Breakfast in Bed? No problem. Make this nutritious apple and cinnamon scented oatmeal the evening before in your rice cooker or crock pot. It will be ready for you when you wake in the morning and your kitchen will smell like apple pie! This is the best way to wake up!
Note: If you make this in a slow cooker or rice cooker before bed, it’s best to start it at least an hour before hitting the sack. Once the oatmeal thickens, stir well to prevent lumps. However, that is not necessary if you are using the Instant Pot.
Steel cut oats have the most nutrition and lowest glycemic index of all the oatmeal products. I add flax seed, oat bran and chia seeds to further boost the nutrition, and sprinkle with walnuts for extra protein. My recipe uses only a tablespoon of brown sugar, unlike most of the slow cooked steel cut oats recipes you find on the web. The raisins, apples, and cinnamon bring a natural sweetness to the cereal. Of course you can add more brown sugar or maple syrup when serving, but I’m fine without that.
Making it in the instant pot (I have a 6 quart Duo) is the easiest way to cook this. I spray it with nonstick canola oil spray and cleanup is very easy. I do not add milk or milk substitute, only water.
I used a nonstick rice cooker with a slow cook setting. Like the instant pot, clean up is easy after spraying the cooker with nonstick spray. I’ve made this in the crock pot too, but be sure you spray it well. Even so, more cleanup is involved. If the oatmeal sticks, soak the crock pot with hot water and a few tablespoons baking soda.
Ingredients (makes approximately 9 cups/ Four 2 1/4 cup servings). Refrigerate leftovers for more breakfasts.
Nonstick canola spray
6 cups water
3 cups milk or milk substitute or 3 cups water (9 cups water total)
1 1/2 Tb butter (or a mixture of butter and coconut oil)
4 large Gala, Jonagold, Pink Lady, or other sweet cooking apples peeled and chopped
1 Tb brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup steel cut oats
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tb cinnamon
1 Tb flax seed meal
3 Tb chia seeds
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup raisins
2 cinnamon sticks (optional)
1 cup walnuts or pecan pieces to stir in the next morning (1/4 cup per serving)
1 cup fresh or 2 cups (16 oz) frozen blueberries to stir in the next morning (optional)
Directions for rice cooker or slow cooker:
Spray your cooker very well. Fill with milk and water, or only water.
Fry apples in butter and sprinkle in a few shakes of cinnamon, the vanilla and brown sugar, stirring often until they caramelize. If I have cream on hand, I stir in a tablespoon for real caramel.
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, then pour into cooker and mix well with the liquids. Mix in caramelized apples, raisins, and cinnamon sticks. Set slow cook timer for 7 hours. It’s best to make this with at least an hour before bedtime so that you can stir it while it thickens and avoid lumps.
Instant Pot Directions:
In sauté mode, melt butter and add apples, brown sugar, etc. and sauté until apples are beginning to caramelize. Add oats and other dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in 9 cups water and press Cancel. Set timer for 9 hours in Slow Cook mode using low pressure. I did not have any lumping problems in the Instant Pot.
In the morning, the apples will rise to the top. I like to stir in a cup of fresh (or frozen) blueberries. Acai berry puree is also good to stir in. Stir oatmeal well and ladle into bowls.
If you don’t have apples on hand or just don’t want to do all that work, stir in a 16 oz package of frozen blueberries into the cooked oatmeal.
Sprinkle with pecan or walnut pieces and serve with more milk or milk substitute if desired.