Friday recipe: slow-cooker steel-cut oatmeal

October 12, 2012 —

Photo: thekitchn.com

I’m a life-long lover of oatmeal, but it wasn’t until recently that I tried the steel-cut version, thanks to the ultra-tasty recipe below that came to me from Joy Schiller, M.S., CHES, DMU’s wellness program director. This whole grain is a good source of soluble fiber, as well as chewier, denser and, in my opinion, more satisfying than its rolled-oats sister.

Old-fashioned rolled oats are steamed, rolled and dried before packaging, a process that makes them cook and digest faster. Joy advises that although rolled oats are good for you, steel-cut oats are even better. They are whole oats that have been chopped into pieces — no other processing at all. It takes a bit longer for them to cook, but because it takes longer to digest them, they make you feel full longer. They also have a lower glycemic index.

One more bonus: You can make a big enough batch of this oatmeal to last you several days, because unlike gluey rolled-oat oatmeal, steel-cut oatmeal is delicious reheated.

Oats are a high-fiber, complex carbohydrate that can reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and help prevent heart disease. Studies have shown that eating oats regularly can reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. So pull out your slow-cooker and enjoy this tasty concoction for breakfast (and/or lunch and dinner) on these fine, brisk fall days.

Slow-cooker steel-cut oatmeal

  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • 4 cups liquids (3 cups water and 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, or light soy milk or skim milk)
  • ½-1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1/4 cup raisins (chopped apricots or Craisins work well, too; use a combination of your favorite dried fruit)
  • Sweetener to taste – stevia, brown sugar or maple syrup all work well

Add apples, dried fruit, cinnamon, steel-cut oats and liquids to slow-cooker. Stir and set cooker to low setting for 7 hours. Other great toppings to add include toasted wheat germ, walnuts and/or pecans, yogurt and unsweetened applesauce.

Nutritional info per 3/4 cup serving: 149 calories, 3.6g fat, 27.3g carbs, 3.9g fiber, 4.9g protein


Endlessly curious and easily entertained, Barb Dietrich Boose loves being a member of the friendly, fascinating DMU community and its creative communications team. The University's publications director and DMU Magazine editor, Barb is always on the hunt for story ideas, good books and new recipes to try out on her family, such as her surprisingly tasty pork-and-bean bars.