|Apple Cinnamon Crockpot Steel Cut Oatmeal|
This recipe needs no winding descriptions or silly anecdotes about how it came to be. It is, plainly, the coziest breakfast that has ever been. It is perfect in its simplicity.
If there is ever a time of year when our bodies yearn for something to warm us from the inside out, it's now. The glitz and glam of the holidays are over and we're all a little bruised—from too much food or too much alcohol or just the too muchness of the season in general. We crave nourishment, comfort and ease, and that's exactly what this Apple Cinnamon Crockpot Oatmeal offers.
As much as I love oats, I rarely use the steel-cut variety, as they take significantly longer to prepare. What are steel-cut oats you ask? Well, all oats start out as oat groats, which are then processed in multiple ways to make them faster to cook and softer in texture.
- Steel cut oats are as close to the oat groat as possible: they are just groats that have been chopped into a few pieces.
- Quick-cooking steel cut oats are groats that have been cut into even smaller pieces
- Rolled oats are groats that have been steamed and flattened
- Instant oats undergo the same process as rolled oats, but with more heat and pressure to cook, well instantly!
In terms of nutrition, the varieties are not materially different. However, steel cut and rolled oats have a lower Glycemic Index than instant oats, which means they're better for stabilizing blood sugar. Also, most instant oat packets are loaded with extra sugar. Unnecessary! Aside from this, there are a few reasons to enjoy steel-cut oats. One is their fabulous chewy texture and slightly nutty flavor that I am slightly addicted to right now. The other is that they hold up in a crockpot! Rolled oats turn completely to mush, but steel-cut retain some body, which means they're perfect for big-batch crockpot cooking.
I suggest playing around with how long you want to cook your oats, and maybe start tasting them around hour 4 to see if you prefer them chewier or softer. You can also get completely creative with this recipe: 2 ripe bananas and coconut sugar instead of maple syrup, topped with walnuts, would be a delicious Banana Bread version. You could even enjoy these as "Overnight Oats" and eat them cold. However, if you want to try this, I suggest stirring in an extra 3/4 cup water at the end, as they will thicken significantly in the fridge.
I hope you give this steel-cut oatmeal a try! Your belly and heart will thank you from the inside out.