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 the 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 stovetop 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.
That is why I think this overnight slow cooker steel cut oatmeal recipe fits the bill perfectly. Simply, put everything in your slow cooker, set it to work for you overnight, and wake up to a deliciously creamy oatmeal porridge in the morning.
Ingredients For Crock Pot Steel Cut Oatmeal
To make this overnight crockpot oatmeal recipe you will need:
- Steel Cut Oats (aka Irish Oats): Nowadays, there are so many steel-cut oats brands out there. I personally like Trader Joe’s organic steel oats (affiliate link) and Bob’s Red Mills brand (affiliate link).
- Liquid: I used a combination of water and unsweetened almond milk. I feel as though using a combination of water and almond milk delivers the creamiest overnight crockpot porridge.
With this being said, If you prefer you can only use water or try other kinds of milk like cashew, coconut, or even regular milk.
- Sweetening & Flavoring Agents: To sweeten my overnight steel-cut oatmeal recipe I took inspiration from my almond flour banana bread muffins recipe and added in a 1/2 of mashed banana and some ground cinnamon into the mix.
However, you can also sweeten it with some homemade applesauce. During the fall months, I usually make a big batch of my unsweetened applesauce recipe and add in a few tablespoons into this overnight crockpot oatmeal recipe.
- Toppings: I am the kind of person who lives for toppings. Fresh fruit, a handful of nuts, or a chopped up power bar (like I did here) would all work.
A Small Casserole Dish (or Mason Jars) Help So Much with Cleaning Later On:
Now, before I talk about how to make steel oats in a crockpot I want to talk about this trick that I learned a while back.
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. You will have to let it soak for a few hours to get all the sticky oatmeal off of the bowl of your crockpot. Not ideal!
The solution to that problem is to place a smaller heat-resistant bowl (or a casserole dish) in the bowl of the slow cooker itself and fill the bottom of it with water halfway through the bowl. The residual heat provided by the warm water cooks the oatmeal creating the creamiest steel-cut oatmeal you will ever have. Guaranteed.
If you do not have a small dish that fits in your slow cooker, you can also use Mason Jars. Simply divide the ingredients into 4 mason jars and place them in the bowl of your slow cooker along with water.
I love using mason jars as I can easily put the lid on and store it in the fridge (up to 3 days) for an easy grab & go breakfast, which makes this the perfect single-serving crockpot oatmeal recipe.
With this being said, if you prefer neither method you can use a good old crockpot liner (affiliate link) to make the cleaning easy on yourself later on. And that’s not even an option, be sure to lightly spray the bowl of your slow cooker to make the cleaning easier on yourself later on.
How to Make Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats:
The best part of this crockpot oatmeal recipe is that it takes just a few minutes to put together. As I mentioned earlier, the majority of work is done by your slow cooker.
The process is very simple:
- Get your ingredients in the bowl: Place steel cut oats (aka Irish oats), liquid, and the sweeteners in a small casserole dish or mason jars and place them in the bowl of your slow cooker.
- Fill it halfway with water: Fill the bottom of your slow cooker just enough to cover the bowl (or mason jars) halfway through.
- Put the lid on and set the crockpot to the all the work for you: Set it to low-heating setting for 4 hours for a warm and creamy steel-cut oatmeal in the morning.
- Top it off with your favorite toppings and enjoy: In the morning, simply top it off with your favorite toppings and serve.
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.
How Long 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 I mentioned earlier, I went with some ripened mash banana, but a few tablespoons of applesauce would also work.
Additionally, you can always use 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 to top off my crockpot steel-cut oatmeal. I also like homemade chunky 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 them 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 contains 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 slow-cooked 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 the microwave for 1 minute, top it off with your favorite toppings and enjoy.
If You Liked This Overnight Steel Cut Oats In Crockpot You Might Also Like:
Other Healthy Oatmeal Recipes You Might Like:
- Overnight Muesli Recipe
- Healthy Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
- Low Fat Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Oatmeal with Chia Seeds
Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats
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.