I’m not sure if it is popular or “in” anymore (I’m not sure if anything I do is popular or in anymore…) but I love and adore oatmeal. In fact, the only thing I’d rather have for breakfast than a creamy bowl of oatmeal is one of Mama’s ham and cheese omelets like she used to make me. Well, its been about fifteen years since I woke to Mama making me a ham and cheese omelet, so it only makes sense that I’d lean more towards the oatmeal concept at this point.
You know how you wake up first thing and its like your feet barely hit the floor before the day begins without you, with you rushing behind trying to catch up to it? That is precisely why this oatmeal is such a wonderful treat. We pop it in the crock pot overnight, fill a few lidded bowls with various stir ins and toppings, go to bed and when we wake its like the breakfast fairy has paid us a visit!
Now, before you start thinking that you could never possibly get your kids to eat oatmeal, hang on and wait until I get to the toppings part!
This is not the time to pop out those quick oats!
I admit, I am an oatmeal snob. What you see in this picture is what I bake with for cakes and cookies and such. I prefer to eat steel cut oats. Silver Palate is my favorite brand. I was out of those for this tutorial though and found out that not a single grocery store in my town sells them! Feel free to leave the raisins out if you are not a raisin fan. I prefer to bake mine in the oatmeal because I love how the plump up!
This is my crock pot. Its one of those deals with three different sized bowls in it. I LOVE MY CROCK POT. I got this baby for Mother’s Day. I asked for it over and over. I wrote the name down. I took my family to visit it at Wal Mart. Then, I saw on yahoo.com where kitchen appliances were in the top ten “dont’s” for Mother’s Day gifts! I closed out that web page and guarded my family’s internet usage until I knew they had bought it! Clearly, the folks at yahoo.com are not busy stay at home moms!
There are two ways you can bake your oatmeal in your crock pot. You can simply put it in and turn it on low and cook it overnight, or you can prepare a water bath. Each way works fine but you will have slight browning around the edges if you just put it straight in the crock pot.
A water bath is the solution to this. In my crock pot, I just use the largest bowl to hold the water and place my oatmeal in the smallest bowl, as pictured. If you have a traditional crock pot, simply place your oatmeal ingredients into an oven safe bowl that will fit inside your pot and fill the main pot with water enough to reach about halfway up the sides of your bowl.
Brown Sugar mixed with Cinnamon
Here’s the trick to get your kids to eat it: Let them put their own toppings in. My son went ga-ga over this and let me tell you, chocolate chips stirred into hot oatmeal…..YUM!
Here are some other topping suggestions but the options are really limitless:
Colorful sprinkles or jimmies
Any type of chopped nut
Dried fruit (raisins, apricots, apples)
Fresh fruit (berries, bananas either sliced or mashed, peaches, etc)
Jelly or Jam