Having recently added oats back into our diet (occasionally), we have come to re-love steel cut oats. There are so many recipes out there on ways to enjoy them. I have made apple crisp, oatmeal cookies, and just plain breakfast oatmeal. We still only have them occasionally, I would say about once every two weeks. But adding them in still adds to our variety.
A good friend of mine posted on Facebook a crock pot oatmeal recipe that just sounded out of this world, so I had to give it a go, of course in my own special allergen free way. (recipe at bottom of post)
One of the things I have seen a lot on whole food websites is soaking of grains. I have been dabbling in it a little, but since we are gluten free, not so much. But it is really intriguing to me. I know of people who can tolerate soaked grains, but not unsoaked. So interesting... so, soaking does a bunch of wonderful things like aiding in digestion. Soaking oatmeal can aid in its digestion, but you need to add a tad of wheat to do so... here in lies my quandary. Buckwheat is another alternative to soak with oats, but we can't do that either. Anyways, I digress. Here are some websites that have fabulous explanations on it: (if you care for more information)
While I didn't soak my oatmeal for the following recipe, I think it would be a nice addition to the recipe.
Oatmeal in a Crockpot
1 c. steel cut oats
4 c. water
1/2 c. milk substitute of choice (I used coconut milk)
1 c. dried fruit of choice OR 1 fresh apple, chopped (I omitted this the first time I made it.)
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 TBSP Earth Balance Soy Free butter or coconut oil
1/2 t. vanilla
1 t. cinnamon
Awesome part of this recipe is that you assemble it at night, set the crockpot on low, go to sleep and wake up to a ready made breakfast. I love that. My boys are a bit spoiled and they
demand love a hot breakfast, so this will help me to not have to cook first thing in the morning.
First, I found a glass container that would hold all this yummy goodness. Then I made sure it would fit into my crock pot. I was a tad bit proud of myself for checking the bowl to see if it fit BEFORE filling it. I would recommend a glass container about 1.75 quarts and up. I then filled my bowl up. I simply just added each ingredient and gave it a swirl with the spoon. If you would like to add dried fruit or the chopped apple, then add it in as well. The last step was to CAREFULLY pour water into the surrounding empty area of the crockpot. I filled it to just under the lip of the glass bowl. This will keep the oatmeal from getting crunchy on the outside of the bowl. Make sense? Set the crock pot to low, then put the cover on and head off to dream land...
You should awake to creamy, steamy oatmeal with yummy goodness all baked it. Now please note: I did not add fruit this time, I wanted to see how my kiddos liked it and then I can add it next time. My dear friend added this note on her recipe, "Note: when using dried fruit, the cooking process will rehydrate the fruit, giving you those puffy raisins, if you know what I mean. Some people hate those! Just FYI. Also, this was very sweet when we made it with 3 T. cinnamon sugar. I would be tempted to maybe go with 1 T."
Enjoy. Let me know what you think.