Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Slow Cooker Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal (with Toasted Walnuts)

It was 76 degrees Fahrenheit when I came home from work on Monday.
It was 21 degrees Fahrenheit when I came home from work on Tuesday.
Springtime in Colorado!
Good oatmeal weather!

Slow Cooker Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal:  What a brilliant idea!  I have been seeing slow cooker oatmeal recipes on the cooking blogs lately and finally got around trying one. I love that I had all of the ingredients on hand.  My raisins were hard, dry, crusty, and sugary (I sure hate it when that happens!) but the raisins plumped up nicely in this recipe.  I think I added an extra splash of milk wondering if the desiccated raisins would need a bit of extra liquid.

I sure enjoy a nice steamy, hearty bowl of oatmeal (especially steel cut oats!) in the morning but when I have to get to work by 6:00 a.m., I am hard pressed to make oatmeal.  I think steel cut oats have to simmer for at least 20 minutes when you cook them on the stove top.  Sure, I could have the stuff in the packets, but I just don't care for them.  I like the heartier, coarser texture of oatmeal made from old fashioned rolled oats or steel cut oats and I think the packets are too, too, TOO sweet!  Making steel oats on the weekend to enjoy when I am in a hurry during the work week is a great solution.  This recipe reheated really well and was a snap to throw into the slow cooker.

On my drive to work today, I was thinking of ingredients in my kitchen and dreaming up other variations on this technique. I have some frozen peach chunks in my freezer from last summer (I left the skins on them because I am lazy know that the skins contain extra fiber and vitamins (Hee, hee!)

Do you suppose Slow Cooker Peaches and Cranberry Steel Cut Oatmeal sounds good?  I might just have to give that a try next week.

Slow Cooker Apple Pie Steel Cut Oatmeal
A recipe from www.closetcooking.com
Original recipe link can be found HERE.

I made very few changes to Kevin's recipe:  I left the apple peels on because I am lazy know the peels contain extra fiber and vitamins and I toasted the walnuts (edited Oct 2014 to say:  after making this a gazillion times... I've decided I like it best when I do peel the apples).  The original recipe indicates you need 4 cups of liquid... all water, some apple juice, some milk... just depends what ingredients you have on hand.

Servings: makes 4 - 6 servings


1 cup steel cut oats
2 cups water
2 cups milk (I used 1% milk)
2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup brown sugar (I used a tad less)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 dash nutmeg, grated
1/4 cup raisins (I added extra)
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (I toasted mine in a dry skillet - I added extra)
milk to taste (optional)


1.  Place the steel cut oats, water, milk, apple, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins in a slow cooker, give it a little stir, and set it to cook on low for 4 hours (or less... mine was done at about 3 1/2 hours).

2.  If eating right away: Mix the oatmeal up, optionally adding milk to bring it to the desired consistency and sweetener to bring it to the desired sweetness and serve topped with any desired toppings.  Kevin at www.closetcooking.com recommends walnuts and caramel sauce! Yowza!

3.  Note:  I portioned out my oatmeal into 4 servings and stuck it in the refrigerator for easy breakfasts this week (next time I'll make it into 5 or 6 servings... 1/4 the recipe was too big a portion for me).  To reheat, cook in microwave oven for about 2 minutes on High (100% power).  Top with milk, if desired, and toasted, chopped walnuts.

I am feeling mighty organized this week with my breakfasts ready to go.  Maybe I can sleep in?!

I read some comments on Closet Cooking from folks who wanted to alter this recipe so it could cook all night long and be ready when you rise in the morning.  A few comments suggested setting timers or using programmable slow cookers.  Some folks who left comments recommended making a "double boiler" out of the slow cooker.  I found specific instructions on a blog called The Yummy Life and this blogger goes into greater detail if you want to cook this recipe over night (longer than 4 hours) using this method.  Click HERE for more information. This link also has recipes for other flavors of Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats.  Got to try some of these!

Never heard of or had steel cut oats? Here's a little article about why they are so good for you.
Click HERE to read.

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