Saturday, January 25, 2014

Fall Harvest Slow Cooker Oatmeal ~ Gluten and Dairy Free

I was hesitant to make slow cooker oatmeal in the past because I was the only one in my family who ate oatmeal. My Crockpot is big enough that I figured I wouldn't be able to eat as much as I'd have to make for the recipe to turn out right. As luck would have it, my kids recently decided that they DO like oatmeal and proceeded to eat all of my single-serve packets. So I finally decided to a try a slow cooker oatmeal hoping it would actually get eaten. Boy am I glad I did! I prepped everything Sunday night and turned on the Crockpot before I went to bed. I came home from a Crossfit workout the next morning and was delighted! It smelled wonderful, was cooked perfectly, and the kids LOVED it! I've made it now 4 times, tweaking as I went, and finally found my perfect version.

4 medium Granny Smith apples peeled and cubed

1 TBS Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread (you can use any butter or butter 

1 cup Steel Cut Oats (if gluten is an issue look for oats marked gluten-free)

2 Tbs Xylitol (you can use any sweetener you like here, granular or liquid)

2 Tbs Hulled Hemp seeds (totally optional~ I had them and decided on this        
   last batch to throw them in for the added nutritional value)

2 tsp Cinnamon (or to taste~ I like a lot of Cinnamon!)

1/2 cups Dream Blends rice/quinoa drink (unsweetened)  (You can use any 
   dairy or non-dairy drink, but if it's sweetened you might want to ease up on 
   the other sweetener you use)

1 cup water 

Zest of 1/2 an orange

A few twists of a salt grinder

Place all of the ingredients and mix well. I cooked it for 6.5 hours on low and then it sat on warm for a couple of hours. The texture was good (I like some "bite" left). Everyone's slow cookers are different though. You may want to think about how your slow cooker has behaved in previous recipes and how firm you like your oatmeal before deciding how long you cook it. 

I did not add any liquid when I reheated it in the microwave on subsequent mornings, but if you like your oatmeal less firm, then you might add a few Tbs of "milk" or water.

An added bonus is that my daughter, who would rather sing in the morning than get herself ready for school, has something easy to eat for breakfast. A delicious, healthy breakfast with less mess and time spent in the morning is definitely a clear winner in my book!

I hope you enjoy it! If you change things up and like the results, please share in the comments. It's always nice to have more options!

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