Lovin' from the Oven is an exclusive feature at The Snarky Schoolteacher highlighting excellent recipes to help you self care from the inside out. Delicious recipes are brought to you by Nicole on Saturdays throughout the month. Let us know what you think by using the tag #SSOvenLovin on social media.
Happy Saturday morning! Can you believe we've already reached the beginning of March? I can't believe how fast the first two months of 2016 have flown by. I can tell spring is on its way by the longer daylight hours and the birds that chirp and sing noisily in the mornings, but winter still has a bit of a grip around here, particularly with some chilly mornings. I don't know about you, but I'm still craving warm and hearty dishes to get me going in the early hours of the day!
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One of my favorite winter breakfasts is some good, old fashioned oatmeal. It's such a versatile dish -- I'm convinced that the topping and mix-in combinations are endless -- but it does take a bit of a time commitment to whip some up in the mornings. Is it really possible to have the best of both worlds? Never fear... your trusty slow cooker is here!
I discovered a wealth of slow cooker oatmeal recipes recently, but none of them have really come up to my standards for the perfect bowl of morning oatmeal. I have always used Old Fashioned oats, but I find that when they cook overnight, the consistency always comes out rather gluey and without that lovely, oat-y texture that I love so much about traditional oatmeal.
So I did some research, and I determined that steel cut oats have been the missing ingredient, and after some tweaking, I think I've finally found a perfect recipe. I'm excited to share it with you today!
This recipe is just the right amount of everything. The steel cut oats make it chewy, but not too chewy. The walnuts provide a little bit of crunch and the cranberries give a teeny bit of tang (and they plump up so nicely in the cooking process!). The brown sugar gives it just enough sweetness to make you feel like you're indulging without really indulging.
Basically, it's perfection in a bowl.
The best part? Not only does this recipe cook overnight while you sleep, but the leftovers reheat amazingly well for a perfect breakfast or mid-morning snack. After I dish up my bowl of oatmeal in the morning, I portion out the rest into containers and pop them in the fridge. Voila! Instant breakfasts for the rest of the week -- just reheat and eat.
The other perfect thing about this dish is that it's super simple to put together. I buy whole walnuts since they are cheaper, and a few quick pulses in my little 3.5 cup food processor does the trick! It's one of my favorite kitchen appliances for quick chopping prep.
To get started, I recommend that you first grease the inside of your slow cooker. It does tend to get a nice crust on the edges while it cooks overnight, and this helps keep the clean-up process simpler. Then, just throw everything together in the slow cooker, add your liquid, and stir. Set the cooker on low and cook for 6 hours overnight. And that's it! When you wake up in the morning, you'll be greeted by the intoxicating aroma of hot, delicious oatmeal all ready for you to scoop and enjoy! I love to sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on mine... mmm mmm mmm!
I'd love to hear your favorite oatmeal toppings and combinations. Experiment this weekend and let me know your favorites in the comments below!
Have a great weekend, my friends! Until next time, bon appetit!
Overnight Slow Cooker Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal
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