Lately, my favorite breakfast is a giant bowl of creamy crock pot oatmeal, hot from the slow cooker.
It brings back memories of visiting my grandparents’ house as a young girl. Grandpa believed steel-cut oats were the healthiest food you could eat, and he’d get up every morning at 5 AM to make sure that when we all awoke, a bowl of piping hot oatmeal—with melty butter and brown sugar—would be waiting for us.
Sometimes my sister and I tried to beat Grandpa into the kitchen. But no matter how early we snuck out of our beds, he was always two steps ahead of us, bowl of oatmeal in hand.
Below is my basic crock pot oatmeal recipe. You can easily customize it for endless breakfast options.
Crock Pot Oatmeal
- 3 cups water (or milk of choice, for a creamier and richer taste) (720g)
- 1 cup steel-cut oats (160g)
- 1/2 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt
- add-ins of choice (scroll further down on the post for ideas)
Slow Cooker Oatmeal Recipe: Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker or crock pot, put on the lid, and cook on low heat for three hours. No need to stir or anything until the time is up! (If you don’t own a slow cooker, you can of course still make steel-cut oatmeal. Just follow the cooking directions on the package of oats. I use a 3-quart slow cooker for this recipe; cooking times may vary if you use a much-larger size.) If you double the crock pot oatmeal recipe, cook for 5-6 hours on low. For crock pot oatmeal variation ideas, scroll further down this post.
- Cinnamon Raisin Crock Pot Oatmeal: add raisins before cooking. Stir in ground cinnamon and sweetener of choice (and butter-type spread if desired) after cooking.
- Mounds Bar Oatmeal: add shredded coconut, sweetener, and chocolate chips after cooking. Use coconut milk when it calls for “milk of choice.” Slivered almonds optional.
- Apple Pie Oatmeal: peel 2 small apples, chop, and add them to the uncooked ingredients along with 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp cinnamon or apple pie spice. After cooking, stir a butter-type spread and sweetener of choice (good choices for this variation include brown sugar or Sucanat or coconut brown sugar) into hot oats.
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Oatmeal: stir 1-2 tbsp peanut butter and 1-2 tbsp jelly into each cooked serving of oatmeal. Pour some milk of choice (such as almond milk) over top just before serving. Everyone knows a pb&j is nothing without the glass of milk!
Link of the Day:
Are your grandparents good cooks?
Both of my grandmothers loved to cook. One was Polish, so her specialties included stuffed cabbage, pierogies, and potato pancakes. My other grandma is Italian, and cooking is one of her greatest joys. Luckily for me, much of what she makes is already vegan (such as a really good Pasta e Fagioli). And I’m teaching her new recipes as well. Most recently I taught her how to cook quinoa. When I first told her I was going vegan, she worried… until she realized that spaghetti is vegan. Then she was totally on board!