Here it is, my new favorite thing, breakfast made in a crock pot! Yep, last week I prepared some steel cut oats in a slow cooker, and now it’s become an every night affair! Just this morning my foodie daughter ask, “Where’s that oatmeal you made?” Seriously. I am not pulling your leg!
What could be better than having a kid ask for something nutritious and be able to make it while you sleep! Life is good!
Everyone is familiar with oatmeal (aka rolled oats) and if your nutrition vigilant you’ve probably also heard of steel cut oats (aka Irish oatmeal). But make no mistake, both are nutritious! In this post I will explain the similarities and differences and share my recipe for slow cooked steel cut oats topped with apples, cinnamon and sugar.
Both steel cut oats and rolled oats start out as harvested raw oats that are cleaned and separated from the hulls and stalks. After that they are referred to as groats (another name for grain kernel). Steel cut oats originate when the groat is cut into two or three pieces with a sharp metal blade. Rolled oats (aka old fashioned oats) originate by steaming the groats and then rolling them into flakes. The larger surface area is what helps rolled oats cook faster than steel cut oats.
Old fashioned oats and steel cut oats both offer these nutritional benefits:
• High in soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol by interfering with the absorption of dietary cholesterol. Insoluble fibers aid in regularity.
• Sodium and sugar free.
• Low in saturated fat.
• Natural source of beta glucan, an immune system booster.
• Aid in weight control by increasing satiety; fills you up so you are less likely to crave unhealthy snacks.
The advantage of steel cut oats is they will not raise your blood sugar as rapidly as rolled oats (important for individuals with diabetes) and they have a heartier, satisfying texture.
The disadvantage of steel cut oats is they take some time to cook. However, you can circumvent this problem by making them ahead of time in a crock pot. Below is my recipe for slow cooked Irish oatmeal topped with apples, cinnamon, and sugar. This is one comfort food you can be guilt free about digging into!
What is your favorite oatmeal topping?
Slow Cooked Irish Oatmeal Topped with Cinnamon, Apples and Sugar
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Ingredients (serves 4)
- Irish Oatmeal:
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup skim milk
- 4 Granny Smith apples
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Spray the bottom of a crock pot with cooking spray. Add liquid ingredients and one cup of oats. Cover and cook on low setting for 8 hours.
Once the oats have finished cooking, mix cinnamon and sugar together and set aside. Chop apples and place into a large bowl; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture and toss to coat evenly. Top each bowl of cooked oats with fruit mixture.