Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Crock Pot Oatmeal Recipe

After 15 years of working part time or not at all, I recently headed back to the workplace, full time.  For five days a week, eight hours a day (at least) I am a third grade teacher and I love it!  I did experience a few days of grieving my mommy days.  I am so grateful for my years of cutting grapes in half and wiping high chairs and I will miss all the "times". . . nap times, story times, snack times, movies times, outside times. . . . but I am ready to fully embrace the next chapter of my abundant life.  I am so grateful to have a job in my neighborhood doing something about which I am passionate.  My family is thrilled with the possibility of Mommy's paycheck and are all helping out tremendously.

For the remainder of the school year I will be cooking from scratch significantly less, but I have found a dish that I love to prepare on the weekends in order to treat myself during my early morning weekday breakfasts.   It is for Crock Pot Oatmeal and is scrumptious!  I usually prepare this oatmeal in my slow cooker on Saturday night and then on Sunday morning our house smells heavenly and we have a hot breakfast.  My kids still prefer their oatmeal to hatch tiny dinosaur eggs.  I haven't encouraged them too much because I like to package up the leftovers of my crock pot oatmeal into one cup servings and microwave this hearty warm breakfast throughout the week.

I adapted this recipe from one I found on  the blog "Mommy's Kitchen".  I was skeptical about the method, but I gave it a try because I love the taste and health benefits of steel cut oats but never want to wait the hour or so that it takes to cook them.  This technique is brilliant:  place a heat proof bowl inside your crock pot, fill it with all of the oatmeal ingredients, pour water around the bowl inside the crock pot, and then cover, cook on low, and wait until morning.  The result is a creamy and flavorful oatmeal that is the perfect consistency every time.  Once cooked the possibilities for oatmeal toppings are endless.  My personal preference is craisins, walnuts or almonds, and an extra sprinkling of cinnamon.

When I accepted my full time job, I began seeking balance in my life.  This recipe is one way for me to do that.  As a working mom, I knew my crock pot was going to be my new BFF for dinner, but with this recipe it is just as handy for breakfast.  Crock Pot Oatmeal is a treat for myself that I am glad to give.

Crock Pot Oatmeal Recipe

          inspired by Mommy's Kitchen
          makes 4 hearty portions or 6 modest portions    

1 cup steel cut oats
4 cups water
1/2 cup milk (I use 1% but you could use whole or half-and-half)
1 apple, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup sugar (I use sugar in the raw, but you could use regular or brown sugar)
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 heat proof bowl that will hold 4 cups of liquid and fit inside your slow cooker with the crock pot lid on

  1. Place the heatproof bowl in the crock pot.
  2. In the heatproof bowl, mix the steel cut oats, water, milk, sugar, vanilla, butter, and cinnamon.
  3. Add the chopped apple and mix gently.
  4. Carefully pour water around the edges of the crock pot until the water level is just below the contents of the inner bowl.  
  5. Place the lid on your crock pot.  Turn it on low and go to bed.
  6. The next morning gently remove the inner bowl onto a kitchen towel.  Gently stir.  
  7. Scoop up a serving and add toppings.
Oatmeal toppings:  craisins, raisins, other dried fruit; almonds, walnuts, other nuts; peanut butter; dark chocolate chips; honey; etc.  

Place all of the oatmeal ingredients in the inner bowl
and then gently pour water around the edge.
Cover the crock pot and go to bed.
Prepare to be impressed in the morning.
Ta Da, wake up to luscious oatmeal and a wonderful aroma.
The apples will have puffed and floated to the top.
Give your creamy oatmeal a stir before serving.
Add your favorite toppings and serve yourself in your prettiest bowl.

Lucky Links:
Delicious Dishes, Wow Me Wednesday, Create and Share, Sugar and Spice, Drab to Fab, Pity Party,   Tickled Pink, Anything Goes, Weekend Wrap Up,  


  1. Oh Heidi how exciting for you! You made me laugh writing about cutting grapes in half...oh I forgot about those days, and dinosaur oatmeal...I think my kids forgot about that one, they begged for it too! All the best to you in your new job. Thanks for this recipe it looks amazing. I love oatmeal. I've been trying to use my crockpot more this year, it's a learning process for me, but I'm gettin there.

  2. This looks really good. We eat a lot of oatmeal. I use to teach 3rd grade too. Thanks for sharing, I will have to try this, never made oatmeal in a crock pot before. Please come link up at my Anything Goes fri-monday linky, I just posted it early tonight.

  3. I've just gone back to a part time teaching job! Thanks for posting this because I need lots of great time saving ideas too! It's nearly winter here too so a bowl of warming porridge in the morning will be just lovely!

    Good luck with the new job!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  4. This is "WONDERFUL" and Thank you for the idea!!! Oatmeal is PROBABLY my favorite food, hehe...If I were to be stranded on an island with only one thing to eat, "It would be OATMEAL". OK you can put a few BANANA trees on that island too! Can you see me SMILING!
    I agree with the WAIT for the STEEL and this is a FANTASTIC IDEA! I'm making it TONIGHT!
    Good luck at your new job!!!
    Thank you so much for the recipe,
    Have a wonderful weekend,

  5. Have you ever done it for less time? I'm thinking of putting it together at lunch to serve for dinner...

    1. I have not tried in less time. My thought would be to still do it the night before and then set your turn the slow cooker to warm in the morning. Also, stir oatmeal and add milk or water if it seems too dry. Happy cooking!