It is officially autumn in the United States. Cooler days, crisp air, beautiful foliage, and family gatherings all signal it’s arrival. The world seems to slow down ever so slightly in the fall before the deep freeze of winter lays a glistening blanket of white snow over the sleeping land.
While the everyone seems to turn their focus to the pumpkin this time of year, I always crave the classic cinnamon apple combination. Don’t get me wrong. I love my Pumpkin Pie Pancakes, but apples and cinnamon hold a special place in my heart. They remind me of family gatherings where I could count on a vintage floral slow cooker full of simmering hot apple cider spiced with oranges, lemons, and lots of cinnamon sticks.
In order to usher the feeling of fall into my kitchen, I made a double batch of Steel Cut Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal at night and woke up to a gloriously fragrant breakfast. Just like my Slow Cooker Breakfast Barley, breakfast was waiting for me when my alarm rang out at 6 am. I pretended that I was having a continental breakfast at a hotel, minus touching the communally germ-infested tongs and ladles.
In order for the texture of the oatmeal to remain chewy and not mushy over the long cooking time, it’s very important to choose steel cut oats versus rolled/old-fashioned oats. Steel cut oats are oat groats that have been cut into a few smaller pieces whereas old-fashioned oats are processed by steaming and rolling the groats for faster cooking. While both types of oats have very similar nutritional profiles, it’s the minimal processing of the steel cut oats that allow us to take a hands off approach here. #themoreyouknow
Slow Cooker Steel Cut Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 1 cup unsweetened cinnamon applesauce
- 1.5 cups plant milk
- 1.5 cups water
- 2 TBS maple syrup
- 2 TBS ground flax seeds
- 1/4 tsp pink sea salt
- Optional Garnishes: sliced apples, cinnamon, nuts, unsweetened shredded coconut, hemp hearts, extra maple syrup, extra plant milk
- Lightly coat the inside of your slow cooker with coconut oil.*
- Place all the ingredients into the slow cooker, stirring well to combine and cover (you can sprinkle a little cinammon on top before covering).
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours. I turned my slow cooker on at 10 pm and set it for 8 hours. At 6 am the slow cooker turned itself to warm and the oatmeal was perfect when I served it at 6:45 am.
- Serve each bowl of oatmeal with desired toppings. Refrigerate any leftovers in air tight containers for up to 5 days. Serves about 3-4 (I recommend doubling this recipe if your slow cooker allows it so you can reheat it throught the week for quick breakfasts).
*note: for those of you trying to avoid oil, you can set up a Bain Marie, which is a fancy French way of saying place the ingredients in a glass dish inside the slow cooker crock and then fill the crock with water about 2/3 of the way up the side of the glass dish. This way, you can avoid using oil and avoid having to scrub out any crispy oatmeal residue from the sides of your slow cooker. I do not have a glass dish that fits inside my slow cooker, so I felt ok about the very negligible amout of oil that I used to prevent sticking.
What is your favorite fall flavor? Share in the comments below!
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