I have never really been a fan of instant oatmeal, I find it to be very fake tasting and if you get the flavorless kind it tends to be just that, flavorless. I do like the real stuff however, I like the cooked on a stove 20 minute kind but you have to have 20 minutes available to make breakfast in the morning which I never do unless I have real time to make something super good and in those cases I would rather have something else. That is why I make my oatmeal in the crock pot in big batches and keep it in the fridge to be heated up in single servings whenever I need a fast breakfast, it’s the best of both worlds really slow cooked but ready in 45 seconds.
One of the main reasons I started making this recipe was for my husband, you see he is one of those cereal guys, the kind that eat it out of a mixing bowl two meals a day. When we got married he went down to just one meal a day but still it is expensive and really not that good for you. I knew it would take a miracle to get him to eat something else for breakfast each morning so I decided to sort of trick him into it. I made a batch of oatmeal that was cinnamon apple, flavors that he loves, and let it cook all day while he was home. Finally he came in the kitchen and asked me what it was and if it was for dessert or something. I told him I was making oatmeal for myself to have for breakfasts in the morning because I wanted something new but that it was just for me because I knew how much he loved his cereal. He asked if maybe it wouldn’t be too much trouble for me to make it for him too, so I pretended to be a little annoyed and told him that if he was sure he wanted oatmeal instead of cereal that I guess he could have some. Let’s just say it worked and I have not bought cold cereal in over a year! Added bonus we were spending about $15 a month in milk and cereal for him, to keep him in oatmeal costs me about $3 a month.
This recipe has some quirks to it, the main one being that it is one of the few slow cooker recipes that is better when you take the lid off and stir it every hour or so. The first time I made this I let it cook on low over night like one set of instructions suggested and let’s just say it was very fry and stuck to the sides of the crock pot. Rest assured I have made significant improvements since then so if you would like to make this recipe while you are at work or overnight you may but you might want to make it while you are there to take note of how your specific slow cooker handles the oatmeal.
This recipe is for the basic most standard recipe but I make all sorts of flavors, I promise to post some of those variations in the coming months. Also, just a note this one batch makes roughly 12 cups of finished oatmeal, we eat about ¾ of a cup at a time so this lasts us almost 2 weeks of week day breakfasts with a day or two of variation thrown in the mix. To reheat just put the desired amount in a bowl, keep in mind that it will be quite firm before its heated, and microwave until it is warm enough, I also like to add a few raisins, a sprinkle of brown sugar and a dash of milk to mine.
Spray your crock pot with cooking oil or you can use a liner to prevent sticking. Add all the liquid ingredients followed by the dry ingredients stirring to combine. Place the lid on top and set to low, cooking for 6-8 hours. Make sure to stir your oatmeal from time to time to make sure the fruit is evenly distributed and that the oats are not stuck to the bottom or sides.
The oatmeal is done when the liquid is fully absorbed and the texture is creamy. Take the lid off, turn the crock pot off and let it cool before putting it in containers in the fridge. If you like your oatmeal sweet then add brown sugar to taste with the other ingredients before cooking, also if everyone in your family likes raisins or dried cranberries add those in before cooking as well.
Much Love, Aislinn and Emily