Crockpot Steel-Cut Oats

Steel-cut oats have become a somewhat trendy breakfast food for the health-conscious. Supposedly they are less processed than old-fashioned or instant oatmeal, which eh, might be slightly true, but the nutritional qualities are pretty much the same for all three varieties.

Little barley-sized nubbins of oat, they also take longer to cook, but I wanted to try them anyway. So, I decided to try a recipe I’d seen for overnight slow-cooked steel-cut oats. The recipe said it would take 6-8 hours, and I was a little concerned because I wanted to put them in at 10:00, before I headed upstairs to read, and enjoy them closer to 7:00, after I’d been awake for a bit.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I loaded up my 1970s-era crockpot with the following:

  • 3/4 cup steel-cut oats
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • dash or two of salt
  • A few tablespoons of maple syrup

Combine all ingredients and set on low. Cook as long as you darn well need them to be cooked.

Last night, we had a mother of a thunderstorm around 4:30. In the midst of the flashing lightning and crashing thunder, I got up at 5:00, which was the 7-hour mark, to check on my oats. They seemed happy enough and were definitely cooked and creamy. I stirred them, figured they would be OK for another couple hours and went back to bed.

At 7:00, I peeked in to find them a bit thicker than they were at the 7-hour mark, but perfectly tasty once I’d mixed in a bit more milk. I enjoyed mine with diced nectarine and a little more maple syrup drizzled on top. The oaty flavor was definitely more pronounced than with standard rolls oats, and I liked the texture a lot.

The great thing about this recipe is that it would be great with a variety of mix-ins – apple, banana, nuts, raisins, etc. This amount made about three servings.

It’s hard to beat having breakfast all hot and ready for you in the morning! Definitely a recipe I’ll be making again!

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