Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats

Yummy (healthy) Breakfast Goodness

I wanted to make something healthy to kick off fall. I think of apples and their aroma (especially when they’re cooking). YUM.
Throw this together at night and it's ready for you in the morning!

I saw a recipe on Pinterest (my new obsession) of apple cinnamon steel cut oats in the slow cooker. I was so excited to try it but I didn’t have any baking apples at the time or steel cut oats. That was, until I went to work and remembered there are several apple trees loaded with tart apples. I picked about five of them with the intention of making this delicious hot breakfast.  

Steel Cut Oats are incredibly healthy.  A little bit of information I found on them since I'm always like...what the heck are steel cut oats and what's all this buzz about??  

Steel Cut vs. Rolled Oats

Steel-cut oats come from the same plant as rolled or instant oats and other oat products. The difference between steel-cut and rolled oats is in their processing. Steel-cut oats are never cooked and start from the whole grain that is then passed through slender blades that cut the oat kernel into thin slices.
Steel cut oats could be considered a "power food" because they are an excellent source of protein, soluble and insoluble fiber and select vitamins and minerals. The benefits of steel cut oats exceed the benefits of rolled oats because of the way they are processed. Steel cut oats are dense and chewy as a result of being passed through sharp, steel blades that cut them into thin slices that helps retain more fiber and protein. Steel cut oats, just as any whole oats, make a healthy addition to your regular diet.

Read more:

3 cups water
1 cup milk
1 cup steel-cut oats
1/2 cup brown sugar (or more if you're like me and have a wicked sweet tooth)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1/4 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
2tbs butter
1/3 cup raisins
a bunch of apples, cored and diced*

Mix it all together in a slow-cooker on low for 8 hours. I added more liquid than the original recipe because I like my oatmeal a little looser and also, I started it at about 10pm, knowing no one would be awake to eat it until at least 6am, so I didn't want it to get too thick and clumpy.

*I used apples from a tree in my backyard and the apples are pretty small. I used about 4 or 5, which seemed like kind of a lot, but we LOVE apples, so it certainly wasn't too much.

My take: AWESOME. YUM! YUM! YUM. It's not too sweet (don't like anything too sweet in the morning otherwise I get uber tired) like the individual packaged apple cinnamon oatmeal. This tastes healthy to me and that is a good thing. I topped with flaxseed and ate. For next time, I would use ½ cup less water and use all milk instead - no water. But I usually make my oatmeal with milk so I'm used to the creamier taste and I think I'd add a slice of butter too. 
Karl's opinion: I poured some in a coffee cup for him so he could eat while driving to work. He was actually behind me at a stoplight. He was nodding his head as he ate it and looked like he was enjoying thoroughly! I haven't heard a peep from him so that means his belly is full and he's happy!




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