• The Breakfast Revolution: Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Steel Cut Oats

    If only we could spend every weekend morning this way.

    If only we could spend every weekend morning this way.

    Every week, about Thursday, I start dreaming about the weekend. Spending time at home with the kids playing games and reading together, maybe catching up on the growing stack of kids’ school work, art and papers in the corner, and a big breakfast with all our favorites, after sleeping in.

    Remember those Saturday mornings when the kids were small? You could cuddle up with them in bed, getting a few last zzz’s then stumble downstairs to start the coffee. After your first cup, you might open the windows to let the sunshine in and start cracking eggs and tossing bacon in the skillet. You might even enjoy this nice breakfast, along with a second cup of coffee, curled up on the couch with baby gooing and cooing from their little play mat while you make eyes at them.

    Those days are over around here. I can’t tell you how many half cups of coffee are left across my house each weekend as I do my best to guzzle something before the adventure begins.

    This is what many post-run, pre-kids stuff breakfasts look like.

    This is what many post-run, pre-kids stuff breakfasts look like.

    There’s usually sports, a training run, errands, social activities like playdates and birthday parties, and dinner out with friends that keep us busy and having fun, rather than relaxing and having fun. Which is great and I’ll never complain about having fun over organizing my stack of papers, but sometimes I really miss that nice, leisurely breakfast.

    I took matters into my own hands. I looked for some new breakfast recipes that we could prepare the night before, and then have minimal or no cooking before enjoying a hot breakfast in the morning. Weekday mornings, with school and work to prepare for, are pretty busy. I get that, and our home is no different. But since our house is like this even on the weekends, I started to think about breakfast differently.

    I started to think about a Breakfast Revolution! One where we can indulge in savory and sweet breakfasts even on a weekday with lunches to make, hair to get just right and homework to finish up from the night before. Why not? Because these meals take time? Guess what, so do dinners! But with slow cookers and other kitchen tools, we could make breakfast happen beyond cereal, frozen waffles and instant oatmeal, right?

    Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Steel Cut Oats

    Slow Cooker Spiced Apple Steel Cut Oats

    I say yes! So I searched for my first recipe inspiration and it came in the form of Slow Cooker Apple Spiced Steel-Cut Oats. On my way out the door, I put a serving in my glass canning jar, pour a little almond milk over it, and take it to work for the perfect breakfast to enjoy while I read the day’s news and a cup of coffee. This has been my personal favorite breakfast recipe.

    There’s also mini frittatas like these with spinach and cheese. They bake in just the amount of time needed to make something of my daughter’s hair and my kids love when they can have eggs before school.

    Here’s another idea for the Breakfast Revolution: make Baked Double Chocolate Donuts when I have time on a weekend or week night, then store extra for a school day. Topping them with fruit or peanuts avoids the extra sugar from cereal or candy toppings.

    How do you bring a little indulgence into your mornings when you don’t really have time for it?

    Slow Cooker Apple Spiced Steel Cut Oats Recipe

    Yields 6 servings

    Ingredients
    2 apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2 “ pieces
    1 ½ cups coconut or rice milk
    1 cup water
    ½ cup applesauce
    1 cup uncooked steel-cut oats
    2 tbsp brown sugar
    1 ½ tbsp dairy-free butter
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 tsp salt

    Directions

    Coat inside of 3.5 to 4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray. If your slow cooker is larger, use a 5 cup or larger glass baking dish or measuring cup placed inside your slow cooker, and surrounded by room temperature water nearly to the top of your glass container.

    Add all ingredients into slow cooker or glass container. Mix well, cover slow cooker, and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours. Spoon oatmeal into serving bowls. Stir in additional dairy-free milk or add sliced apples as a topping, if desired. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for later that week or in the freezer for the future.

    To reheat single servings: Put 1 cup of cooked oatmeal in microwave proof bowl. Add 1/3 cup dairy-free milk. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Cook for another minute, or until desired temperature.

    Enjoy the rest of your day!

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