Have you ever cooked your oatmeal in your slow cooker? If so, you know what a cleanup mess it is. Ta da! Here is the solution…cook it in individual serving jars or larger jars for 2 servings or cook it sous vide overnight. Why didn’t I think of that? This helpful tip came from a neighbor and friend. Thank you Josh and Juliette.
There is a backstory to this recipe. We locked ourselves out of the house a few mornings ago, seriously we had just installed a fancy new front door lock and not gotten around to hiding a key. Dumb eh? Thank goodness our neighbor was up, had coffee ready as well as good conversation which turned to sous vide oatmeal. We had an hour to wait until someone with a key showed up. I can talk about food anytime and the two of them are definitely foodies. You might ask, what were we doing out in the yard in our pajamas (without our cell phones) in the early morning? Well, if you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that we are getting ready to sell our Oakland house. This has been difficult for us all but even harder on Casey and Quinn, or dogs. Quinn is a bit of a nervous nelly anyway and she started drinking huge amounts of water. We feared the worst and spent many hundreds of dollars in tests at the vet, which were all negative. But, the last test for diabetes required a first morning urine sample. Yep, that is what we were doing out in the yard while it was still dark, collecting pee. What we do for our furry friends! The lock out seemed symbolic in a way, the house saying “You want to leave me? Then I will kick you out!”.
Warm and friendly neighbors with coffee and cell phones are priceless.
I digress, back to food. This recipe will work on a slow cooker set on low, or with your sous vide machine. You will need to add water to the slow cooker – just up to an inch below the rim of the jars. Then set it on low for overnight.
My sous vide maker decided to give up the ghost and I had to order a new one from Amazon. Sorry that this has delayed the posting of the recipe. I will make these in single (1 cup) serving sizes, each in a pint canning jar. That way there is room for you to stir in milk, butter, or some other flavorings after it is cooked. I found all that was needed was a sprinkle of cinnamon.
This is a life changer as far as oatmeal is concerned. The oats come out creamy but with a tiny bite of texture in the middle, much as you would want in a great risotto. The freeze dried fruit melted in and gave a slight hint of sweetness and flavor, the oats were the star however.
The directions below are written for steel cut oats. You can certainly use rolled oats (I will try them next and let you know) or another type, check the package directions for the oatmeal to liquid ratio before beginning, it could be different from those given below.
Overnight Sous Vide or Slow Cooker Oatmeal
For each 1 cup serving:
- 1/4 cup steel cut oats
- 1/2 cup water, oat milk or rice milk or regular milk or even half and half
- 1/2 cup water
- pinch of salt
- optional – freeze dried fruit (I used strawberries and blueberries)
- Set up the sous vide machine, fill a pan with water to what will be an inch below the rim of the canning jars. Make sure that the water is above the minimum of your sous vide machine.
- Or, add water to your slow cooker to the same line. You want the water to be higher than the oatmeal but about an inch below the rim of the jars.
- Preheat your sous vide machine to 155 degrees F.
- Set you slow cooker to low.
- Add 1/4 cup of steel cut oats to each jar (add any optional freeze dried fruit)
- Add 1/2 cup water, oat milk or rice milk to the jar.
- Add another 1/2 cup of water on top.
- Add the pinch of salt and stir. Screw on the jar lids and settle the jars in the water.
- Cook for at least 8 hours or overnight (mine cooked for about 10).
Note: You can make a larger portion in a gallon freezer bag if you have a lot of mouths to feed, it will work in both the slow cooker and sous vide. Make sure the bag’s top stays above the water level.
I am telling you, I am not a huge oatmeal fan but these were a game changer. Just the right consistency, creamy but not heavy.
2 phase 1 breakfasts already cooked. I will reheat the other tomorrow morning.
Update: I did an experiment last night with cooking other types of oatmeal sous vide, and varying amounts of liquid. I found that the overnight cooking did not require a change in the package recommended oats to liquid ratio. And, I much prefer the steel cup oats to regular rolled oats (even the more expensive organic type). Another recommendation is to try and find unsweetened oat milk and replace half the recommended liquid with oat milk. Of course you could also use regular milk or half and half (rice milk didn’t do much) or coconut milk…oh my the possibilities. But in phase 1 stick to oat milk. This time I didn’t add any fruit. The freeze dried fruit is definitely the best choice. If using any other type (including raisins) add them after the oatmeal is cooked. The possible exception would be apples which will dissolve into an apply saucy oatmeal mix.