Monday, October 14, 2013

Overnight Apple Pie Oatmeal

Growing up I used to eat a packet of oatmeal or cream of wheat almost every morning with my dad. In fact my breakfast consisted of a bowl of processed oatmeal, 2 pieces of white toast loaded with butter, and a nice tall glass of milk. Now, Im not saying that eating that way is bad but you do get a lot of processed sugar and miscellaneous ingredients thrown into the pack so I have opted to start making it from scratch.
Ive never really been a huge fan of homemade oatmeal. To me it just never had very good flavor compared to the premade ones. BUT this recipe is fantastic. It tastes like an apple pie in your bowl. The great thing about it is that you put it in your crockpot before you go to bed and its ready for you in the morning when you get up. Can't get much better then that. And since it cooks low and slow the flavors get into the oatmeal a little bit better! I like that you use steel cut oats in this recipe because for the most part you can find them to be gluten free! (although always make sure you double check)

I got this recipe from a blog called The Yummy Life . She actually has a TON of really yummy looking recipes for different variations of the crockpot oatmeal and she has some overnight chia seed refrigerator puddings which look absolutely amazing! I can't wait to try more of her recipes out!

2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2-1/2 to 3 cups chopped)
1-1/2 cups fat-free milk ( For Dairy Free, substitute non-diary alternative like almond milk)
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar (or substitute maple syrup or other desired sweetener)
1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into 5-6 pieces (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground flax seed
1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional garnishes: chopped nuts, raisins, maple syrup, additional milk or butter

Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients (except optional toppings) to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for approx. 7 hours (slow cooker times can vary). Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator. Freezes well.

To reheat single servings: Put 1-cup cooked oatmeal in microwave proof bowl. Add 1/3 cup fat-free milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking for another minute, or until hot.

Recipe can be doubled in 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Increase cooking time 1 hour.

**Randi's Side Notes**
~ I did let mine go for the full 7 hours and the parts that were touching the sides did get really crispy....but I actually really liked those crispy parts!
~ If your worried that it will burn, you could always make it during the day and keep an eye on it and then just reheat it in the morning.
*Something to keep in mind is that every time you lift the lid on your crockpot it lets all lot of the heat out which will add another 30 minutes of cooking time to your food.*
~ Oh and I personally did not have any flax seeds, so I didn't add any.
~ For dairy free, use Almond milk instead of milk and either leave the butter out totally or you could drizzle a little bit of coconut oil on it.
~ Again for gluten free, double check the type of steel cut oats you use.

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