Another thing on the Fall-is-awesome list: the slow cooker. This is one of my most beloved kitchen appliances, and something I've used frequently since receiving it as a wedding gift, years ago. The slow cooker makes amazing soups, curries, and chilis, but some of my favorite uses are more unconventional: cooking butternut squash with a some water, making Mexican hot chocolate, chocolate cake, corn bread, and lasagna. Something I had yet to make successfully in the slow cooker: oatmeal.
I think the water-to-oats ratio eluded me, as I was often left with a crusty, burnt, oaty abomination. I called it quits until a kind reader-friend told me the magic secret. (Thank you again, Sandra!)
Part 1: Use steel-cut oats. In the past, I'd always used old-fashioned, and it didn't usually turn out well.
Part 2: 4 cups water to 1 cup steel-cut oats.
It actually worked!!
Since I didn't know what was going to happen, I added some of my favorite Fall ingredients to somehow soften the blow if the oats were charbroiled. (Looking back, it makes no sense at all, but totally did in the mad Frankenstein delirium I felt while putting this together.)
In the slow cooker:
2 cups steel-cut oats
8 cups water
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
Pinch of sea salt
1 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
2 apples, peeled and sliced
A few long strands of lemon zest (to remove after cooking)
1/4 cup brown sugar
This cooked overnight, on low, for about 8-10 hours.
This is perfect for Sunday meal prep, as you can store portions in the fridge or freezer, ready to go. In the morning, all you have to do is add a little milk, if you like, along with some chia seeds, coconut, nut butter, or slivered almonds.
For me, it was an awesome breakfast number two after teaching Bodypump, along with a side of scrambled eggs.
Let me know if you give it a try! Have you made oats in the slow cooker? What's one of your favorite or more unique slow-cooker uses? I'm always looking for more ideas to enjoy this Fall.
I say Fall, but it's really, like, 80 degrees here. Just gonna roll with it.