I’m embarrassed to say this, but in addition to being a cookbook hoarder I am also a Crockpot addict. That’s right. I can’t imagine a better use for the floor of my new pantry than for my bevy of slow cookers, right below the long, long row of cookbooks.
Have I told you about my frantic eBay shopping to find original Crockpots, not the new-fangled ones that cook at too high a temperature, but the originals, unused wedding gifts stored for years in somebody’s attic and ready now for a good home? I didn’t think so. I don’t often admit it. But I have four.
I’m very good at making excuses for my obsessive Crockpot behavior. When we moved to a two-house lifestyle a few years ago, I decided I must have had a premonition. Without breaking a sweat I had slow cookers for both houses. Big ones, small ones, a little one for heating chocolate, an oval one that overheats for presentation, a slow cooker wannabe with adjustable temperatures, a giant wannabe for cooking turkeys or jambalaya for a party. All I had to do was move some north and some south and I was all set.
Excuses are only helpful for a little while. Unfortunately recently I’ve realized that 90% of all slow cooker recipes require chicken. And while we still eat meat, it’s much less often. Fish has never been a big item for slow cookers, and vegetables? Well. . . What was I going to do with all these Crockpots?
So now, instead of searching for slow cookers that do what they were meant to do, I’m looking for recipes. Vegetarian main dishes. Vegetarian side dishes. Recipes without meat or canned soups. Recipes with few ingredients and very little preparatory cooking. I haunt Pinterest. I have several cookbooks on my Christmas wish list. I’m the Sherlock of Slow Cookery.
Last week I saw this recipe on Pinterest, and last night my patient husband assembled it in one of my oldies but goodies and let it cook all night. This morning we were thrilled with the results. Not only did this recipe make enough oatmeal for us both to enjoy this morning, it made enough for my favorite Oatmeal bread recipe, which followed quickly on its heels and is now baking in the oven.
Give this a try if you’re enthused about waking up to the smell and taste of delicious hot oatmeal some morning soon. You won’t be sorry.
Overnight Oatmeal in your Slow Cooker
- Slice two apples (preferably organic) and place in the bottom of a 3 quart slow cooker
- Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup brown sugar, amount depends on your tastes and how sweet your apples are
- Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Add pinch of salt (optional)
- Add two cups of old-fashioned oats
- Add four cups of water and DO NOT stir
Turn your slow cooker on low just before you go to bed. Your oatmeal will be ready in 8-9 hours.
Variations: While we haven’t tried these, I’m looking forward to experimenting with using maple syrup or honey instead of brown sugar, adding raisins or dried cranberries, tossing in a little ground flax meal or any number of other yummy, healthy ingredients. We just ate ours with milk this morning, but I’m thinking chopped walnuts and fresh fruit would be a great addition once it’s cooked.
As I said, I have OLD slow cookers which actually cook slowly. If yours does not, use a timer to turn it on or off, or adjust in other ways. Ours was perfect in this time frame.
Whatever you try, let us know how it turns out.