Thursday, April 18, 2013

Slow cooker Citrus Spiced Oatmeal

Recently I've heard somewhere that you can cook oatmeal overnight in a slow cooker. I loved the idea of waking up to a prepared breakfast and to the house smelling delicious. I'd looked over a bunch of recipes and kept putting off actually making it, because I was too confused and a bit nervous about leaving oatmeal to cook all alone without me watching for the first time (will it overcook? will it dry out and get burnt? should I be supervising it closely the first time I am making it?), and some recipes called for milk, whereas others said milk was a "no-no!" in the slow cooker, so it took me a while to find the recipe that I felt comfortable with, and it was worth the wait. This slow cooker oatmeal idea is genius and it's so, so, so good! It's also nutritionally better for you, because it uses steel cut oats, as oppose to the super processed quick oats that we all usually make in the morning (nothing wrong with that, but just try this slow cooked version and see what you think)

The recipe I used was Baked Bree's Vanilla Spiced Oatmeal, and I followed the recipe exactly with a small addition of an extra ingredient (zest of an orange, which I really thought complimented this recipe nicely). Use any kind of milk you like with your cooked oatmeal, the recipe calls for Almond milk, but I used just a regular 2% and it was great! 

Slow cooker Citrus Spiced Oatmeal

cooking spray
1 cup steel cut oats (really important that it's steel cut oats and not any other kind)
1 tsp of vanilla exctract 
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cardamom

3 1/2 C water
toppings that you like in your oatmeal, such as berris, honey, mape syrop, etc 

Start by spraying slowcooker with the cooking spray really thoroughly (unless you like to challenge yourself with scrubbing really dirty dishes). Place all of the ingredients in a slow cooker except milk and the toppings).

Top with the water and mix together

Set the timer for 8 hours and go to bed. When I was woken up by Allie in the middle of the night, the house already smelled so delicious at that point that I almost got up and had some (I probably would've, only I knew it wasn't completely cooked by that point yet).

In the morning when it's cooked, it doesn't look that great, but don't let the looks fool you, just add your toppings, it will be great! The burnt looking parts are actually the best tasting I thought, because it was basically all sugar (what's not to like?!)

Add in some milk, berries, honey or maple syrup and enjoy!

The leftovers are great too! One day I actually ended up having a bowl as a dessert! Hope you like it as much as I did. Oh, and did I mention that EVERYONE in our family loved this, including Allie! The only thing, for Allie I actually had to add in some pink food coloring, because she's been watching too much of this cartoon lately and wanted her "kasha" to be pink.

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