Crock pot baked oatmeal with bananas and nuts is a healthy, delicious, and easy breakfast that requires minimal effort to get it on the table.
Whoa. There’s a lot going on in that title. Anyway…
This recipe contains some ingredients that are much maligned in my house. I know it’s positively scandalous to admit this, put I pretty much hate oatmeal. I know, I know. It’s like the healthiest breakfast food on earth. Chock full of fiber, keeps you full longer, yada yada yada. I went through a phase a while back where I had fairly healthy relationship with steel-cut oats (I even wrote about it) but I eventually got sick of them. I. Just. Can’t.
The thing about oatmeal is that I can eat it while it’s hot…which doesn’t last long, and it takes me forever to muddle through the mush that it oatmeal so if I kept reheating it I’d get up at least three times to do so. So that’s strike one. Strike two is that it has to be pretty sweet, so I’m pretty much negating the über-healthy factor right there when I add something like 1/4 cup of brown sugar to a single bowl. Step three is the texture. I’m not super texturally defensive but as you might have caught in my reference in the first sentence of this paragraph, eating oatmeal just feels like eating a big bowl of mush to me. It doesn’t matter how thick or thin I make it, I just can’t ever get oatmeal to a consistency that doesn’t make me want to gag. Oddly enough, I don’t feel the same way about grits, polenta, rice pudding, so on and so on. There is just something about oatmeal.
Bananas….I love. Philip, on the other hand, hates them. It’s 100% a texture thing for him with bananas. He actually loves the flavor. He loves banana-flavored candy (I don’t guess that really counts since that flavor only vague resembles the flavor of actual bananas) and he loves banana bread, banana muffins, bananas in smoothies or milkshakes, and, it turns out, baked oatmeal with bananas and nuts.
See, I actually only hate oatmeal in it’s porridge form. I like oatmeal cookies (though I think that oatmeal-raisin is a cheap substitute for chocolate chip, so I only make oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies) and I like oatmeal cake….so when I saw a recipe for banana-walnut baked oatmeal from The Faux Martha, I was intrigued. I tried Crock Pot baked oatmeal once before when I saw it on A Year of Slow Cooking and didn’t love it. I think that (a) I over-cooked it; and (b) I didn’t really like the flavor combos. So this time I mashed up two recipes, following the cooking directions from A Year of Slow Cooking and a slightly modified version of Faux Martha’s recipe and voilá: baked oatmeal perfection. To avoid the overcooking, I actually baked this the night before then reheated it in the microwave the next day. It is actually possible to burn things in the slow cooker, especially grains, baked goods, and casseroles, so you have to account for that. Still, it’s nice to not have to heat up the house with the oven and not have to be frantically checking on things constantly.
This Crock Pot baked oatmeal is like a big, banana-pecan oatmeal cookie. Mmmmm.
Yield: 4 servings
20 minPrep Time:
2 hrCook Time:
2 hr, 20 Total Time:
- 2 cups uncooked rolled/old-fashioned oats
- 1/3 cup pecans (toasted)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder or pumpkin pie spice (or Alchemy Spice Wake & Bake Blend, which I have recently fallen in love with!)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt (kosher or sea salt)
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (honey would work too)
- 1/4 cup applesauce (unsweetened-I used homemade, which I also made in the Crock-Pot!)
- 1 ripe banana (mashed)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted)
- 1 Large egg (beaten)
- Spray the stoneware of a 4-quart slow cooker with nonstick spray or brush with oil. This is important because failing to do this could result in major stickage. I may or may not have learned this the hard way with another recipe....
- Stir together the oats, baking powder, salt, and spices in one bowl. Stir together the milk, egg, maple syrup, applesauce, and mashed banana in another bowl.
- Pour the milk & egg mixture over the dry mixture and stir to just combine. Add the melted butter and the toasted nuts and stir to incorporate.
- Pour the oatmeal mixture into the Crock-Pot. Set to cook on low. Cook for 2-4 hours, until the center is set. Turn the slow cooker off and allow the oatmeal to sit in the cooker for at least an hour before cutting. Cut into wedges and serve with milk, yogurt, or by itself.