Thursday, January 14, 2016

Breakfast of Champions

Weekends are awesome when you have a Pious Man to make waffles or pancakes. 

But then the week starts up. Cold, dark mornings. People who need breakfast so they can get started with their day. What's a Church Lady to do?

Last winter, I started making a big pot of steel cut oatmeal and reheating individual bowls over the course of the week. But between heating water for the French press, warming up four bowls of oatmeal, and the baby's milk, this simple breakfast was taking me almost twenty minutes to get on the table.

capitalized on my family's fondness for steel cut oatmeal and scaled down my mother in law's recipe for overnight slow cooker oatmeal to make just enough for one meal. The following quantity works great for my family of four, but using a ratio of one part steel cut oats to four cups liquid, you can adjust the quantity to your needs. I find that the slow cooked dried fruit adds sufficient sweetness. Cooking in a stoneware bowl inside the insert makes clean-up a snap and eliminates burning. Now I pop this into my slow cooker before bed and wake up to a hot breakfast every morning.

Overnight Oatmeal for Four
Oil or cooking spray
2/3 cup steel cut oats
2 cups water
1 cup coconut or evaporated milk (regular milk can curdle)
1/3 cup dried fruit in bite size pieces (flavor ideas below)
1 tsp vanilla or extract of choice
Pinch each of salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg

Grease bowl. Combine ingredients in bowl. Cook on low for 6 hours.

Favorite flavor combinations
Dried cherries plus almond extract
Dried apricots plus grated fresh ginger
Dried blueberries plus lemon zest or extract
Dried cranberries plus orange zest or extract
Dried pineapple or mango plus coconut extract
Grated fresh apple plus raisins
Plain, served with sliced fresh banana and peanut butter

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