I've come to grips with Fall's presence. (Although it's quite a warm fall so far. I'm not complaining.) I'm ready for flowing scarves, warm sweaters, hot beverages, soups of the day, and oatmeal, oatmeal, oatmeal. I love steel cut oats and groats especially, but they take some time to prepare - from 20 minutes to an hour. Some people can cook their oats on the stove while they shower or take the dog for a walk. I can't. I've had to jump out of the shower at exhilarated speeds one too many times at the smell of burnt wafting up from downstairs.
To avoid stress, hunger, screaming smoke alarms, and scalded pans, I make my breakfast before I go to bed. Crockpot oatmeal is a wonderful thing. Even if it's just you eating it, it keeps well in the fridge for the next few mornings to come. Tweak it to your taste. This batch had some pumpkin puree and flax seed meal in it.
I am always delighted to see how nice and mushy it is when I open my crockpot in the morning. The groats fully absorb the water and become very tender; almost creamy.
-1 cup of steel cut oats or whole groats
-4 cups of water
-1 cup of dried fruit of choice OR 1 cup of pumpkin puree OR 1.5 cups of chopped fresh apple*
-1 tsp of ground cinnamon or pumpkin pie/apple pie spice blend
-1/4 tsp of salt
-1/4 cup of flax seed meal (optional)
-sugar/honey/maple syrup to taste
*Note* If using pumpkin puree, use only 3.5 cups of water. The pumpkin adds a lot of water on it's own. Same goes with the fresh apple. They are loaded with juice.
Combine ingredients in a crockpot, cover, and set on low for 8-9 hours. Add chopped nuts right before serving if desired.
Makes 4 servings.