On wintery, cold mornings in the months where we are all trying to be a bit healthier, I often feel I should be eating oatmeal. As a kid, I would see commercials with children being served steaming bowls of oatmeal by moms in sweaters and would start lobbying my mom for oatmeal the next time we were at the store. Here is the problem though. I always liked the idea of oatmeal more than actual oatmeal. Sure I love oatmeal bread and oatmeal cookies, but a bowl of oatmeal often was unsatisfying. I went through a phase of trying all sorts of different instant varieties, but never had the time or inclination to cook oatmeal on the stove. How could a packet full of dry instand oats and a bunch of sugary, fake stuff not disappoint at some level?
RELATED: Raspberry Coconut Squares – The raspberry is a bit tart, the coconut a bit sweet, and the crust provides a nice buttery foundation.
Over the last year or so I have been seeing all sorts of new approaches to oatmeal. I have saved recipes for baked oatmeal, oatmeal breakfast bars, oatmeal breakfast cookies, etc. It wasn’t until I started seeing recipes for oatmeal made in the slow cooker that I got really serious about trying oatmeal again.
When I read the post for Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal by Julie from Table for Two on Baked By Rachel, I knew I had something I should try. Of all the instant oatmeal I have loved, I have always gravitated toward the apple-cinnamon or maple varieties. Sometimes I’d even make a bowl using a packet of each. (Am I daring or what?) For my first attempt at slow cooker oatmeal, I decided to combine these two favorite flavors. We were not disappointed in the results the first day or after reheating the next day. I hope you enjoy it too.
Slow-Cooker Maple Apple Oatmeal
- 3-4 medium-sized apples peeled, cored, and roughly chopped into 1-inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 slightly heaping cup steel-cut oats
- 2 tbsp. maple sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- Peel, core, and chop the apple. I cut each apple into eighths, cored it, peeled it, and then chopped it into pieces that were about 1 inch. Use any firm apple that you might use in a pie (Braeburn, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady). This time I used Pink Lady apples.
- Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray.
- Pour the liquids into the slow cooker.
- Stir in your dry ingredients.
- Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.
- When you open the slow cooker, stir, and serve immediately.
- Here is where the fun begins. Feel free to add dried cranberries, raisins, toasted pecans, or, if you feel a little naughty, a bit of maple syrup.
- If you wish to reheat this in the microwave, add a bit of hot water, syrup, or milk. Cover and microwave for 30 seconds (or using a reheat setting). You might need to stir and then heat for a few seconds more.
Maple sugar can often be found in the baking aisle at Whole Foods, online, or at farmers' markets. I got mine at Trader Joe's, but am not sure whether this was a seasonal item. If you can't find maple sugar, use brown sugar and add a bit of maple syrup at the end.