overnight oatmeal

In guest on May 17, 2010 at 1:23 am

my mother and i could eat oatmeal, oatmeal and nothing but oatmeal for three meals a day, everyday. and this sounds like an amazing new twist from a fabulous newlywed guest blogger and fellow AU pseudo-alumna. she is also a superbusy fellow federal employee, so i certainly understand the appeal of this leave-it-overnight recipe with a big, healthy impact.

i should start by saying that i am a huge oatmeal fan, though i’ve never really experimented beyond instant oatmeal with brown sugar and a bit of milk.  so when a coworker of mine passed along a bunch of slow cooker recipes, one of them for oatmeal, it peaked my interest.

imagine my excitement when i read the recipe to discover it uses steel cut oats and it cooks overnight, offering a piping hot batch of tasty oatmeal ready to eat when you wake up!

so i started by cutting up some dried apricots (i used tart California apricots) – enough to fill one cup.  as they are somewhat sticky, i found the easiest way to cut them up was to use scissors.

i also improvised a bit from the original recipe, found here, and included about 1/4 cup of dried blueberries, all in a medium bowl.

add to the fruit one cup of steel cut oats, 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt.

grease the stoneware of your slow-cooker using either butter or cooking spray. if you happen to have one of those handy-dandy slow-cooker liners, then grease that.

add the fruit/oatmeal/sugar/salt mix and spread out somewhat evenly.

pour in 3 1/2 cups of water.

now for the cooks choice.  the initial recipe called for one cup of buttermilk, but that is particularly tangy. so i chose to use up the remaining 3/4 cup of heavy cream i had sitting around with 1/4 cup of 1% milk instead – you can apparently use a full cup of the cream, milk or buttermilk.

if you don’t have buttermilk on hand and you want the tang, you can substitute soured milk. a quick way to make soured milk is to add one tablespoon of either white vinegar or fresh lemon juice to a cup of milk and gently stir just enough to mix. let it stand for 5 minutes and then it’s ready to use.

lastly, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla. i grew up in Texas, so i only use mexican vanilla. it’s much more pungent than traditional vanilla (and at mexican markets its usually dirt cheap compared to the usual stuff).

i suppose if you feel that this won’t be fiber-y enough for your tastes and you have 3 tablespoons of wheat bran on hand (not a chance in my kitchen), then you can throw that in too. stir it all up!

cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

so i woke up this morning, and my kitchen was filled with the smell of vanilla!

from my tasty pot of oatmeal, i dished out a bowl and added a touch of brown sugar and some milk.

yummy!  i was pleasantly surprised to find that this tastes like my mom’s cobbler – sweet, creamy, tangy.  considering that it required about 10 minutes of prep time and will provide breakfast for the next three days (at least), this will probably be incorporated into my breakfast routine fairly often. i’m interested next to try it with a variety of different fruits. because it cooks for so long and it’s a mushy texture, i think dried fruit are a must – fresh fruit will likely break down and become unrecognizable.  also, i will probably switch to buttermilk to offset the sweetness of other dried fruits.

  1. I also like my oatmeal with milk and brown sugar, but this looks really good. Dont you just love slow cooker recipes?! Thanks for sharing this!

  2. UPDATE: I tried this again last night with mixed dried fruit (apples, cherries, raisins, apricots, blueberries, plums) and buttermilk, and it was also really enjoyable. I think the key is balancing the level of tang between the fruit (apricots) and the choice of milk (buttermilk).

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