Friday, October 9, 2015

Midnight Oatmeal

As the temperatures start to shift downward, I start thinking about cold weather foods.  I love oatmeal with all my heart.  Instant Quaker plain packs with honey and milk has been a staple in my life since I was little, and both my kids love the combination.  I know that the packets are not the best choice as far as oatmeal goes, though, and as I've been trying to weed the pre-packaged food from my cabinets, I've taken to making what I call Midnight Oatmeal, since you cook it in the slow cooker and it needs to be turned on roughly around midnight, depending on what time you get up in the morning.  Midnight Oatmeal is steel cut oats (or Irish oats), which are slightly better for you than rolled oats, and vastly better for you than flavored oatmeal packets.  They normally take awhile to cook on the stove, so it's not a meal to prepare if you're hungry right when you wake up, which is where the slow cooker comes in.  You set the oats to cook late at night, and they're ready for you in the morning, and it makes the kitchen smell amazing.

In your slow cooker, spray your bowl really, really, really well with cooking spray (I use coconut oil spray) and combine the following:

1 1/2 cups of steel cut oats (I like Bob's Red Mill organic)
2 1/4 cups water
2 1/4 cups milk (I use 1 cup 2% milk and then 1 1/4 cups unsweetened almond coconut milk)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, cut in pieces

Cook on low for 7 hours, then stir well.  If you cook it longer, crunchy bits will form around the edges, which are delicious but make for a tough cleanup.  The oatmeal is creamy and delicious as is, thoughI love to top mine with a little bit of maple syrup, and you can also top with nuts, fruit, seeds, or coconut to suit your taste.  Another alternative- chop an apple into small pieces and throw it in with the mixture to make it applesaucy, or make a batch of easy slow cooker applesauce and serve together.

This hearty meal is guaranteed to fill you up and warm you up on these super-cold mornings, and this size batch gives me enough to eat all week.  Do you love oatmeal?  Have you tried it in the slow cooker, or are you a packet person?

Kristen Skelton of Milo and Molly is a self-taught sewist, Kristen who runs her business while staying at home with her two small children.  Fueled by an endless supply of tea, she sews late into the night when the house is quiet, most often accompanied by her faithful poodle, Casey.  Stop by and see her collection of bold modern accessories and home goods.
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