Oh, to wake up in the morning to the smell of delicious, homemade breakfast wafting up to your bedside! Doesn’t that sound just wonderful? It must be nice. I’m sure my husband could vouch for it. Or my kids.
But this mama is generally the “breakfast maker”, so…yeah. There’s usually some level of effort required before I can sit down to something delicious (or nutritious) for breakfast.
But who has time for that?!
In these winter months, wouldn’t it be lovely to go to bed on a cold night, cuddle down under the warm covers, and wake up in the morning to a ready-made soul-warming breakfast?
Like a crockpot breakfast kind of thing…
Meet Irish Oatmeal.
Oatmeal just feels like the perfect breakfast for a cold winter morning. It makes me feel warm and cozy, and gives me the urge to do nothing but stay in my pajamas, cuddle under a blanket and read a good book by the fireplace.
At least it has that effect when it’s done right. Sometimes oatmeal is great. Especially when I load it with cinnamon and brown sugar, and sometimes a little pad of butter…yum. Sometimes it’s just “meh”. Especially if it doesn’t have the right flavors or sweetness.
But this little recipe found the sweet spot. It’s the perfect flavor with the perfect light sweetness and the perfect texture. AND you can dress it up however you want to fit your particular tastes – top it with craisins, raisins, bananas, pecans, maple, honey, flax seeds…
And there’s something about cooking it in the crockpot that gives it this incredible taste: rich and deep…woodsy…almost smoky sweet…
As with all the best slow cooker recipes, it’s ridiculously easy. Throw everything into a crockpot. Turn it on. Wait. Devour. (Disclaimer: You can also make it on the stovetop if you don’t have a slowcooker or don’t think to put it in the night before!)
And for all of you good souls out there with New Years Resolutions to improve your health: this recipe uses steel cut oats or oat groats, so it’s even super healthy! They’ve been less processed than rolled oats or “oatmeal”, retaining more of their natural health benefits (heart-healthy, high in fiber, full of minerals). You can find them at most grocery stores in the cereal aisle. I tend to get mine in the bulk section of my local health food store (Sprouts, Fresh Thyme, Whole Foods, etc).
It also makes a cute little gift – for newlyweds, teacher/co-worker gifts at Christmas, or neighbors. It layers really nicely in a jar, which you can dress up however you’d like. That’s actually how we came across this recipe – it was a wedding gift from my high school best friend’s mom.
I kind of think you’ll love it. Let me know what you think! What’s your favorite way to dress up your oatmeal?
1 1/2 cups steel cut oats or oat groats
1/2 cup powdered milk
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbs brown sugar
1/2 – 3/4 cup dried apple slices &/or Craisins
5 cups water
3 Tbs water
Crock Pot Directions: In a crockpot, combine all ingredients. Stir well. Cook on low, overnight. Edges will turn brown and crunchy when you use this method!
Stove Top Directions: In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Stir well. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then turn down to medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally until it gets creamy and starts to thicken. Turn down to low and simmer 30 minutes.
Serve with your choice of toppings: maple, butter, chopped pecans, etc.
To create a gift jar, layer all ingredients except for water & butter in a jar. Attach instructions (as written above).