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Slow Cooker Oatmeal

Breakfast has always been difficult in our house.

Partly because our dog needs 45-60mins of walking every morning and partly because neither of us are particularly ‘early birds’, we never ever have time to make and consume breakfast before going to work. Shocker!

Conscious of the old saying that breakfast is “the most important meal of the day”, I set about correcting this and I think my slow cooker oatmeal is the perfect solution. Just bung it in before going to bed and you’ll wake up to a bubbling pot of loveliness. Of course, one of the most appealing bits of this recipe is that you can flavour it with just about anything, so I will never get bored of it. (Well, I hope not anyway!)

I’ve said before that I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for the texture of my food. I do like ‘ordinary’ porridge, but I also find it can sometimes be like a bowl of slop devoid of any real texture of flavour. So, in this breakfast I use pinhead oatmeal instead. Sometimes called coarse oatmeal or steel cut oats, it is the whole oat that has just been cut into pieces rather than being ‘rolled’ into the shape of your everyday porridge oat.

This means that pinhead oatmeal is a whole grain and we all know that means it’s better for you, right? That aside, it has a more coarse texture with more body to it than a standard porridge and tastes nuttier too. Finally, it takes longer to cook so is perfect for slow cooking! Are you sold yet?

The recipe below is for an unflavoured oatmeal, but you can add all kinds of things to flavour it. The pictures in this post show a couple of variations:
  • Apple and Cinnamon; Add 1 peeled, cored and sliced apple and 2 tsp of cinnamon before cooking. Substitute the sugar for brown sugar too.
  • Pear and Almond: Add 1 peeled, cored and sliced pear, 1 tsp of almond essence and a handful of slivered almonds before cooking.

There are loads more combinations too. How about blueberry and vanilla? Or perhaps raisin and spice? Let me know if you have any other suggestions in the comments below!

If, like me, you still don’t have time to eat this at home then you need a food flask… I just load mine up before I leave and it’s the perfect temperature to eat when I get to work.

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Slow Cooker Oatmeal
A healthy, hearty and simple breakfast that will keep you going ’till lunch.
  • 1 cup pinhead oatmeal
  • 3-4 cups liquid (can be all water, all milk or a mix of the two)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (any kind you like!)
  • Assorted flavourings and/or toppings
1. If required, put your liquid into a bowl and heat in a microwave for around 4 mins until hot. (Whether you need to do this depends on your slow cooker).2. Mix the oats, sugar and any flavourings you want in the slow cooker pot.3. Pour over the liquid, stir to combine and then cook on low overnight.4. In the morning, sprinkle with any toppings you like and enjoy!
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 3-4 servings, depending on appetite.

As with all slow cooker recipes, it is really important for you to get to know your own slow cooker. Experiment with timings and the temperature of the ingredients to get the best results for you. I use my little Tower compact 1.5l slow cooker which I’m told is 30-40 years old and need to heat my liquid before starting it off but many slow cookers will be fine to cook from cold.

I am entering this recipe into the November Slow Cooked Challenge hosted by FarmersGirl Kitchen!

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