Here is the basic recipe (but I have some additions below it):
Oatmeal in the Crock Pot (Serves 4-6)
1 Cup Steel Cut Oats* (you cannot use rolled oats for this)
2 Cups Water
2 1/2 Cups Milk
1 Tsp Cinnamon
Desired accompaniments: honey, maple syrup, walnuts and or raisins
- Place the first 4 ingredients in a crock pot and stir to combine.
- Cook the oatmeal on low heat for 6-9 hours (the amount of time can vary depending on your crock pot. Some crock pots that don’t have non stick surfaces can get hotter then others).
- Stir in desired accompaniments and serve.
*There are many different brands of steel cut oats, which are basically cut oats that are not yet rolled. They are more dense and therefore take longer to cook. You can find these at the grocery store in the oatmeal section. As well, I have seen some brands, like Bob's Red Mill, in the baking section. BTW, Bob's Red Mill also makes a gluten free variety.
~~~~~~~~~I alter the basic recipe a little by adding (or increasing):
1 Tbsp Cinnamon (I increase it to this - but we love cinnamon)
1 Tsp of vanilla
2 Tbsp of ground flax
The other additions I have added were apples and raisins. I peeled and chopped up two apples, which I mixed with about 1/2 cup of raisins. Before adding to the mixture, toss both in cinnamon (refer back to the "we love cinnamon") to coat. I have tried it both at the beginning of the cooking process and an hour or two before it is done. We like it better when the apples and raisins cook overnight. The apples are soft, the raisins are plump and the oatmeal takes on the apple and raisin taste. I also add nuts - chopped pecans, almonds or walnuts.
The best part (for the kids) is getting to pick their own mix-ins - which I do when I just make the basic recipe (and sometimes even with the cinnamon apple and raisin recipe). Along with a little milk, our favorite mix-ins are:
- Frozen blueberries - these are not only plump from the heat and taste wonderful, but they also act as little ice cubes to cool off the oatmeal. Definitely a HUGE favorite at our house.
- Other frozen fruit - chopped strawberries, mangos, peaches, raspberries, etc.
- Nuts - chopped pecans, almonds, walnuts, etc.
- Dried Fruit - raisins, cranberries, cherries, chopped figs, etc.
Cooking: Like noted in the recipe, cooking times will vary. I'll be honest, I have cooked it for many different times, just based on when I went to bed the night before and when we ate it in the morning (and it always turns out fine). I don't think it is an exact science. You can try it and see. If you have a crock pot that you can program to go to warm after a certain amount of time, you might want to try that too.
Clean up: No doubt, unless you have a non-stick crock pot (which we do not), there will be some reside on the sides of your crock pot. I have found that it really isn't that hard to get off. On the Weelicious site in the comments of each of the above posts (recipe and program), you can see various mentions of this and remedies. Some say baking soda and hot water, some say a little oil (or non stick spray) before adding your ingredients, etc. Once we empty ours, we just soak it in hot soapy water for 1/2 hour or so, scrub a little and it's clean.
It's easy, it's healthy and it will keep you and your children fueled throughout the morning.
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