the coolest tip I can share with you. I learned this little handy tip from my friend Tracy. She is maybe the smartest person I know. I want this recipe hot when I wake up in the morning which would require me to get up in the middle of the  night to turn it on. Instead, I plug my slow cooker into one of those light timers. Then I set it to turn on in the middle of the night and it is ready when I wake up!

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