Thursday, 7 January 2010

Fastest Slowest Easiest Healthiest Breakfast

I have mentioned a time or two that I am not a morning person. Bluebirds do not chatter adorably on my windowsill as sunlight kisses me awake.. I stumble out of bed when to all intents and purposes it is still nighttime. That is, before 5am.
Pull on a robe and feel my way to the kitchen where my hard working commuter will already be up and making espresso. The dogs just stare at me and go back to bed, they know it is way too early to be up.

But up I am, these early mornings are half the time that I get to spend with hubby, who is gone for 13 hours a day, and I like to keep him company while he gets ready for work. As I have mentioned before, I am not capable of much thought or higher reasoning at this hour. Usually I can be found slumped at the counter drinking the espresso so lovingly handed to me. Well, I didn't say I was good company.

And I do like to have a nice breakfast ready once in a while, especially in the frigid weather, cold cereal just doesn't seem to cut it. But cook before dawn? I don't think so.
This is where the slow cooker comes in handy.

Appley Dappley Steel Cut Oats
Adapted from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook - Beth Hensperger

In a small slow cooker - add 1 cup steel cut oats and 4 cups water - this is the ratio that the oats need.
Add to it 4 apples, cored and chunked, small handful dried fruit - such as raisins or chopped apricots, and cinnamon. Stir.
Set on low, right before bed. Wake up and stir in the morning. (If too thick, just add milk)
Top with milk, yogurt, or maple syrup* if desired.

Any leftovers will get thicker, just add more liquid when you heat them up.

*Obviously maple syrup has some calories going on, make sure you are at least using the real stuff. Quebec and Vermont make the best maple syrup. It is expensive, but that means you will use less and cherish every drop.

I didn't give a time for the cereal to be done. Most slow cooker recipes say something seriously long like 8-9 hours. That seems excessive to me and likely designed for people going off to work or else huge meals made in the giant slow cookers. Mine was done in the 5 hours that I was asleep for, but could easily have gone on longer for anyone who has the good sense to sleep more at night than I do.