Since giving up processed cereals, oats are my go to. I love that you can control the amount of added sugar, if you put any at all. However I rarely have time in the morning to make oats. My starvation, impatience, and busy schedule rarely allow it. I do have 5 minutes on Sunday night to make oats that will last all week however.
Steel cut oats are the least processed kind of oats. Less processing is always a good thing and leaves the most nutrients in the food. However because of that, they take longer to cook, roughly 30 minutes. I found a technique that has worked quite nicely and leaves my oats waiting for me as soon as I wake up.
Crockpot Steel cut oats
1 cup steel cut oat
4 cups water
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs ground flax or chia seeds
1 cup fruit of choice (I’ve used frozen blueberries, diced strawberries, diced apples, and sliced bananas)
12 inch piece of tin foil
Take the piece of tin foil and roll it up then make it into a circle. Place that at the bottom of the crockpot.
Spray an oven safe dish with cooking spray and add all your ingredients to it. Make sure its big enough that its only about 3/4 full since the oats will grow in size and you don’t want them spilling over. Place dish on the tin foil ring. Fill the crockpot (not the dish with oats) with water until about half way up the dish. Cover with lid.
Set on low right before you go to bed and let cook for roughly 8 hours.
As simple as that, you have oats in the morning!
As you can see the fruit kind of stays floating at the top so it doesn’t get overcooked and mushy. And sorry for the ugly pictures but oatmeal is just an ugly food, no way around that. And I won’t claim to have great food photography skills either! Give the oats a nice stir and they will look a little better though.
I add peanut butter to my oats after they cook (healthy fats and protein) so I don’t feel the need for the added sweetener. If you like your oats a little sweeter you can add some honey or real maple syrup. When I am feeling like sweeter oats I usually just opt for the banana to be my fruit since they are naturally sweet.
Add ins after its cooked:
peanut butter (or other nut butter)
a few mini chocolate chips
nuts or seeds
Or just eat it as is!
Steel cut oats are a little chewier with a different texture than rolled oats and I really like them. They are said to have a nuttier flavor but honestly, they taste like oatmeal to me. Maybe my palate isn’t quite as refined as others in the oats deparment!
Its so nice to come down in the morning smelling oats all ready for me. Just scoop into a bowl and serve. The smell of cinnamon is amazing. I read in Men’s health a while back that cinnamon is one of the 8 foods we should consume on a daily basis. Microwaving oats doesn’t take too long but is it only me or does anyone else always overflow their oats in the microwave? I swear no matter how big my bowl is, I always get distracted and let them overflow.
I put the leftovers in the refridgerator then heat them up on the stovetop throughout the week. I usually add a little extra milk to them when I heat them back up. Alyssa is 100% an oatmeal girl. She scarfs down oats in seconds flat. She has been loving the fact that I have some pre-made in the fridge ready to heat up in the morning.
*ETA: we now soak all of our grains. Soak oats in 2 cups warm water and 1 Tbs kefir or apple cider vinegar for at least 7 hours before starting to cook. Rinse oats then proceed.
I will also triple the recipe so I have oats to heat back up all week. When I do that, I just put everything straight into the crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.