There is nothing like waking up to the smell of this recipe especially in the camper the first morning of your trip. I love to prepare this recipe the first night of a deer hunt. It offers a great breakfast and the much needed energy for each mornings hunt. This recipe is very versatile and can be made to suit anybody's taste buds. You can add nuts to the top or raisins while it cooks. You can add sugar and mix it up or syrup to the top. There are so many ways to enjoy this recipe and it can even pass for a healthy desert if need be. If you add apples to the mix, while it cooks, it could really pass as an apple crisp and with a spoonful of ice cream even better.
The real beauty of this recipe, especially for campers, is that you can get to your site and set up camp and then prepare this recipe before you go to bed. This recipe is quick to assemble and cooks while you sleep and breakfast is ready the next morning so you can get on with the fun at hand. I like to make my oatmeal when I go on an extended hunt because it is so simple to divide into individual portions and reheated each morning. I used to prepare instant oatmeal each morning but this is so much better and way more healthy. I store portions of the oatmeal in Ziploc bags and either boil the bags in the morning or you can microwave as well. I have been known to grab the Ziploc and pack it into where I'm hunting when running late. I prefer my oatmeal hot but it is still delicious cold.
A little bit about oats. There has been a lot of discussion about whether steel cut oats are more nutritional than rolled oats. I did a little research of my own and found that the more scientific studies found that the nutritional difference was negligible between the two. The steel cut oats are just chunks of the oat grain while rolled oats are smaller and rolled flat. The rolled oats are also steamed slightly to help them cook faster. This recipe calls for steel cut oatmeal because it tends to stand up to the hours of cooking without turning to mush. The steel cut oatmeal also has a little more of a nutty taste which adds to the flavor.
1 cup steel cut oats
3 ½ cups of water or half milk half water
1 cup of peeled and chopped apples
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all the ingredients in a slow cooker. Stir well as the pot warms to dissolve the sugar and mix all the ingredients well. Cook on warm or low overnight, 6 to 8 hours and rise to the wonderful smell of apples and cinnamon. The oats will be a little dry on top and even have some crumbs along the side. Don't stir the oats so that each serving is uniform in flavor and texture.
I serve my slow cooked oats in a bowl and add a slice of butter and some old fashioned maple syrup. This is all personal preference. Some people like walnuts or pecans on top. Some like strawberries or blueberries on top. It doesn't matter how you fix your camp oatmeal it's delicious. I cut up a banana for mine if I have one handy.
A great thing about this recipe is you can enjoy it for several mornings. Just spoon a serving into a Ziploc and place in the fridge or cooler. You can heat up the oats inside the bag either in a microwave or you can just boil the bag. I prefer boiling the bag because the oats seem to become rubbery in the microwave. You can also eat them cold if you are in a hurry. This recipe is an easy one and with a little imagination can easily be made into an apple crisp with a scoop of ice cream, for dessert as well. It's naturally nutritional too! Enjoy.