Thursday, October 28, 2010

Crockpot Oatmeal

Awhile ago (like several years!), a friend of mine from church brought a crockpot of oatmeal to a Ladies' Brunch that I hosted at my house.  Now, I am a sucker for breakfast casseroles, so I admired her oatmeal from a distance.  I don't typically prefer sweets in the morning, even though I am an oatmeal fan.  Anyway, I chose several things from the plethora of savory treats laid out on the buffet.  However, her oatmeal intrigued me and she kindly shared the recipe with me.  This was my introduction to steel cut oats.  So, yesterday, after a trip to a quaint local bulk store, I brought home a package of steel cut oats and determined that I would put together the recipe in the crockpot for breakfast.  Her recipe told me to add the oats and the water according to the package directions, but since I bought a bulk package, alas, no directions!  So, I googled (there's a big surprise!), and found this recipe on a blog that I have heard a lot about.  I will include the stovetop procedure (which I didn't use) as well as my crockpot method.

This was yummy, so simple, and adaptable to any sort of taste preference.  The steel cut oats are the key ingredient.

Crockpot Oatmeal
Source: Two Peas and their Pod, and my friend

1 cup steel cut oats
3 1/2 cups water
pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
several dashes of cinnamon,
a handful of raisins, or whatever toppings you like
a chopped apple, peeled

Crockpot Directions:
Place all ingredients in the crockpot and stir to combine.  Cook on low overnight (I did mine for about 8 hours).  In the morning, add a splash of milk to thin it out and top with brown sugar and any additional toppings, such as more raisins, nuts, craisins, etc.


Stovetop Directions:
Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the steel cut oats and and salt.  Stir.

Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 30 minutes. Make sure you stir the oats occasionally so they don’t stick to the pan.

When the oats start to thicken, at about 30 minutes, add in the milk and vanilla.  I think the milk makes the oats creamier. Stir the oats,  milk, and vanilla together and cook for ten more minutes.

Add in the cinnamon and raisins or whatever toppings you wish.

Serve the oats hot.  To reheat, add a splash of milk and reheat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

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