What if there was a wonderful appliance that you could toss in a bunch of ingredients into before bed, then wake up to a warm, fragrant breakfast? For those without fear of burning the house down, this same gadget could take tough meats from chewy to downright tender, all while you’re at work or out running errands.
Indeed, such an appliance exists. And of course, I’m talking about the slow cooker.
That being said, I hardly use mine either.
This week, however, was a different story. When I stumbled upon the Chai and Pear Oatmeal from The Oatmeal Artist blog, I knew that a few tweaks would make this recipe a great contender for the slow cooker. Steel cut oats take forever to cook compared to their (aptly titled) quick-cooking counterparts, but using the handy, dandy slow cooker means that you don’t have to hover over the stove for half an hour to enjoy the sweet, nutty taste of these delightfully chewy oat pieces.
Overnight Chai Pear Steel Cut Oatmeal (Slow Cooker)
- 2 cups of boiling water
- 2 chai tea bags (I used Numi Rooibos Chai)
- 1 cup milk (I used organic nonfat milk)
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 4 pears, diced
- ¼ cup date paste (or 2 tablespoons maple syrup)
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- Make 2 cups of strong chai tea, letting the tea bags steep for at least 30 minutes. Once the tea is sufficiently strong, discard the used tea bags.
- Lightly coat the inside of a programmable slow cooker with oil or cooking spray.
- Pour all ingredients into the slow cooker, then stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 4.5 to 5 hours. I use a programmable slow cooker so that I can get more than five hours of sleep and still wake up to warm oatmeal. (Once the oatmeal is done cooking the programmed amount of time, the slow cooker automatically switches to a ‘warm’ setting and holds the food warm.)
- Divide into 5 bowls and serve immediately, or put leftover servings into the fridge for later. To reheat individual servings, simply microwave on high for 1 ½ to 2 minutes.
Nutrition per serving: 300 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 55g cholesterol (11g fiber, 21g sugar*), 9g protein, 25mg sodium, 3% Vitamin A, 10% Vitamin C, 13% Iron, 12% Calcium
*None are the dangerous added sugars or refined sweeteners