Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Crockpot Tuesday - Overnight Oatmeal

We talked yesterday about some ways to streamline your morning routine. As the weather cools down, I want my kids to have a hot, healthy breakfast but it has to be convenient to prepare. I've heard a lot about crockpot oatmeal so I decided to check it out.

According to Stephanie Gallagher of About.com,

"This Crockpot oatmeal recipe is a wonderful way to enjoy a hot breakfast with virtually no work in the morning. Just dump the ingredients in the slow cooker at night and wake up to a healthy, comforting breakfast in the morning. Be sure to use steel cut oatmeal (also called Irish oatmeal or Scottish oats) for this recipe. If you use rolled oats, it will not hold up to the long cooking process."

The About.com recipe is for Crockpot Oatmeal with Honey and Apples looks great - but the diced apples have to be added an hour before serving, so I might try it on the weekend or omit that ingredient on weekday mornings altogether.

Blogger Ann Roeker provides a picture tutorial on how she prepares her  Overnight Crockpot Steel Cut Oatmeal; she puts the oatmeal in a bowl inside the crock instead of directly into the crock itself - maybe that's the way to compensate for a larger crockpot like I have.

Over at the Food Network website, I found Alton's Brown's recipe for Overnight Oatmeal with Dried Cranberries and Figs.

It's always important to look at the reviews on recipe websites like Food Network and AllRecipes.com. For example, Meghan comments on Alton Brown's recipe:

"We have been making this recipe for years now and love it! You must use steel cut oats and an average size slow cooker (3qt) for this to turn out great without modifications. If you are like me and have one of the large 6qt slow cookers, cut the time in half. Fresh fruit does not do well (which is why Alton specifically adds dried). The dried fruit absorbs the water and plumps for fantastic flavor. We change up the fruit selection and sometimes even add nuts instead. Our favorite combo's are dried apples and walnuts, dried cherries and blueberries, and raisins and craisins." 

...while Marcy adds:

"We made it for years as a half recipe in a smaller crockpot, washing it every day. Now, our four year old insists on her own big bowl, so we're making a triple batch in a six quart crock pot so it lasts for several days. I make it with 3 cups of steel cut oats, 9 3/4 cups of water and 2 cups of half and half. I give the pan a little spray of cooking spray before I put everything in. I cook it for 8 hours on low. No burning, and it's easy to clean. We heat it up with a little milk after the first day. (We omitted the fruit after the first time, and we dress it up to our liking with brown sugar and various dry fruits.)"

So as I noted in my first crockpot post, your mileage may vary based upon your crockpot and your preferences!  But give it a try! I'm sure going to! Let me know if you try it!

Top image courtesy of nursdurkin.

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