Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Banana Cinnamon Oatmeal in the crockpot

I have been doing the Eat from the Pantry Challenge this month, and one of the first things that I ran out of was instant oatmeal. It's a regular purchase at my house, as I don't have the time to make oatmeal in the mornings - my middle child's bus shows up just after 7:00 and needs a lot of help getting ready, and I love my sleep! So I was thinking about alternatives, and it struck me that my crockpot would be great for making oatmeal. I could start it before I went to bed, and in the morning, there'd be a delicious pot waiting for me and my family.

I looked around on the Internet, searching for good oatmeal recipes. Here's what I found:
  • Use steel-cut oats or old-fashioned oatmeal if you want to make it overnight.  Quick oats will cook too quickly - in 4-5 hours, even on low.  The steel-cut oats recipes looked intriguing, but I have two canisters of old-fashioned oats to use up, and didn't want to buy more.
  • The amount of liquid to oats usually ranges from 2:1 to 3:1.  You'll want the higher ratio if you like your oatmeal very creamy, lower if you like it more solid.
  • Some recipes suggest using milk or half-and-half, others just water.  I used mostly water, but added a small amount of milk.
  • Most recipes suggest using dried fruits for flavorings.  This makes sense since the long cooking time will water down the flavors of fresh fruit, so dried fruit, with its concentrated flavor, would be better.  I thought that adding fresh fruit just at the end of cooking would allow it to warm up and flavor the oatmeal without diluting the flavor.
  • Sugar?  Some add it during cooking, others wait until it's done.
Here's the recipe I came up with:

Banana Cinnamon Oatmeal in the Crockpot

2 cups old-fashioned oats
4 cups water
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 bananas, sliced

Grease the bottom and sides of the crockpot insert well.  Add all ingredients except for bananas and mix well.  Cook on LOW for 8-9 hours (overnight).  A few minutes before serving, remove the lid and add sliced bananas and mix well.  Put the lid back on and cook for a few more minutes to warm the bananas.  Makes 4 large servings.
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    The Packet Queen January 22, 2010 at 9:19 AM  

    This looks wonderful! I've made the steel cut oats in my rice cooker - but couldn't do it overnight because it was basically a timer function and I didn't want to leave even a little milk sitting out all night. I'll definitely try it in the crockpot. We cut up fresh apples into little chunks and added it the rice cooker one (but that only cooked for about an hour) I wonder if it'd be okay to add the apples before bed or wait until morning? Thanks for the great idea!

    Rachel Olsen January 22, 2010 at 10:40 AM  

    Mmmm, I love anything cinnamon. I tried the steel cut oats in the crock pot overnight once and it burnt terribly to the sides. Would love to hear how exactly how you greased that crock ... how much of what did you use to grease it? Did it burn or stick much?

    Have a great weekend!

    Patricia @ ButterYum January 22, 2010 at 11:45 AM  

    What a great idea - I'm going to make this oatmeal this weekend. thanks so much for posting it.


    Unknown January 22, 2010 at 1:12 PM  

    The Packet Queen, I think apples would hold up well all night. Maybe add a little lemon juice to them to make sure they don't turn brown?

    Rachel, I have to admit, I forgot to grease the crockpot! But I guess non-stick spray would work, or maybe butter - that would also add to the flavor.

    ShannanB January 25, 2010 at 8:35 AM  

    I've always been afraid of regular oats. I tried to make them once and it didn't go so well. Sounds like your recipe would be yummy.

    Allison @ Alli 'n Son January 25, 2010 at 3:06 PM  

    This sounds good. I tried a slow cooker oatmeal recipe last week that just didn't work. I'll have to give this one a try.

    Alexis AKA MOM January 26, 2010 at 2:21 AM  

    That sounds wonderful and an great thing for the morning. I've never tried that before in my crockpot. Thanks for the idea ;)

    Unknown January 26, 2010 at 2:48 PM  

    AWESOME!!! recipe for the crock pot.
    Come by and visit so you can enter my GREAT!!! waffle maker giveaway.

    Kimi Harris January 28, 2010 at 2:48 PM  

    I love oatmeal, and nothing is better than waking up to breakfast already made!

    freddie October 14, 2012 at 3:51 PM  

    This is such a great idea. I have 5 grandchildren who would love this. Plus adding the brown sugar and cinnamon sounds so yummy.

    Unknown October 31, 2012 at 7:13 PM  

    It's one of those things than never crossed my mind! Excellent idea! I'm going to try it out soon.

    rebeka deleon,  November 30, 2012 at 11:53 AM  

    my son doesn't really eat oatmeal so i will do anything to make it more appealing for him! this sounds good

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