By Mary Ann Filler
If you love oatmeal but for convenience sake find yourself grabbing the pre-made packets with the high amounts of salt, sugar and who knows what else, this post is for you!
If you want to lower your cholesterol, boost your immune system, protect your heart, stabilize your blood sugar, lower your risk of diabetes, prevent cancer, or want a gluten-friendly/free meal this post may also be for you!
One of my highest priorities as a mother of two teens and a tween is to provide them with healthy meals. For several months, my oldest son has been reporting to school daily by 6 a.m. for early morning workouts with the baseball team. I really wanted him to have a healthy breakfast before heading out the door in the wee hours of the morning. However, waking up at 5 a.m. to prepare him breakfast was not too appealing. Oatmeal made the night before in the crock pot was a perfect solution.
Apparently, crock pot oatmeal recipes are quite popular these days, but my recipe is one that I have developed over time. I just love waking to the aroma of baked apples and cinnamon and a hot, healthy breakfast that takes no time at all to scoop in to individual bowls. Of course you can add the fruit, cinnamon and nuts or a splash of cold milk after the cooking cycle or not at all. You may even allow the “kiddos” to top the oatmeal as they wish.
MA’s Crockpot Oatmeal
Place the following ingredients in a slow cooker, stir and cook on low 6-8 hours. As long as you have enough liquid in the crock pot you may vary the cooking time. Also, I’ve noticed other crock pot oatmeal recipes recommending that the crock pot be greased prior to adding the ingredients. I personally have not done that, and have not had issues with clean up. If you typically prepare the surface of your crock pot to avoid sticking use butter or coconut oil for a healthy “lube job.”
- 2-2.5 Cups of Liquid such as Water, Cow’s Milk, Almond Milk or Coconut Milk (I use Almond Milk)
- 2-3 Tbsp. of a sweetener such as Sugar, Brown Sugar, Honey, Maple Sugar (I use either Raw Honey or Maple Sugar)
- 1 Tbsp. of Butter…the REAL stuff!
- Pinch of Salt
- .5 to 1 tsp. Cinnamon (or more)
- 1 Cup Oatmeal (I use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Old Fashioned Rolled Oats)
- Fruit such as Apples (1-2), Bananas (1-2), Raisins or Dried Cranberries (a sprinkling to taste)
- Chopped Nuts such as Almonds, Pecans or Walnuts (the amount here is a personal preference…1-2 Tbsp or more is a good start)
Other add-in/topping ideas may include but certainly are not limited to: nut butters, cocoa powder, coconut, chia seeds, ground flax meal or seeds, blueberries, peaches and chocolate chips! Isn’t this exciting, folks! You can top your oatmeal just as you would your ice cream!
In the last couple of months I was introduced to a new “make the night before” oatmeal recipe. Believe it or not, this oatmeal is made in the refrigerator! The basic premise is to place all ingredients in a jar or bowl, stir and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, you may eat the oatmeal hot or cold. If you find yourself unable to eat breakfast prior to leaving the house in the morning, this is a great take along meal idea.
Here is the link to help you begin discovering the world of refrigerator oatmeal! Who knew?!?
Click here for “Smart Sweet: Chia, Choco and Banana Overnight Oats.” Ladies, if you love chocolate…try the recipe!!
For more info on the health benefits of oatmeal, check out this link to Mother Earth Living.
Have you experimented with any of these alternative ways of preparing oatmeal? We would love feedback!