Yes, it's true: oatmeal that tastes like baked apple pie, made effortlessly in a crockpot while you sleep.
Peeps: I may have come up with the world's most perfect breakfast.
Regular readers know that I am continually on the hunt for quick-and-easy yet healthy-and-delicious breakfast ideas. Coming up with new ones gets more and more challenging, yet who likes to eat the same thing over and over?
Not The Ninj, that's fo sho.
I've made overnight oatmeal in the crockpot before, which is extra easy (with no risk of a scorchy mess) when you use the water-bath method. It's simple: Put all your ingredients into a heat-safe bowl (I find that a one-quart Pyrex measuring cup is the perfect size) and put the bowl inside a large (6-quart) crockpot. Fill the crock with water to just above the ingredient line in your bowl, being careful not to fill too high; you don't want cooking water flowing into your oatmeal! Cover it and cook on low while you sleep and -- VOILA! -- breakfast is ready when you awake.
It's also the best way, in my opinion, to eat steel-cut oats, which can be a little too tough and chewy if not cooked for a really, really long time.
So while crockpot oatmeal is awesome anytime of the year, this particular recipe is really customized for fall with the inclusion of chopped apple, apple pie spices and apple butter (or, since I made a ton of it last week, bourbon apple pumpkin butter) -- and, of course, sweetened with maple syrup. If you want it to be more pumpkiny, simply substitute pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice: yummy, pumpkiny breakfast nirvana.
The recipe makes two or three good-sized servings. You can double it but you'll need to make sure you have a crockpot and a heat-safe bowl big enough to handle the water bath part. I'll leave that up to you.
I can see this being the perfect thing to wake up to on Thanksgiving or Christmas morning, no?
Crockpot Apple Pie Oatmeal
1/2 cup steel-cut oats
1 and 1/2 cups water
1 cup peeled and diced apple
1/2 cup applesauce (or other fruit puree)
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
3-4 tablespoons apple butter
Combine all the ingredients in a heat-safe bowl that will fit inside a large slow cooker. Pu the bowl inside the cooker and fill the crock with water to just above the ingredient line in your bowl, being careful not to fill too high. Cover and cook on LOW for anywhere from 7-9 hours (while you sleep). Sweeten individual portions to taste with maple syrup.