my favorite slow-cooker steel cut oats recipe

I’m a big fan of oatmeal. I grew up on Quaker quick cooking oats, which I still like well enough, but over the past year I’ve developed a real love for the steel cut variety. When prepared well, they have a great taste and texture – slightly chewy and with a bit more nutty flavor than quick-cooking oats. The only downside of steel cut oats is the time it takes to make them.

making slow cooker oats

There is a solution and it’s called…the slow cooker! You know that I’m a big fan of my ancient slow cooker, and for making steel cut oats, it’s the only way to go. Not terribly long ago, I found a recipe on Food 52 that has now become my favorite way to prepare them. The basic recipe is here, and it’s so simple to follow.

making slow cooker oats

The only change I make to the recipe when I prepare the oats is to use skim milk or 1% milk (depending on what’s in the fridge) in place of the one cup of whole milk.

making slow cooker oats

The toppings are entirely up to you. This time I used honey, golden raisins, and a dash of cinnamon. I’ve also used dried cranberries and maple syrup, but my favorite topping is honey and banana.

making slow cooker oats

And one of the best parts of making steel cut oats in the slow cooker is that there is always leftovers, perfect for a quick but healthy breakfast as I’m trying to get out the door during the weekday mornings.

Yield: 3 to 4 servings.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours (or overnight)

Slow-Cooker Steel Cut Oats

This recipe slightly adapted from ying’s, on Food52, here. I encourage you to visit the Food52 site yourself – it’s a great one for finding community-sourced recipes. Serves 3-4, depending on appetite.

Ingredients:

2 cups water
1 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup steel cut oats
1 pinch kosher salt
toppings of your choice – sliced banana, raisins, honey, sliced almonds, etc.

Directions:

In a 4-cup glass measuring cup, stir together milk, water, oats, and salt. Place in a large slow cooker and add enough cold water to come about half-way up the outside of the glass measuring cup which holds the oats mixture. Turn on low for 8-10 hours (overnight).

In the morning, stir oats well – it should be very creamy. Mix in your choice of toppings prior to serving. Enjoy!

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23 Responses to “the inadequate $20 bill and a recipe: oatmeal double-chip cookies”

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    Sarah — April 12, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

    Ouch, that must have been hard. I am a social worker and often come home after listening to so many sad stories to cook. It’s kind of conflicting but also comforting. You’re doing more than most by just being there to listen, so keep it up sister.

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    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — April 12, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

    What a sad situation. Your patients are fortunate to have such a caring physician.

    The cookies do look so comforting and delicious.

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    Georgie — April 12, 2012 @ 8:48 pm

    I think you’re a superhero! I know so well, what it’s like to be on both sides, the needing and the giving. I bet he’s grateful and perhaps you gave him some hope and for certain put as smile on his heart for that moment.

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    Macaroni Mama — April 12, 2012 @ 8:54 pm

    I believe you need to have homemade cookies readily available for indigent patients of yours. I have a microwave you can put in your office. This was a very touching blog. How heart-wrenching that must be for you to know your patients cannot afford their meds. XXXOOO

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    Gail — April 12, 2012 @ 9:13 pm

    I don’t know how you do what you do, but I am so glad it’s you who does it.

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    SMITH BITES — April 12, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

    You’re a good person MJ – and doing exactly what you’re supposed to be doing when you should be doing it. And I know I don’t need to remind you that your patient is where he’s supposed to be – in your care . . . The world needs more MJs

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    Brian @ A Thought For Food — April 12, 2012 @ 11:41 pm

    I’m not a religious man, but you are an angel darling. I mean that. I’m sure that meant the world to him. It wasn’t trivial at all. He needed those mess and you provided that to him.

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    Lori @ RecipeGirl — April 13, 2012 @ 12:03 am

    oh man. What a tough job, and what an absolutely lovely human being you are. I’m sure that $20 meant the world to him… I mean, how many people would do that? Feel good about what you did 🙂

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    Jayne — April 13, 2012 @ 3:48 am

    Gosh MJ, yours is a hard job. I think the way you handled the situation was lovely. Poor man, to be suffering with cancer and losing his home, I feel so distraught for him. Your cookies sound delicious, if anyone is in need of a cookie it must be you.

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    Kathryn — April 13, 2012 @ 4:18 am

    I’m not sure that I would have the strength to do what you do, you are a pretty amazing person.

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    Paula — April 13, 2012 @ 8:27 am

    You are a wonderful, caring person and a credit to your chosen profession. That gesture represented so much more than money for medication to your patient.

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    Jenny — April 13, 2012 @ 9:52 am

    You are a wonder. I worked for an oncologist for eight years. I took their calls on the weekend to help my doctor, I went to their houses to hold their hands, I baked for their families – I did everything I could because I knew my doctor was so busy and had a family. He would have never done what you do – he was a good man – but he wouldn’t struggle with finding a way to help him or even given him $20 – he would have maybe mentioned to me – to see if a social worker could help him. The $20 doesn’t mean anything to this man – the fact that you thought and felt enough for his circumstances to give him the $20 – means the world to him. You renew my faith in humanity. xo

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    Mary — April 13, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

    While $20.00 seems inadequate to you, the compassion you showed your patient gave him a small peaceful pause in a stressful situation. Good on you!

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    Aggie — April 13, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

    What Gail said.

    My heart always hurts for anyone struggling like this.

    MJ, your storytelling is beautiful, even though the situation isn’t.

    And those are my kind of cookies. Comfort on a plate.

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    jenna — April 13, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

    We are called to love one another and what you are feeling in your heart is that conviction. Sometimes its the smallest acts of kindness that mean the most…

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    Di — April 13, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

    I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been, to be so close to human suffering on so many levels. You are a blessing Merry Jennifer.

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    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — April 14, 2012 @ 1:15 am

    You are a blessing to many, that’s for sure. xo

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    Shaina — April 15, 2012 @ 1:38 am

    Heartbreaking. Thank you for sharing his story.

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    You did what you could and I am sure it meant more to him than you will ever know! xoxo

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    Noble Pig - Cathy — April 16, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

    The smallest acts of kindness are sometimes the most memorable..that was wonderful.

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    Jamie — April 17, 2012 @ 8:17 am

    My sister is a doctor in geriatric medicine in Tampa and I hear similar stories and it does break our hearts. How helpless we feel and so wish there was a way we could do more. Maybe a plate of homebaked cookies, as trivial as it seems, on the corner of your desk could at least bring a temporary smile to someone’s face. And that is wonderful.

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    art and lemons — April 19, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

    Lovely storytelling rich with compassion and truth and even the seemingly smallest of gestures matter!

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    Jenny @ BAKE — April 20, 2012 @ 6:13 am

    I’m sure you did more than most would have done

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