Chrysta 10 min. 15 min.

Anytime I know I’m going out of town, I try to make sure that all of the perishable foods in my fridge find their way into delicious dishes. As I plan for an upcoming trip, I investigated what I might have in my fridge that needed to get used up.

In my fridge I found some leftover heavy cream and skim milk. And in my cupboard I found a little brown sugar, vanilla, and a bag of steel cut oatmeal buried in the waaaaay back that I had forgotten about. The idea machine starting churning and I instantly knew what I would make.

Before I get into the recipe, I want to talk a little bit about steel cut oats for those who might be unfamiliar with this.
Steel vs Rolled Oats

Most people are familiar with Instant or Quick Rolled Oats. These are oats that have been cooked, dried, and rolled very thin. They are often called “rolled oats” for that reason. Because these types of oats are thin, they only require hot water and a few minutes to soften enough for consumption. So, they are nearly “instant”.

Steel Cut Oats are a whole other animal. These oats are cut coarsely into small pieces, rather than steamed and rolled thin. The thing I most love about steel cut oats is that they retain their coarse and chewy texture even after cooking and reheating.

I think one of the reasons so much of us go to rolled oats versus steel cut oats is that we can have a whole grain breakfast in under 4 minutes with the rolled stuff. Unlike rolled oats, steel cut oats can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes to cook. And, in addition to it taking 5x more time to cook, you have to stir the oats while they cook, meaning you’re actively engaged in the cooking of steel cut oats. I think this active cooking time might be one of the reasons most of the people I know don’t cook steel cut oats, and maybe, just maybe, this is why I’ve had the same bag of steel cut oats in the back of my cupboard for longer than I can recall.

Given I love steel cut oats, but don’t always have the 30 minutes in the morning to prepare them, this recipe lets you enjoy a delicious food without the time or fuss. 3 minutes to prepare, and you let it cook overnight, unbothered, and boom! Individual bowls of steel cut oatmeal hot and ready for breakfast as soon as you get out of bed. And if you have a family, this recipe could be your best friend.

Special Equipment Needed:
A slow-cooker
Six 5-6 ounce or small heatproof bowls

½ cup heavy cream
1 cup skim milk
2 1/2 cups purified water
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup steel cut oats

1. In a bowl, combine the cream, milk, water, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla extract.

2. Place ramekins or small bowls into the bottom of your slow cooker. *For my slow-cooker, I had to place 4 ramekins on the bottom of the slow cooker and then stack the remaining two on top.

3. In the bottom of each ramekin, add 2 tablespoons steel cut oats.

4. Add ½ cup of the liquid mixture into each ramekin. Stir.

5. Slowly add water to the base of your slow cooker, being sure not to get any water into the ramekins. The amount of water will vary by the size of your slow-cookers, but you basically want the ramekins sitting in at least 3 inches of water. (For most slow cookers, water will come up to the middle of your bottom ramekin.)

6. Place the lid on the slow cooker, and cook for 8 hours (you can also set the time for 6 hours if you wish the oats to be done faster)

7. When you wake up, simply remove the oats, grab a spoon, and enjoy. I cover the rest of the ramekins with plastic wrap and it will keep for a week.



Tomorrow I’ll show a video that can help you turn this breakfast into a decadent one with the help of a little sugar and a blowtorch.