With the return of cooler weather, warm breakfasts become an incentive to get everyone out of bed and to the table. Oatmeal is one of my family’s favorite weekday breakfasts. The grownups like it with with some dried fruit and a little brown sugar, and my 5-year-old likes milk poured over hers to cool it down, then brown sugar sprinkled over the top (so she can eat it off, of course). I thought I’d try some other recipes.
The first is from fellow LiveMom contributor Nicole Basham. She says it’s addictive, and I have to agree.
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup plain soymilk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in pot, bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
I’ve been wanting to try crock pot oatmeal, where you put it in the night before and wake up to a hot breakfast! There are many recipes for it online, but the one I tried offered the appeal of waking up to the smell of baking apples and cinnamon. I found it here, although I’ll paraphrase it below with a few suggestions. The trick to these is using only steel cut oats; don’t try it with rolled oats.
The smell was nice, but the lid to my crock pot started clanking at 5 a.m., so I’ll have to figure out a way to fix that before making it again. And the reviews were mixed. I liked that it didn’t turn out too sweet, but my daughter wanted it sweeter. My husband thought it was pretty good, though none of us liked the way the apples turned out; I’ll definitely use dried fruit next time. I wasn’t wild about the texture, but then I’m not a huge custard fan. If you, like my friend Ellen, would eat leftover rice pudding for breakfast, then I think you’d like this a lot. I’m going to try again and do some tweaking. Perhaps less liquid (and no milk) will make it less custardy.
Overnight Crock Pot Oatmeal
1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
1/2 cup milk or half-and-half
1 fresh apple, chopped or 1 cup dried fruit
1/4 cup brown sugar (up to 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons cinnamon sugar (or 1 teaspoon cinnamon)
Stir all ingredients together in an oven-proof bowl that will fit down into the bowl of your crock pot. Set bowl in crock pot and carefully pour water into the crock pot until it reaches up to about the level of the mixture in the bowl. Cover with the crock pot lid and set to low just before going to bed (I cooked mine from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.).
Feel free to share your favorite oatmeal recipe in the comments section!
Written by: Shannon Oelrich