Slow-cooked oatmeal a filling breakfast on cool mornings

Fall's cool mornings are the perfect time for one of my favorite things – oatmeal cooked overnight in the slow cooker. I made a batch last night, and it really hit the spot.

The recipe is pretty basic and flexible:

- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

- 4 cups water

 

 

 

  • - add anything else that sounds good. For me, it was a cut-up apple, some raisins and a little cinnamon, but I'm also looking forward to trying dried cranberries and walnuts. Or even chocolate chips, although those should probably be added in the morning.

     

Add ingredients to the slow cooker before you go to bed. Set on low. Enjoy in the morning. It makes quite a few servings, so you'll either be really full or have some leftovers. Or you could try paring down the recipe.

 

I sprayed my slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray before adding my ingredients, but it was still pretty goopy this morning. If you don't feel like soaking and scrubbing, you can buy slow-cooker liners. I've never tried them, but I hear they make cleanup easy.

 

Photo from The News-Gazette's Darrell Hoemann. It's actually loaded oatmeal, featuring ice cream and strawberries. You can add those things, too, if it strikes your fancy. 

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algon wrote on October 05, 2010 at 11:10 am

Mmmmm nothing says breakfast of champions like the adjective "goopy."

I have to force myself to eat it by adding quick oats to those Quaker flavored packets. Although the chocolate chips would make any oatmeal more appetizing!

Meg Dickinson wrote on October 05, 2010 at 11:10 am
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You'll have to try this version, seriously. It's nothing like the stuff you warm up in the microwave. And there are plenty of delicious dishes that could be described as "goopy." Cheese dip, chocolate chip cookie dough ... and oatmeal, of course.

DenaS wrote on October 06, 2010 at 12:10 pm

I like overnight oatmeal even better with steel-cut (aka Irish) oatmeal! (probably my time in the UK speaking there, but still.) The texture's both creamy and distinct; rolled oats tend to become more of a single substance, but steel-cut oats keep their distinct grains at the same time that they get creamy even if you don't add milk or cream.

The ratio's pretty simple for steel-cut oats too: 1 cup steel cut oats to 4 cups water, add a pinch of salt, chopped dried fruit, and spices to taste, sleep, wake up to yum. :D

My oval-shaped slow cooker tends to burn overnight oatmeal in the corners, though, so here's the "on the stovetop" version that works with non-stick pots:

Get your 4 cups of water boiling in a big pot or dutch oven that has a lid. Stir in your steel-cut oats, dried fruit, and spices, put the lid on, turn the heat off, and go to bed. Next morning, bring the pot back up to a boil (you might need to add a bit more water depending on how thirsty the dried fruits were), cook for 5-10 minutes, taste for doneness, and serve.

(If you want the dried fruit more distinct rather than turning into a sort of distributed jam, you can save adding that til the morning cooking. I kind of like the overnight-soaked distributed-jam phenomenon though.)

The leftovers refrigerate great and rewarm with a tablespoon or two of water/milk and a minute in the microwave. I tend to make a big batch Sunday night/Monday morning, portion them out, and have weekday breakfasts all ready to go.

Another Welsh trick with leftover steel-cut oatmeal that's been refrigerated? It'll usually set up pretty solid, so cut slices of it (think biscotti here) and skillet-heat it in a bit of butter (or a French toast-style egg-milk-and-vanilla wash).

mmmmmm...

ETA: I've never used slow cooker liners because of the experience my neighbors had with them. The liner melted into the slow cooker, ruined what was being cooked in it, and filled the house with melting-plastic fumes. Ew...

Meg Dickinson wrote on October 07, 2010 at 8:10 am
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Yum, thanks for all that information! And about the liners - yikes! Maybe I'm better off without them.