Friday, December 21, 2012
My Beloved Old Crockpot + An Easy Overnight Oatmeal Recipe.
Here's my beloved, very old, made-in-the-USA crockpot in all it's ugly mauve, well-used glory! Wow, what a relic, eh?
It was given to me by an elderly lady who had had it for a looong time yet rarely used it. I've since had it nearly 10 years. I keep waiting for the day when I am making an overnight breakfast and wake up to find a cold, dead crockpot and no breakfast. A sad day that will be. I haven't been able to find a USA-made crockpot to replace this friend. (If you know of one, do share!!)
But, speaking of overnight breakfast, I want to share with you an easy-peasy, can't get any easier, dirt cheap, nutritious breakfast that's ready for you when you wake up. Sound too good to be true? Well, this time it's not...as long as you like oatmeal, that is! If you don't, I'm sorry, you're out of luck this time. But oatmeal lovers and busy mothers with multiple kids everywhere, this is for you! It shouldn't take you more than THREE minutes to prepare. Yes, really!
Pick one of these upcoming post-holiday evenings to prepare this breakfast for your family. Wake up, roll out of bed, eat a hot breakfast in your pjs and enjoy a lazy morning together as a family.
Serves a family of 5: 2 adults + 3 children.
Total cost: $2.13 for all organic ingredients.
1 generous cup oat groats ($.40)
2 cups milk ($.81)
4 cups water
1/3 cup sucanat (more or less, according to your preference) ($.29)
1 T cinnamon (optional) ($.19)
1 T butter per adult, 1/2 T per child ($.44)
After you've cleaned up dinner, plug your crockpot in. Add all ingredients (except the butter) to the crockpot. Before you go to bed, turn the crockpot on low. In the morning, give the oatmeal a stir. Serve it in bowls and top with a pat of butter or coconut oil. If desired add additional toppings (berries, dried fruit, nuts...).
Doesn't get easier than that, does it?! Just roll out of bed in the morning and breakfast is ready. It's especially nice on these chilly winter mornings!
* FOUR QUICK NOTES:
1. Please note that I am using oat groats--the whole oat grain (see link in the recipe). Not rolled oats. Rolled oats do not require near as much liquid, nor can they cook for so long.
2. I generally turn my crockpot on about 10pm and we're eating around 7-8am. If you're especially particular about texture, experiment to determine a cooking time that softens the oats to your preferred texture. This makes a typical, creamy oatmeal consistency. If you find that the oatmeal is sticking to the side of your crockpot pretty badly (like an inch), either add an extra 1/2-1 cup of water or cook it for 1-2 hours less. Your crockpot is just a little hotter than mine.
3. If you want to soak your oats first, soak them during the day, drain and add to the crockpot and follow the recipe from there, lessening the water by 1 cup. (For more info on soaking grains, read the note here under adding dairy to the flour.)
4. The milk is not necessary--you could use just water instead (sub only 1 1/3 cup water for the 2 cups milk). We like the added milk...makes the oatmeal creamier, almost like a rice pudding. Yum!