Thursday, March 01, 2012

Overnight Crockpot Irish Steel-Cut Oatmeal


Hello March! With St. Patrick's Day approaching, I'm feeling my Irish roots.

I love Irish Steel-Cut oats. They call it Irish-Style because they're cut oats, not rolled oats. Rolled oats are regular oats, rolled flat, quick oats are rolled and ground up so that they cook quicker. Steel cut oats are whole raw oats cut into smaller chunks. Rolled oats are also steamed a bit so that they cook up quicker. But they are all oats, just cut differently.

Because the rolled oats are slightly precooked, they are digested faster, which makes the carb count slightly higher and lessens the 'full feeling' that you feel after eating. If I don't have the time for steel cut oats, which I rarely do, I opt for the rolled oats, instead of quick oats. They're only a 3-5 minute cook time.

Steel cut oats taste a little nuttier and are chewier. You can cook them tender, but they still have more 'tooth' or body. They also have more trace minerals on them as they aren't as processed. I really like them. I just don't have them that often.

When boiling, they take 25-30 minutes. Last weekend, I tried this overnight crockpot method. It worked great!

I'll bet when you came here, you didn't think we'd be having a conversation about the difference in oats, did you?

That's why I'm one of the popular kids.....not.

I cook this with a 'double boiler' method. I place a pyrex dish inside my crockpot. The oats and other ingredients are inside the dish and I fill the outside up with water to reach about the same height as the liquid inside the pyrex dish.

This keeps the oats from drying out.

You could totally cook it right inside the crockpot, but the edges will get crispy. Then again, sometimes I kind of like that.

My pyrex dish's handles kept it from sitting at the bottom, so I put a small pyrex ramekin under it to hold it up. Otherwise, try to find a dish that fits.

Mix up the oats, milk, vanilla, butter, and brown sugar in the pyrex dish. Give it a good stir to combine.

Then, throw the lid on and cook on low for 7-9 hours.

That's it.

Really.

The next morning you have nice, plump oats. The milk is rich and creamy inside.

Just serve with bowls of raisins, dried fruits, nuts, peanut butter, honey, cinnamon, chocolate chips, or additional brown sugar.

Kids love the add ins. It makes it feel like they're creating their own meal.

If you wanted to dice up a few slices of apple or peaches and cook with the oats, that would be great, too!

This isn't terribly sweet. I try to keep the brown sugar lighter and then they can add a bit more if they really need it, but often they're so excited about the toppings, and the toppings sometimes add sweetness, that they forget that it's not terribly sweet.

I'm all about getting them to eat less sugar.

Overnight Crockpot Irish Steel-Cut Oatmeal, serves about 4
The Recipe: adapted from Mommy's Kitchen
1 cup Irish-style steel cut oats
4 cups low-fat milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter

Combine all ingredients in a pyrex dish. Place inside a crockpot. Fill the crockpot with water until the water level reaches the liquid level in the pyrex dish.

Cook on low for 7-9 hours.
Serve with toppings such as raisins, dried fruits, nuts, peanut butter, honey, cinnamon, chocolate chips, or additional brown sugar.

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