I have to say that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. It really jump starts your metabolism after a night’s rest, and helps provide the energy boost to last you until lunch time and stabilize those simple sugars you’ll ingest in later meals. Have you gotten into the habit of not eating a proper breakfast because you’re in a rush and can’t bother to wake up early or spend time making a healthy breakfast? Do you opt for things like granola bars or a McMuffin to go or just skipping it altogether? I know I’ve had my fair share!
Now, I make sure I get up a bit early to eat a proper breakfast, whether it’s eggs, whole grain toast with a nut butter, cereal, or oatmeal. I know you might gravitate towards instant oats, but that’s all loaded with extra sugars and salt. I discovered you can cook your oatmeal in a crock pot the night before allowing you to wake up to an extra nutritious breakfast! In the morning, all I have to do is add some more toppings (if I hadn’t put anything) and scoop it into a container and go. I’m definitely all for simplifying the morning and just jetting off with my breakfast to go! The crock pot is so underused sometimes, so this is definitely a useful trick. And even if you don’t have one, you can always slave away cooking the oatmeal the night before 😉
If you do have one, you’ll be sure to like this recipe! This recipe uses steel-cut oats (or oat groats), which are whole oats that have been dehulled and dried (aka, healthier). They have retained their nutritional value and keeps you full longer, unlike instant oats which have lost it in favour of the cooking time. They are a bit chewier and have more of a texture to them and a nuttier flavour unlike regular quick or rolled oats, which I like much better. Steel-cut oats cook longer on the stove, which is why the crock pot is perfect for overnight cooking.
Makes 2-3 servings
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- 3 cups water or milk of choice or a combination
- One banana, sliced
- 8 dates, sliced
- 1 tbsp ground flax (can use chia seeds too)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar or other sweetener *see note
Grease your crock pot with a little bit of coconut oil (or butter if non-vegan). This prevents the oats from sticking (and burning) from the overnight cooking, and also saves you from cleaning up the mess!
Throw all the ingredients in the pot, give a quick stir, and set on low. That’s it! It’s best to cook for about 6 hours overnight. This may also depend on the crock pot used, but if you are worried it might burn or dry out, you can also cook the oats about 3-4 hours before you go to sleep on low, switching to the warm setting just before sleeping.
In the morning, it might look ugly, but I assure you, it is delicious. Stir in some more sweetener (if it isn’t sweet enough — it is best to add the sweetener after cooking rather than before) or other add-ins in the morning, like unsweetened coconut, dried or fresh fruit, nuts, granola, cocoa nibs, or a nut butter. You can also add a bit more milk if it does seem dry! Possibilities are endless 🙂
- It’s best to add in the sweetener or sugar after the cooking rather than before, because you can taste how sweet it is and adjust accordingly. I start small beforehand and add more after the cooking if needed.
- Steel-cut oats refrigerate well and still retain their consistency. You can make them for the week and refrigerate the rest of the portions. Just add a bit more milk and microwave when you take it out! Simple, just the way I like it
- Instead of bananas and dates, feel free to add unsweetened applesauce (or chunks of apple) and cinnamon and nutmeg for an apple pie version. You can even make a pumpkin pie version too. Be creative with the toppings/ingredients!