So I think we all know that oatmeal is good for us, right? But did you know that the benefits of oatmeal vary depending on how the oats are processed? You can read more about the different types of oats here. It wasn't until a few years ago that I heard about steel-cut oats, when my previous family physician said to me... "You should be eating steel-cut oats for breakfast. Just throw them in the slow cooker at night and oatmeal's ready in the morning. When my 80 year old mother comes to visit me, she's always regular." So even though I didn't need to know about her elderly mother's bowel movements, it did get me wondering what these "steel-cut oats" were that she spoke of.
Then, it wasn't until a few months ago that I finally picked some up and decided to give them a try. But, most of the recipes I read either took an hour to cook on the stove or mentioned the word "chewy." Really? Who wants chewy oatmeal? I prefer my oatmeal to be a warm bowl of creamy goodness... but the recipes that seemed to have this description used cream, butter, or sometimes both!
After viewing different cooking methods and oat to water ratios, I finally made my steel cut oatmeal in my slow cooker.
And it was gooood! Another nice thing about cooking it in the slow cooker is that breakfast is ready for hubby in the morning while I am still fast asleep! He turns it off when he serves himself and it's still nice and warm when I get up an hour later.
So here's my recipe for easy-to-make and tasty-to-eat steel cut oatmeal:
What you need:
- Slow cooker
- Glass bowl that fits inside slow cooker and holds about 3 cups
**Note: you can go without the bowl and just cook the oatmeal right in the slow cooker but a lot of your oatmeal will be wasted by getting stuck to the sides. My method steams the oatmeal so it stays moist and less gets stuck on the bowl (who likes waste?!)
- 1/2 cup steel cut oats (I buy mine from a local health food store)
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup goat's milk (any milk will do, but we only drink goat's milk)
- Extras of your choice (optional; can be added before or after cooking)
My favourite things to add to oatmeal (sometimes I add one, other times I add a few):
- diced apples/pears
- flax seeds/ground flax
- oat bran
- chopped walnuts
- Put your glass bowl in the slow cooker and add enough water to the slow cooker to almost reach the top of the outside of the bowl. Your bowl may float, so make sure you push it down to make sure you get the accurate level of the water.
- Put your oats in the bowl.
- Add the water, milk and any extras you want (I added apples and lots of cinnamon). Give it a gentle stir.
- Put the lid on, set to low, and let cook overnight!
In the morning, give it a good stir and then dish it into a bowl. You can also add things at this point too. I drizzled a bit of milk and honey on mine.
*Makes about 2 servings; it's usually enough to feed hubby, me and my little girl. If you make a double batch, the leftovers can be stored in the fridge for the next day; it reconstitutes with a bit of water/milk but not quite as good as fresh!