The weekend after Thanksgiving we were privileged to play host to my daughter-in-law’s family. With my son and his wife living in Alabama and her family living in the eastern part of North Carolina, it can be difficult to see and spend time with all of the family. So, we invited them to come to our home for the weekend and we all got to spend time together and it was a blast! And yet relaxing. Us girls went into town to do some shopping and then went to the Grove Park Inn to see the gingerbread houses. If you’ve never had a chance to see them, you must put it on your bucket list. The gingerbread houses are created by all age groups between elementary school age to adults and of course there’s ribbons involved. It’s well worth a visit.
As much as I love to cook, I also like to keep it simple so I can enjoy family time too. We had already decided on oven cooked bacon and frittatas for breakfast. Both also easy but I wanted something extra to go with that. I searched the internet for ideas and found a slow cooker oats recipe on allrecipes’ website that inspired this recipe. Of course I altered the ingredients a bit to adapt more to our taste, but that’s where it all began. This is one of those recipes that you dump the ingredients in a slow cooker, cover with the lid, turn it on low and go to bed. The only prep work that needs to be done is chop the apple. It’s that easy.
Here’s how I made it.
Slow Cooker Oatmeal
First let’s talk about the oats. What most of us are familiar with is the rolled flat oatmeal that you see on the left. Steel cut oat, shown on the right, is less processed and is made when the oat, or groat, is cut into several pieces, rather than steamed and rolled. The steel cut takes the longest to cook, and doesn’t turn to mush. It will have a bit of a bite, somewhat like the texture of barley after it’s been cooked. So, for slow cooker oatmeal recipes that are going to be cooking all night, you should use the steel cut oats or you’ll end up with oatmeal mush.
Start by putting the steel cut oats in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Add the chopped apple, raisins, butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt.
You can use other dried fruits instead of raisins such as dried cranberries or cherries. If you’re not a dried fruit kind of person, you can certainly leave it out! I’ve done that and it’s equally as good.
Pour in the water.
If you want to add more apple flavor, you can substitute the water with apple juice!
Stir to get the sugar dissolving and spices all mixed in.
Cover, set it on low and go to bed. This will need to cook about 8 hours.
Another thing I love about this recipe is, it still comes out perfectly if you double the recipe as I did for our guests. Some recipes just don’t quite work when you start doubling the ingredients or cutting ingredients in half. I’ve done it both ways, cutting it in half for just Paul and I on the weekends, and it comes out perfectly every time.
The next morning, remove the lid and this is what you’ll see. The apples tend to stay on top while cooking.
Mix it all up and this is what you’ll have.
I like to serve it with some chopped walnuts and maybe some more chopped fresh apples for extra crunch and crispness. How about a drizzle of maple syrup? Oh, that would be so good!
If you have some regular rolled oats on hand, check out these scrumptious Raspberry Shortbread Bars with a crumbled oats topping! So easy and delicious!
What is your favorite breakfast in the slow cooker?
Here’s the printer friendly recipe.