16 January 2011

Slow Cooker Oatmeal

Slow Cooker Oatmeal: A Tale of Two Recipes

On cold winter mornings, can there be a better (healthy) breakfast than thick, creamy, warm oatmeal? And even better when it’s ready and waiting for you when you wake up!

Confession: I am not a morning person, so even knowing the importance of a good breakfast I have a hard time fitting it in as I’m rushing to get out the door for work. My solution is that I bring breakfast with me and eat while clearing the email that accumulated overnight.  Because I need high protein meals, this usually ends up being two hard boiled eggs (cooked and peeled on the weekend and waiting for me in the refrigerator, as another morning time saver), or one of the following oatmeal recipes with a scoop of protein powder mixed into the individual serving. 

If I’m making either of them for consumption throughout the week, I don’t do the finishing steps at the time I make the oatmeal, opting to either forgo the fruit or – if I’m efficient enough on a given morning – throwing it into the container with the oatmeal as I’m running out the door.

Both of these recipes were torn from long gone and forgotten magazines, so I’m sorry that I can’t give proper credit. I’m posting them sans photo as well since I haven’t gotten a good picture of either one and I’ve had some recent requests to share the recipes.

Hmmm… maybe I should put some on to cook before I go to bed tonight. It is supposed to be cold and snowy tomorrow morning. A good morning for oatmeal, right?

Enjoy! And let me know which one you like better...

Recipe #1: Overnight Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal

4 cups water
1-1/2 cups apple juice
1 cup steel-cut oats
1/2 cup regular barley (NOT quick cooking)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
2 medium apples, coarsely chopped
Honey & Milk (optional – for serving)

Line a 3-1/2 or 4 quart slow cooker with a disposable slow cooker liner. In the slow cooker, combine water, apple juice, oats, barley, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.  Cover and cook on the low setting for 6 to 7 hours.

Before serving, stir in brown sugar. Top with pecans and apples. Serve with honey and milk.

Makes 8 servings.
Each serving: 218 cal, 5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 81 mg sodium, 40 g carb, 5 g fiber, 5 g protein.

Recipe #2: Fruited Barley Oatmeal Porridge

1/2 cup regular barley (NOT quick cooking)
1/2 cup steel-cut oats
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4-1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of ground cardamom (scant 1/8 tsp.)
1-1/2 cup fresh blueberries
Milk (optional)

Coat slow cooker with nonstick spray, or line with slow cooker liner. Combine barley, oats, apricots, sugar, salt, and water in slow cooker. Cook on low overnight, or for 6 to 8 hours.

Before serving, stir the porridge, incorporating the thick buildup along the sides of the pot. Stir in the vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, and blueberries. If desired, top each serving with milk.

Makes 6 servings.
Each serving: 192 cal, 5 g protein, 1 g fat(0 g sat fat), 44 g carb, 5 g fiber, 199 mg sodium.


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