Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Slow cooker oatmeal
I am always looking for something easy for breakfast that is healthy and will stick to with me longer than an hour or two. In fact, I think it's rather inconvenient to eat a healthy meal first thing in the morning! The only easy thing I have found, so far are green smoothies and they are too cold for me with the weather we have been having lately.
That is why I decided to try slow-cooking oatmeal with apples -- a very good combination and if you use old-fashioned oatmeal it is really a healthy breakfast. I based mine on a recipe by Robin Robertson. I changed it to add more apples and garnished it with walnuts and more raisins.
I realized that the photo is not very appetizing because honestly oatmeal is not an exciting color, but by adding cinnamon, raisins and tart apples it does make oatmeal a welcome dish that is ready when you are, first thing in the morning. Smells good while it's cooking, too.
It is important to use a crockpot that has a timer on it because this recipe takes 6 hours on low and 2 hours on the high setting. I think, if you increased the recipe by 1/2 you might be able to cook it for 8 hours on low and I am planning to try that, but I can't guarantee it.
I do think I will try this about once a week because it tastes kind of like oatmeal muffin -- not quite as sweet, but still quite tasty. I used some vanilla almond milk on mine, but I think yogurt would be nice with this oatmeal, too. Other garnishes -- seeds and nuts, ground flax seed, dried fruit, especially cranberries.
Here's the recipe:
Slow-cooker apple oatmeal
2-1/2 cups apples, peeled and chopped
4-1/2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
1/4 to 1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups water
Put apples, oatmeal, raisins, cinnamon and salt in a 4 quart slow cooker. Pour water over the top and cook for 6 hours on low, (Oatmeal and apples will be soft and well-cooked.) or cook on high for two hours for a chunky, less smooth oatmeal. Helpful hint: Use a slow-cooker liner for easy clean up.