Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Overnight Slow Cooker Pumpkin Oatmeal

I think the only thing better than a warm, delicious-smelling breakfast on a cold Fall morning is one that's all ready to eat as soon as you wake up! I put all of the ingredients for this oatmeal into my slow cooker before I went to bed one night, and the next morning all I had to do was stir it all up and scoop some into my bowl. Doesn't get any easier than that!

I followed a recipe from The Yummy Life and she gave two different methods to cook this - you could either put the ingredients directly into your slow cooker and let it cook for 5 hours, or you can put it into a heat-proof bowl inside your slow cooker, and have 8 hours of cooking time. Since I wanted this to cook overnight, and since I made it on a weekend and knew I'd be in bed for well over 5 hours, I opted for the bowl method. This makes for a softer oatmeal, whereas cooking it directly in the slow cooker would make a bit of a crusty edge more like a baked oatmeal. I'd like to try it that way at some point, but for now, the bowl method worked better with my schedule.

After I had eaten my first serving, I scooped the rest into small containers to have a ready-to-go breakfast throughout the week. I drizzled a little bit of maple syrup over each one before putting it in the fridge, and then each morning I just added a splash of milk to the container, heated it for one minute, stirred it up, and heated it for one minute more. So easy, and just as yummy on the last day I ate it as it was on the first.

Overnight Slow Cooker Pumpkin Oatmeal
Adapted from The Yummy Life


1 3/4 cups milk 
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (I used some with cinnamon added)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp butter, cut into pieces

Place a heat-proof bowl inside your slow cooker (I used a large Pyrex bowl); coat inside of bowl with cooking spray. Add all ingredients to the bowl and stir to completely combine. Pour water into the slow cooker on the outside of the bowl so that the water goes about halfway up the sides of the bowl. Cover the slow cooker, and cook on low for up to 8 hours. 

I slept for a long time that night, so my oatmeal cooked for 8 hours, and then was on the warm setting for 2 hours, and it was perfectly hot and delicious when I woke up. You can top your oatmeal with any number of toppings (walnuts, raisins, chopped apples, etc.) but I chose to keep it simple and just drizzle a little additional maple syrup on top.

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