Slow-cooker oatmeal

This is a great way to have a hot, creamy, hearty breakfast in the morning without doing any work in your starved, caffeine-deprived state.  Bonus points if you’ve got a programmable coffee maker and can have the coffee waiting for you along with the breakfast!

I’m providing a recipe, but generally in our house we toss in whatever seems like it would taste good the next morning.  The only vital thing is the ratio of oats to water – you don’t want to end up with a hard, crusty lump of dried oats, nor do you want soup!

As for crust – depending on your slow cooker, you may end up with a bit of a crust on the top of the oatmeal.  It’s okay – just stir the oatmeal well and you’ll forget about it, or if you’re squicky you can take it off the top and just eat the oatmeal underneath.  Either way, stir everything up well before you eat it.

My mother-in-law also occasionally does oatmeal in a slow cooker (or crock pot) – and it’s delicious every time!

NOTE: this recipe calls for steel-cut oats.  If you’re using old-fashioned (or “regular”) oats (NOT quick-cooking oats), decrease the water to 4 Cups.

1 Cup Steel Cut Oats
4 1/2 Cups Water
1/2 tsp Salt
[The above three ingredients are the base – you can pretty much add anything you want after you’ve got those in]
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Allspice
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar (light or dark – whichever you prefer)

Mix all of the above in a small crock pot.
Set the crock pot to “low” and let it cook for 8-10 hours (we’re not to particular about the time – I put it on before we go to bed and when we get up it’s ready to eat, even if it’s less than 8 hours).
After it has cooked, stir the oatmeal well (incorporate the “skin” – it’s fine, I promise).

Stir in:
1/2 Cup Pecans
1/2 Cup sliced apples (optional)

Serves 2-4, depending on how hungry you are!

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