To begin with, I need to clarify something. You say oatmeal, I say porridge. But for the sake of the majority, I wrote oatmeal. To me, oatmeal refers to the dry rolled oat that has been processed into a flat cooking grain. I’m certain the term difference is simply demographic. We grew oats on our large family farm. The horses ate oats. The warm, creamy bowl of cooked oats is called porridge. Ok, now we have that settled.
It is what I call Porridge Season now (I made that term up). During the Autumn and Winter, my Father would make a big pot of porridge every Saturday morning. It was the kind of breakfast he said would “stick to your ribs and keep you energized all day”. It’s filling, healthy, low glycemic and full of whole grains. As a kid I didn’t really see it that way and would top it with brown sugar and milk. Thankfully I was a very active figure skater.
As simple as it is, I still love porridge. It’s not always possible to stand by the stove for a good 20 minutes, stirring a pot of porridge to ensure it’s creamy and doesn’t create a glue on the bottom of the pot. And, yes, there is instant but I couldn’t disagree more that it’s simply not the same. The solution: Overnight Slow Cooker Porridge/Oatmeal. Since there was a fresh picked bushel of local apples in the kitchen, I decided to amp up the recipe. Creamy, sweet and spicy, a warm bowl of this is the ultimate “stick to your ribs” (thanks Dad) comfort breakfast. It’s rather easy, place everything in the slow cooker when you go to bed and in the morning, breakfast is ready before the coffee is done. If you don’t have a slow cooker, simply use a large dutch oven pot with a lid and put on low on your stovetop to simmer overnight.
One note and then I promise you I am done rambling. Salt. It is a dire must in porridge. Just a pinch. If you’ve never added salt before, then you simply must. It adds depth to the porridge and will bring out the sweetness of the toppings.
Overnight Slow Cooker Apple Spice Oatmeal
- 2-3 medium to large apples, peeled and chopped
- 2 cups rolled oats (not the instant type)
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar or raw sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp each nutmeg and allspice
- pinch of finely ground sea salt
- Place all of the ingredients in your slower cooker.
- Let simmer overnight for 6-8 hours.
- In the morning, stir and serve with desired toppings such as a light drizzle of maple syrup, chopped nuts or raisins and a splash of milk.