I'm a single girl, with a tiny kitchen. I don't have all the utensils and appliances. If I do, they're the smallest capacity made, and I haven't used them often. Even though I don't have kids to cook for daily, I'm trying to learn how my kitchen tools can make my life easier, like my crockpot. I've heard that oatmeal can be made in a crockpot, left to cook overnight and ready the moment you wake. So I finally decided to experiment. And it turned out wonderfully! Brain food on a morning I was headed out to take an exam in an 8AM class (for those that know me clearly not at all, I am not a morning person, so I needed all the help I could get).
This was also a great opportunity to test a new condiment line formulated by my friend Erika Kerekes of In Erika's Kitchen. She makes three flavors of Not Ketchup, including the Blueberry one I sampled as a topping for my oatmeal. The tangy sweetness added an extra dimension to the fall flavors in my porridge.
Key to using the crock pot are the Crock Pot Liners. They make cleanup a snap! The versatility of this recipe means this essential basic will be utilized on a regular basis. When made in a (lidded) crockpot, whatever liquid added into the recipe will not evaporate away, so the proportions are important. As long as the ratio of oats to liquid is constant, add in whatever combination of dried fruits, nuts, and spices sound tasty to you. Or, vary the grain with quinoa or amaranth for a hearty morning stew.
Winter Breakfast Porridge for Two
1 cup oatmeal
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 Tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp coconut
1 Tbsp crystallized date bits (or 4 diced fresh pitted dates)
1 Tbsp hemp seeds
1/4 cup canned plain pumpkin
3 cups soymilk
Place all dry ingredients into the crockpot at any point during the day, covering with the lid. Just before bed, add the canned pumpkin and milk and mix. Turn crockpot on low and leave overnight, up to eight hours, covered. In the morning eat as is or top with a generous drizzle of Blueberry White Pepper Not Ketchup.