I’m on a steel cut oatmeal kick. The first step is admitting. Will and I argue about the merits of breakfast – and while I used to agree with him when I was younger I now eat breakfast every day. I used to grab a granola bar every morning, but a couple years ago I completely cut out dairy from my diet (I thought I was lactose intolerant). There is dairy in pretty much every packaged food so I started making oatmeal from scratch every morning (that means no little packages of pre-flavored Quaker Oats). Since I was already making oatmeal from scratch I decided to try steel cut oats. HOLY COW are they an upgrade from regular rolled oats. They have a creamy, nutty flavor to them and a fabulous texture. Honestly I feel like I’m eating a bowl of warm tapioca (I love warm tapioca) every morning when I eat them. (One time I accidentally referred to them as “dessert” to my husband who thought this was quite hysterical.)
Now on to the downside – they sure are a pain to cook. The original recipe calls for boiling them for 25-30 minutes. I used to make the “quick” version (which really isn’t all that quick). They take 6 minutes in the microwave in a GIANT bowl (or expect your entire microwave to be covered in oatmeal) plus time to let them stand. Alternatively you can cook them for 6 minutes on the stovetop (my preferred method) after pouring them into boiling water. But the 6 minutes usually turns into at least 10 with boil time. And I am LAZY in the morning.
A month or so ago after daylight savings time, after my third day in a row coming into the office at 9:30, my co-worker was joking about my tardiness. Luckily I’m an engineer and 9:30 is far from tardy – but I did mention to him about how the clock set backs had thrown my whole routine out of whack, and that I had been skipping breakfast to compensate. I explained my whole breakfast routine and how I love steel cut oats but they take so darn long to cook. Then he made a genius comment, “you realize you can make them in a crock pot, right?” Well I had indeed heard that but I hadn’t tried it myself because my crock pot would hold about 2 gallons of oatmeal and that seemed excessive. I expressed this to him and here is where the real magic occurred. He said, “they have little crock pots”. Well I knew this as well, but for some reason had never really thought about putting these two facts together. And I didn’t have a tiny crock pot.
Well lady luck was on my side that weekend when I went to the thrift shop. They had not one but TWO tiny crock pots for me to choose from. The one I ended up with is Crock Pot brand and holds about a cup and a half of liquid and has two settings (plugged in or not). I think they’re made for keeping dips warm. As a matter of fact I believe it is called the “Little Dipper” and looks like this. It looked like it had never been used before and cost me $3. I was willing to try it. Well it works so great that I have been using it every morning to make my oatmeal. I fill it with oatmeal and water every night and then wake up to perfect oatmeal every morning.
Here’s my recipe:
Lexi’s Crock Pot Honey Raspberry Steel Cut Oats
- 1 C water
- 1/4 C steel cut oats (NOT quick cook)
- 1/4 C frozen raspberries
- 1 tsp honey
Put water and oats in crock pot. Cover, plug in and let sit overnight.
In the morning scrape oatmeal into a bowl and stir in the honey while the oats are hot.
Add the frozen raspberries and stir.
Let sit 1 minute while the raspberries defrost, cooling down your oatmeal to the perfect temperature in the process. Eat.
Clean up: It is a bit of a pain to clean the tiny crock pot because you can’t submerge it in water and you can’t remove the tiny crock. What I do is after I eat my oatmeal I pour water into the tiny crock pot and let it sit all day while I’m at work. When I come back the oats stuck to the sides of the pot come straight off with no scrubbing.