It's freezing (or below) here in Providence, and there's still snow all over the ground. While hiding out in my cozy house on my cozy couch, I was inspired to make some really cozy food. Enter: the slow cooker.
We have a nice little slow cooker stowed away in our cabinet, yet no one in my house (including myself) use it very often. But let me tell you, it's amazing! I always forget about the wonders of a slow cooker. In this case, dump everything in, let it go overnight, and wake up to the incredible aroma of vanilla and warm cinnamon. It doesn't get much better than that.
This awesome steel-cut oatmeal was approved by all my housemates and even the guys who live next door. Everyone loved it drizzled with honey - and I bet they didn't even know it had flaxseeds in it. See?! Healthy food that actually tastes good!
Oats start out as whole grains. The hulls are removed, leaving you with the groat. I've seen whole oat groats in the bulk section at Whole Foods, looking just like this:
The next step down from the whole oat is steel cut oats - groats that are basically just chopped up so that they cook faster.
Lastly, we come to instant oats. You probably guessed it by now, but these are the most processed. They're whole groats that are steamed, rolled, chopped, cooked, and then dehydrated...not so much a "whole grain" anymore, huh?
Anyways, this is just my very lengthy way of saying that you're probably better off buying steel cut oats (they're cheap as heck in the bulk section), tossing them in the slow cooker one night, and reheating them for the rest of the week, than you are buying highly-processed, not-as-filling "oats" supplemented with a handful of sugar and artificial flavors. Sorry dad, I know I'm bursting your bubble here (love you!).
If that all made sense and you're still here for an awesome, comforting breakfast recipe, here you go!
Apple Cinnamon Slow Cooker Oatmeal:
Makes 8 serving
- 2 cups steel cut oats
- 2 1/2 cups milk (dairy or nondairy; I used unsweetened almond milk)
- 6 cups water
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons vanilla exract
- 3 small apples, finely chopped
- Garnish (optional): honey, chopped apples, walnuts
- Put all ingredients in the bowl of a slow cooker.
- Set on low and let cook overnight or for about 8 hours.
- Stir (the spices and apples will probably end up on top) and serve!