Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

I love oatmeal. Most days, I grab a packet of instant oatmeal out of the pantry, place it in my purse, and add hot water when I get to work and eat at my desk. On weekends, when I have more time, I like to make steel cut oats with bananas, pecans, and brown sugar. This is actually my favorite way to prepare and eat oatmeal, however the 45 minutes it requires to cook make it a weekend treat only.

When I stumbled upon the concept of cooking steel cut oats in the crockpot overnight, I decided I had to give it a try. So last night before bed I put everything in the crockpot, turned it on, and went to bed. When Robert and I sat down to eat the results this morning, it was the first weekday breakfast we have had together since our first year of marriage. It was really nice.

The results were so so. I really like my oats firm, which is why steel cut oats are my favorite. The oatmeal from the crockpot was quite soft and not as flavorful as I would have guessed given all the ingredients. I definitely want to play around with this recipe again to see if I can't improve the texture and flavor with some modification. Either way, the benefit of being able to wake up to a hot breakfast ready to eat and shared breakfast with my husband makes it worth making again.

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Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water, plus more for water bath in crockpot
1/2 cup half & half
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 apple cored, peeled, and chopped

Gather all your ingredients, your crockpot, and a bowl that will fit inside the crockpot bowl and still allow the lid to seal.
Fill the crockpot bowl about half way with water.
Add the oats, 4 cups water, half and half, butter, cinnamon, vanilla, and brown sugar in the smaller bowl. Stir to combine.
Stir in the pecans and apple.
Gently place the bowl into the larger crockpot bowl with water making sure the water in the crockpot is at least as high as the oat mixture.
 Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
In the morning, remove the inner bowl from the crockpot and stir the contents.

Serve in bowls with fruit or other toppings.
Source: Mommy's Kitchen

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