Thursday, February 14, 2013

Step Up to the Calorie Counter: Heart-Healthy Overnight Oatmeal

First of all, never skip breakfast if you want to stay healthy and lose or maintain your weight. 

Now: mornings can be hectic. How would you like to have a hot breakfast waiting for you when you wake up in the morning?

If you have a slow cooker and steel-cut oatmeal, this can happen every morning. Just combine a few ingredients before you go to bed the night before. Oatmeal is heart-healthy, an important factor (especially on Valentine's Day).

Check out this recipe courtesy of Chow (via Buzzfeed):

  • Unsalted butter
  • 8 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups steel-cut oats
  • 1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk or 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • fresh fruit, dried fruit, chopped nuts or syrup
  1. Coat the insert of the slow cooker with a thin layer of butter. 
  2. Add the water, oats, coconut or whole milk, brown sugar and salt. Stir to combine.
  3. Cover and cook on low until the oats are cooked through and creamy, about seven or eight hours. 
  4. In the morning, stir in the vanilla and serve immediately.
  5. Add toppings as desired.

User Tips
My wife Chris used non-stick spray instead of butter and the oatmeal stuck in the bottom "corner" of the slow cooker bowl. It didn't change the flavor of the oatmeal, but it did waste some oatmeal in the bowl and complicate clean-up. 

Also, she cooked the vanilla all night, instead of adding it at the end, which diluted the vanilla taste.

Finally, the longer it cooks, the thicker it is. Consider this when setting it up the night before: after seven hours, it was still a little wet.

What are some of your helpful, delicious breakfast tips?

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