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Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats

This recipe is the magical combination of outstandingly good and incredibly easy. Nope, that’s an understatement, it’s basically fool proof. And if you like regular oatmeal and haven’t tried steel cut oats then you are in for a real treat.

Steel cut oats come out of the bag looking like a smaller version of something you’d feed a goat at a petting zoo, only harder. It really resembles animal feed more than anything else. To break down all that fiber and tough whole grain it takes a long time to cook and, therefore, often gets left behind in the morning rush. But not anymore! By putting it in a slow cooker before going to bed you awaken to a hearty and healthy breakfast that is ready and waiting for you.

The only pieces of truly essential equipment for this recipe are the steel cut oats and a slow cooker. The rest is up to your imagination and what you have in your pantry. This element speaks to the fool proof nature of the recipe. Case in point: I decided to make it on a whim last weekend and at 9pm started throwing stuff into the slow cooker. Adam got excited, because he really loves this oatmeal, and asked if I could make a double batch so he’d have leftovers for the weekday mornings. I blithely said, “Sure,” and doubled the dry ingredients. When it came time time to add the liquid I realized I didn’t have enough milk. So, unbeknownst to my guests, I used a combination of 1% milk, canned evaporated milk, water, and rice milk. This mis-mash of liquid ingredients didn’t make the slightest bit of difference.

The point of all this rambling is to say that you should feel liberated by this recipe and confident in knowing that it’s going to be delicious no matter what you do. What a relief!

Slow Cooker Oatmeal

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped dates
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 4.5 cups liquid (any combination of water, milk, or non-dairy substitute)

  • Place the dry ingredients in a slow cooker and stir well.
  • Add in the liquid and stir well.
  • Put on the lid and set cooker low setting for 8.5 hours.
  • Go to bed.
  • In the morning turn off the slow cooker, take off the lid, stir, and serve.

* I like to top it with a tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 8.5 hours

Number of servings: 4