Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Walnut Steel-Cut Oatmeal

After having a talk one morning after bootcamp about make ahead breakfasts, and overnight breakfasts I decided to do a little research and see what I could come up with. I found so many great recipes out there so I promise you, after some family experiments, there will be more to come. For now, I really liked the idea of the slow cookers. It’s nice to be able to have one less things to worry about in the morning. Or if you are like myself, this is also fantastic for shift workers. Come home in the morning, mix up the ingredients and wake up in the afternoon to the lovely smell of cinnamon and apples and a warm bowl of oatmeal.

The Ingredients:

  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of uncooked steel-cut oats (we like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • butter – enough to coat the slow cooker pot
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon (you may like to start with less and add more to each individual bowl)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

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The Steps:

  • Coat the inside of the slow cooker with butter. Just enough so the oatmeal won’t stick. Some people suggested cooking spray, but I prefer butter.
  • I combine all the ingredients in a bowl stirred them up and carefully poured them into the crock pot, the pouring was probably the biggest challenge!
  • Cook on low for approx 7 hours on low.

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Already to go!

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7 hours later, a warm and wonderful start to the day!

Things to Keep in Mind:

The cooking time may vary depending on the style of the crock pot. The first time you make it you may want to make it during the day so you can keep an eye on it. This will re-heat nicely. You can add a little milk and warm it in the microwave. Add different garnishes to your taste. Think raisins, a little maple syrup, try different types of nuts. Many recipes advised to add the nuts later. I actually like them as part of the cooking process. They soften a little, which I find a much more pleasant experience in this oatmeal then hitting a hard “crunch”.  With the milk this almost has a rice pudding consistency. If all you’ve ever had is instant oatmeal – you are in for a bit of a surprise. If you are not a fan, give it a few tries. I’m sure once you get used to this it will be hard to go back to the synthetic over-sweetened taste of the instant packages.

 

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Crock Pot Lentil Stew

Sorry I didn’t get this posted for yesterdays Monday recipe. I was sitting down to write and my 15yr old asked to help quiz him for his science exam. Well, anyone out there with a teenager will probably understand when I say that when they ask to spend time with you, you jump at the chance. Mind you, my brain was spinning a little by the end…electricity and ohms never were my thing!

So here we go. This is a great slow cooker recipe I adapted from a vegetarian cookbook. I had never successfully cooked with lentils before so I was excited to try it.

The ingredients:

  • 3 cups dried lentils (1 pound), sorted and rinsed – I used red
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1L of vegetable broth (you can use chicken, but stick with vegetable if you want it to be a vegetarian dish)
  • 1-14oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped (you can use any colour)
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic (you can adjust to taste, but a minimum of 2)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

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Can’t keep the little fingers away from bite sized veggies!

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low for approx 10 hours.

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This dish takes a long time, and it makes a lot!! The recipe originally called to serve over couscous but I choose to serve it over spaghetti squash and found that very tasty. Also, because it makes so much I pureed about 6 cups of it and we had that as soup. In that form it can also be frozen, I am not sure that the stew would freeze as well. This is a dish that I also found was better the next day, probably because the lentils became more tender. I’m excited to try more recipes with lentils now. I’ll keep you posted!!