This year, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with oatmeal.
Before, I’d always regarded it as a slightly boring dish that usually came in the overly processed instant variety, and tasted like it. It was a last resort, “I guess I should eat something…” type of breakfast.
Then I decided to give it another chance. I found out that adding a few additional ingredients (hello, peanut butter and chocolate chip!) to the good ol’ standby made a world of difference, and turned what would otherwise be a bland morning meal into something truly delicious, healthy, and filling enough to easily carry me through to a late lunch.
Although it usually takes less than 10 minutes to prepare (yes, I’ve said goodbye to instant!) those few minutes usually require a decent amount of babysitting. And with the way I usually get ready in the morning, sometimes I don’t even have that.
I started seeing a few recipes for overnight oats done in the fridge, but I really like a hot bowl of oatmeal to wake me up in the morning, to start the day off right.
Since I just upgraded to this fantastic slow cooker with a timer, I decided to employ it to have breakfast ready and waiting for me in the morning! Steel cut oats are best for this method because, they’ll stand up to the slow cooking well.
This method of preparing oatmeal turned out wonderfully. At first I was just topping it with sliced strawberries, but once fall came around, I wanted something that would be a little more appropriate for the colder months. So, I added diced apples and dried cranberries to the mixture.
This breakfast takes just a few minutes to prep before bed, and it is truly phenomenal. Since it cooks slowly, the apples break down just right, and the cranberries rehydrate a bit.
The oats soak in flavor from the fruit and the cinnamon to make a seriously delicious meal.
To make cleanup just as easy as preparing the oatmeal, try using a crockpot liner.
Photos by Chelsea Miller, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details.
About Chelsea Miller
Chelsea Miller, born and raised in Portland, Oregon, graduated from the University of Oregon where she discovered both her love of football and cooking great food. She's the founder of the food blog "A Duck's Oven" and began writing for Foodal in 2014.