Make-Ahead Slow Cooker Apple Cranberry Oatmeal

Breakfast is one of those tricky meals. During the week, it’s hard to find any time to make a healthy, wholesome morning meal. And whether you have food intolerances or you’re just trying to stick to nourishing your body with whole foods, the drive-thru, the donut shop, or the nearest packaged snack bar just isn’t an option.

But that doesn’t mean breakfast has to be a nuisance, difficult, or boring. Far from it. With a few minutes of work right before bedtime, this oatmeal can be ready for you when you wake up, filling the kitchen with the aroma of apples and cinnamon. Your efforts will be rewarded with chewy steel-cut oats, soft, sweet apples, cranberries, and a touch of cinnamon sweetness. Throw a few walnuts on top, and it’s a breakfast fit for a relaxing weekend, with the convenience of a rushed weekday. It’s also great to make in a large batch and pack into single-serving containers - just reheat with a splash of water added for a quick breakfast. This oatmeal also has great staying power, keeping you full until lunch.

Slow Cooker Apple Cranberry Oatmeal (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free)
serves 3 – 4

3/4 cups gluten-free steel cut oats (such as Bob’s Red Mill)

2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

1 apple, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks)

1 tablespoon organic brown sugar (or coconut palm sugar)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon ground flaxseed

pinch salt

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1/4 cup dried cranberries (preferably fruit juice sweetened)

Chopped walnuts, honey or maple syrup, or more non-dairy milk, for topping

Oil a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Mix all ingredients and pour into baking dish. Carefully place baking dish inside the crock of a 6 quart slow cooker. Pour water into the slow cooker outside of the baking dish so that it comes about halfway up the side of the dish (it took about 2 cups of water for me). Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours. Carefully remove baking dish from slow cooker. Top with walnuts, honey or syrup, or milk as desired.

Note: This recipe can be doubled. Just omit the baking dish and water and grease the crock of the slow cooker well (or else the oats will stick). Mix the ingredients directly in the crock and cook for 7-8 hours.

Alta is the founder of the gluten-free, dairy-free blog, Tasty Eats At Home. Even without gluten and dairy, Alta can show you that meals can be simple and healthy, and treats such as cake, bread, and cookies can be mouth-watering!  Her goal is to share with you delicious, gluten-free, dairy-free food that can bring your heart joy and nourish your body, one recipe at a time.


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