Sunday, April 11, 2010

Slow cooker oatmeal

Steel-cut oats are to packets of instant oatmeal what Kobe beef is to dog food. If your only experience with oatmeal is the instant kind, you owe it to yourself to try some steel-cut oats. The texture and taste are completely different, and yet infinitely more filling and satisfying.

The problem with steel-cut oats is that they take a long time to cook down, which is probably why people abandoned them for Quaker in the first place. Never fear, though--you can overcome that obstacle with a Crockpot. Best of all, you can cook your oatmeal overnight in the Crockpot, so that you have a hot, filling and tasty breakfast waiting for everyone in the morning. That's even less effort than microwaving a packet of instant. I like to make a big batch at a time, portion it out into tiny Tupperware containers, and have a little for breakfast each morning during the week.

I use a cup of steel-cut oats with four cups of water and half a cup of cream, set on low for 8-9 hours. You can add what flavorings you will--dried fruit or brown sugar come to mind. Or make it plain, and add different toppings to the final product. In my last batch, I added a cup of dried cranberries and a cup of dried blueberries at the beginning, and cooked for 8 hours. The oatmeal turned a strange color--a deep bluish-purple, with streaks of maroon, the exact color of a bad bruise, but oh, it was yummy. You could use dried apricots, or figs, or apples, or some other combination of dried fruit less likely to produce such a lurid breakfast.

1 comment:

  1. I love my rice cooker. I use it to make rice, of course, quinoa, polenta and steel cut oats. It's great for people who work, because you can set the timer. And it keeps the food warm for up to 8 hours.