Here is an easy way to serve a crowd a hearty breakfast before facing the elements for a day of winter sports. You can assemble it in the slow cooker in the evening and wake up to a bowl of hot, nourishing oatmeal. The slow cooker eliminates the need for constant stirring and ensures an exceptionally creamy consistency. It is important to use steel-cut oats; old-fashioned oats become too soft during slow-cooking.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, Winter 2004
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Combine water, oats, dried cranberries, dried apricots and salt in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Turn heat to low. Put the lid on and cook until the oats are tender and the porridge is creamy, 7 to 8 hours.

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  • Stovetop Variation

  • Halve the above recipe to accommodate the size of most double boilers: Combine 4 cups water, 1 cup steel-cut oats, 3 tablespoons dried cranberries, 3 tablespoons dried apricots and 1/8 teaspoon salt in the top of a double boiler. Cover and cook over boiling water for about 1 1/2 hours, checking the water level in the bottom of the double boiler from time to time.

Tips

Ingredient Note: Steel-cut oats, sometimes labeled “Irish oatmeal,” look like small pebbles. They are toasted oat groats--the oat kernel that has been removed from the husk--that have been cut in 2 or 3 pieces. Do not substitute regular rolled oats, which have a shorter cooking time, in the slow-cooker oatmeal recipe.

For easy cleanup, try a slow-cooker liner. These heat-resistant, disposable liners fit neatly inside the insert and help prevent food from sticking to the bottom and sides of your slow cooker.

People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use oats that are labeled “gluten-free,” as oats are often cross-contaminated with wheat and barley.

Nutrition Facts

188 calories; protein 6.1g 12% DV; carbohydrates 34.2g 11% DV; dietary fiber 8.8g 35% DV; sugars 5.5g; fat 3g 5% DV; saturated fatg; cholesterolmg; vitamin a iu 225IU 5% DV; vitamin c 0.2mg; folatemcg; calcium 29.7mg 3% DV; iron 1.6mg 9% DV; magnesium 2.4mg 1% DV; potassium 197.4mg 6% DV; sodium 79.8mg 3% DV; thiamin 0.2mg 23% DV.

Reviews (65)

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65 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 6
  • 4 star values: 50
  • 3 star values: 5
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 4 stars
06/17/2013
how do i freeze and reheat? could i just use some granny smith apples (fresh) cut up with some cinnamon brown sugar raw honey and raisins if i have them? would that work? Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I love oatmeal but I must say this was the worst. I used apricots & dried cherries I don't know if it was the combo of fruit but it tasted like tin. Absolutely awful. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I set my crock pot for 7 hours and then it automatically goes to "warm" setting. I awoke after about 8 hours total time and while it wasn't exactly burned the oatmeal was indeed stuck to the sides of the pot. If I tried to scrape it the oatmeal was crunchy and a bit charred. Then the taste and texture of the oatmeal wasn't much better than just cooking a packet of quick oats in the microwave. I subbed skim milk for half of the water. Not worth the effort in my opinion. Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
10/29/2011
I love this oatmeal! I use Irish Steel Cut Oats and before serving I like to add a little Honey Greek Yogurt on top and mix in flax meal. A great energizing breakfast for those winter months. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
01/29/2012
Try using apple juice instead of water If you substitite apple juice for one-half the water it enhnces the flavor. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
It's a great and healthy recipe. The creamy consistency is delicious. I actually bake it in the oven overnight in a heavy pan with a fitted lid at 225 for 7 to 8hrs. I also add 2 fresh unpeeled apples cut in pieces before putting the dish in the oven for a different apple sauce version. You can use only milk instead of 1/2 water and 1/2 milk. Especially good if you use skim or 1% milk. Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I was not happy with this recipe. When I came down this morning eagerly expecting a yummy breakfast I found a pot of gloppy oatmeal that had stuck to the bottom and a little on the sides of the crockpot. I have used this crockpot for many things and it works perfectly...I followed the directions exactly but did not end up with what I imagined I would. We did salvage enough oatmeal to serve my family (after pulling out large crusty sections) but even that wasn't as tasty as I was imagining it would be. I would not use this recipe again. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
03/27/2012
week's supply of oatmeal This is a great method for serving special oatmeal for a crowd. For myself I put 1 cup steel cut oats with 4 cups water in a 3qt. casserole cover and put in an oven heated to 400 degrees - turn off the oven and leave overnight - next morning you've got a week's worth of oatmeal. I put it in a covered container and refrigerate for a week. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
10/30/2011
I should have read the comments before trying this. I too woke up to a layer of burned oats along the inside walls of my crockpot. Such a disappointment as I was very excited about waking up to a delicious breakfast! Read More