I hope you guys are enjoying all of the apple recipes I have been posting. 🙂 I will definitely have another recipe up this week that does not have any in it, so if you are looking for a change of speed I will oblige! My apple collection is definitely not complete without a good breakfast recipe.
I do love some hearty oatmeal for breakfast, especially when the weather finally turns cooler. In some of my nutrition studies, there have definitely been recommendations for doing cooler dishes in the summer months then transitioning to consuming warm foods in the fall and winter. There are a few reasons for that.
For one, the foods that are available in the cooler months lend themselves to cooking versus eating raw (think squash, sweet potatoes, beets). Eating seasonally has it’s own benefits–generally more sustainable and environmentally-friendly, the food may have a higher nutritional value when eaten fresh from a local farm or garden, and produce is also cheaper when it is abundant and in season.
Warming foods and beverages can also be very comforting during the cold winter months. A hot cup of tea is a great habit to have to facilitate a good sleep schedule by letting your mind and body know that it is ready to start settling in for the night. For some people, cooked foods are much easier to digest, as well. People also tend to consume less water when it is cold out, so a bowl of soup or cup of herbal tea can help you meet your hydration needs for the day.
It feels a little silly talking about winter when it is STILL in the 80’s here in Atlanta, but I keep hoping we will actually get some Fall weather before winter hits! Either way, I am enjoying my oats this week. Making a big batch in the slow cooker is a great way to prepare breakfast for the whole week. I like portioning them out so all I have to do is grab and go if I am not eating breakfast at home.
Not all oats are created equal. As with all grains, the least amount of processing is best. Many of the pre-packaged types of flavored oats are full of sugar to boot. Steel cut oats, however, are an excellent source of fiber and plant-based protein, and adding in some shredded zucchini is a great way to get some vegetables in, too!
Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats with Apples & Zucchini
Makes 8 Servings
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups steel cut oats
- 2 cups chopped apples
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Optional: Nuts and maple syrup for serving
Add all of your items to the slow cooker and mix together, then cover with your lid. Turn on high and cook for approximately 2 1/2 hours or until the oats are cooked through to your liking and most of the water is absorbed. A little bit of water left will help keep your oatmeal from drying out when reheating. Portion evenly into 8 glass containers to have breakfast ready for the week. Top with nuts and a bit of maple syrup if you like!