American College of Nutrition Certified Nutrition Specialist | Professor of Nutrition


Monday Swap it Up #3

Okay, let me just say don’t say no until you read the whole post.

Swap #3: steel cut oats for cold cereal or instant oatmeal

I know, you are thinking you don’t have all morning to stir oatmeal on the stove. Neither do I. Here’s a way to get all the whole-grain goodness of steel cut oats without turning yourself into June Cleaver. Not that she didn’t rock those pearls.

Anyway, while wandering through Target (all “I’m finally getting my life in order” resolutions begin with a trip to Target) I found the most handy little gadget, a 2 qt. little crock pot. I couldn’t download a picture, but you can see it here (not an affiliate link, I just like this). For about $10. My regular meal size crockpot is way too big for morning oatmeal.

Crockpots are not my favorite cooking method, mostly since I work from home in the afternoons and just stick stuff in the oven. But this is my favorite kind of kitchen gadget, one that solves a problem easily and cheaply. So I bought it, and am very glad I did.

Now we have delicious steel cut oats ready for us in the morning. It’s like the timer on the coffee maker – one of the best inventions ever. Here’s how we do it:

Slow Cooker Oatmeal

This makes enough for two adults.

Before going to bed put 3/4 cup steel cut oats and 3 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk in the crockpot (almond milk will be a future swap, you can use water, skim or 1% regular milk, soy milk, whatever you like)

Add a pinch of salt and 2 Tbs ground flax seeds

Stir, cover and turn the crockpot on low and sleep like a baby knowing breakfast is already made.

WARNING: When you wake up and look at your oatmeal the first time, you will curse me. It will look all wrong. But it is really fine. Just give is a good stir, getting all the thick stuff off the bottom, turn off the crockpot and put the lid back on. In a few minutes it will look normal, I promise.

Add whatever fruit you like in your oatmeal, some chopped nuts (unsalted), and a little sugar if you need it. Yum! My husband has 2/3 of the oatmeal and I have 1/3.

If you are adding frozen fruit, let it cook with the oatmeal overnight. The color will change, so don’t be alarmed. Your kids might really like purple oatmeal!

You can try as many flavor variations as you can imagine: pumpkin with pie spices, apple and cinnamon (add chopped apple with the oats in the evening), mango and ginger – there are so many possibilities.

If you have regular Old Fashioned Oats, this works fine too. Use the ratios on the package for the number of servings you want, and reduce the liquid just a little since there will be no evaporation during cooking.

Enjoy this yummy breakfast all winter long. Your cholesterol, blood sugar and waistline will thank you.


One Response to Monday Swap it Up #3

  1. Tony R. October 24, 2011 at 12:12 PM #

    Great idea!

    I love oatmeal, and I don’t have to wait or comprimise tase for the instant stuff. It’s easy to setup the night before with my coffee. I add my nuts and frozen fruit into the mix after waking up. It really makes the morning slow down for a moment for me to enjoy the start of the day. Thanks!

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