A Fast Slow-Cooked Breakfast: Steel Cut Oats

Kim Conte

slow-cooked oatsThere's often a disconnect between me knowing that I need to eat a healthy, well-balanced breakfast and me actually making that happen on a typical morning.

That's because on a typical morning I'm more likely to find myself flailing around my apartment -- looking for my other shoe and my subway card and trying to make myself presentable for work -- than making myself a healthy, well-balanced breakfast.

Then one day a thought occurred to me: What if I made breakfast the night before? I've been eating Slow-Cooked Apple Spice Steel Cut Oats ever since.

The brilliance in this recipe lies in the fact that you throw all the ingredients in the Crock-Pot the night before, and the next morning you awaken to a lovely hot breakfast. It's almost like someone was nice enough to cook you breakfast! (Except it was really you all along.)

After all, the whole concept behind the Crock-Pot is convenience -- so why not use it to make your life easier in the morning and in the evening. Put that pot to work!

Steel cut oats are actually healthier than rolled oats because they're less-processed. They're low-fat, low in calories, and high in vitamin B, calcium, protein, and fiber. Plus, they've got a great chewiness -- which is great if you like texture. And, you can add whatever toppings you like.

For best results, I prefer this water bath cooking method: It keeps the oats creamy without losing texture.

1 cup steel cut oats

3 cups water

1 cup skim milk

Pinch of salt

Dried apples

1 tablespoon cinnamon

Combine ingredients in oven-safe bowl; stir. Fill the slow cooker a little more than halfway with water. Put the bowl with ingredients inside the slow cooker over a layer of wadded up balls of aluminum foil. Put lid on slow cooker. Cook on low overnight. Sweeten in the morning with brown sugar or honey if desired.

Ta-da! Perfectly cooked apple spice steel cut oats to warm you on these increasingly cooler mornings! And if you have cooked oats left over, you can enjoy them all week long.


Image via Liz (perspicacious.org)/Flickr

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