Who knew that the best way to cook steel cut oats is to use your crock pot and cook them in a bowl in hot water bath? Read through the post and recipe below to learn my foolproof method to make the best overnight slow cooker steel cut oats and wake up to a bowl of warm steel cuts oats in the morning.
This post is sponsored by Zone Perfect Bars. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Since the day we found out that we are moving to Vermont, every morning as soon as I wake up I check the temperature in our new hometown. It is cold there, really cold. Since I believe that food is the best medicine, I know that we will need all the heartwarming food we can get our hands on to warm ourselves up. And what is better than a cup of warm oatmeal to start the day? Imagine as soon as you wake up, you have a bowl of creamy steel cut oats waiting for you in your slow cooker when it is 1 °F outside. So today’s recipe, Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats, is one that I know I will be making in our new hometown.
Before I start talking about why I love cooking steel cut oats in crockpot, I want you to know that I have no problem with cooking steel cuts in the morning on a Saturday morning. It is totally fine by me to put it on the stove top and let it cook low and slow. However, let’s face it: Things are different when it comes to a weekday morning. If you are anything like me, you need breakfast fast. And it has to be healthy and filling.
How to Make Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats:
That is why, I think making steel cut oats in the slow cooker is the best way to cook them. The process is very simple: You prepare everything at night and let it cook through the night only to wake up to a warm and creamy bowl of steel cut oatmeal. It takes no more than 10 minutes. For reals.
Now, if you have ever tried cooking steel cuts in your crock pot’s bowl, you know that you have some cleaning to do later on. Because let me tell you, the thick oatmeal will stick to that bowl. The solution to that problem is to place a smaller heat-resistant bowl in the bowl of the slow cooker itself and fill the bottom of it with water halfway through the bowl. The residual heat that comes from the water cooks the oatmeal creating the creamiest steel cut oatmeal you will ever have. Guaranteed.
With that being said, if you don’t mind the cleaning you can certainly place everything in the bowl and cook your oats that way.
Liquid to Steel Cut Oats Ratio
I found that for a family of four, the best liquid to steel cut oats ratio is 1/2 to 2, meaning for every half a cup of steel cut oats you need 2 cups of liquid. This ratio yields 4 cups of oatmeal. As you will see in the recipe below, in terms of the liquid I mixed water with almond milk. I think adding a little bit of a milk (instead of all water) makes it even creamier. If you want, you can only use water or try other milks like cashew, coconut, or even regular milk.
How Much Time Does It Take For Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats To Cook:
I usually set my crockpot to 4 hours in low-heat setting, and after that, its keep-warm setting continues to maintain a warm temperature. We usually sleep 8 hours, so by the time I wake up my bowl of creamy and delicious oatmeal is waiting for me in the kitchen.
Here, I think I should mention that the timing may change based on the brand of the slow cooker you use. So I recommend experimenting with your crock pot for the best timing and consistency of your liking. If you are wondering, I use Crock-Pot 6.5-Quart, Programmable Touchscreen Slow Cooker, Silver, SCVT650-PS and it gives me perfect results every time.
How To Sweeten The Steel Cut Oats:
Since steel cut oats are super healthy, I wanted to stay away from adding any additional processed sugars. However, it needed a little bit of a sweetener. As you will see in the recipe below, I added a few tablespoons of my homemade unsweetened applesauce into the recipe at the beginning with all the other ingredients. Here, if you do not have applesauce, you can always substitute it with a mashed, ripe banana, or a few tablespoons of honey or maple syrup.
The Best Toppings For Steel Cut Oats:
When it comes to toppings, I always find fresh fruit and nuts to be the best option. I also like homemade granola, but let’s face it; I do not always have granola on hand. Instead, I cut a nutrition bar into small pieces and use it as a topping. And when it comes to protein bars, my husband and I are big fans of ZonePerfect Nutrition Bar. They have so many flavors (my favorite being salted caramel brownies) to choose from and they all taste SO good. I also love that when you put chunks of nutrition bar in hot oatmeal, it slightly melts creating a silky and chocolate-y breakfast bowl. Plus, one ZonePerfect bar containes 17-19 vitamins and minerals with 170-210 calories and 10-15 grams of protein per serving, depending on the flavor. This, in my book, means guilt-free eating.
How to Store The Leftovers:
The recipe below yields 3-4 cups of steel cut oats. Like I mentioned earlier, this easily feeds a family of 4, but if you are a small family like us, you can always refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. When ready to eat, warm it up in microwave for 1 minute, top it off with your favorite toppings and enjoy.
Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats
Who knew that the best way to make steel cut oatmeal is to use your crock pot and cook the oats in a bowl in hot bath? Read through the post and recipe below to learn my foolproof method to make the best overnight slow cooker steel cut oats only to wake up to a bowl of warm steel cuts oats in the morning.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 4 hours
- Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes
- Yield: 4 cups
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Slow Cooker
- Cuisine: American
For the Steel Cut Oats:
- ½ cup steel cut oats, make sure that they are gluten-free certified
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk* (or any of your favorite plant-based milk)
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce or ½ ripe and mashed banana
- pinch of salt
For the Toppings:
- 1 cup seasonal fresh fruits, chopped
- 1 ZonePerfect Nutrition Bar (I used Salted Caramel Brownie), cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (optional)
- Mix together the steel cut oats, water, almond milk, applesauce (or a 1/2 ripe and mashed banana), and salt in a heat-resistant bowl (or a small casserole dish) that will fit in your slow cooker.
- Fill the bowl of the slow cooker halfway through with water.
- Put the lid on and cook for 4 hours in low-heat setting. 4 hours will create a very creamy consistency. If you want it to be thicker, you can let it cook up to 5 hours in low heat setting.
- When ready to serve, divide it in between 4 bowls and top each cup off with fresh fruit, chunks of nutrition bar, and sesame seeds.
- Serve while it is still warm.
• If your bowl is larger and you want to make a bigger batch, feel free to double the recipe. Alternatively, you can skip cooking it in a casserole dish and directly cook it in the bowl of your slow cooker. For more information on this, please read the blog post.
• If you prefer, you can substitute almond milk with water or regular milk.
• As long as it is kept in an airtight container, it will keep fresh up to 3 days. When ready to eat, warm it up in the microwave for 1 minute or so.
**** Calorie value listed below does not include the nutrition bar.****
- Serving Size: 1
Editor’s Note: This post is sponsored by ZonePerfect Bars. The compensation received in exchange for placement on Foolproof Living is used to purchase ingredients and props, write blog posts, take and edit photos and maintain this website in general.
However, though compensation was received in exchange for coverage, the thoughts and opinions mentioned in this post are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Foolproof Living!