There’s nothing like waking up to a piping hot breakfast. A steamy, creamy bowl of oatmeal is the ultimate comfort food, and preparing it in the slow cooker is a great way to take care of your breakfast crew without having to wake up before everyone else. Just stir everything up in the slow cooker, set it on low, then sleep for a solid eight hours and wake up to your morning meal.
Steel cut oats are a classic choice for porridge, and I love them combined with quinoa. The chewy oats release lots of starch as they cook, creating that familiar, creamy porridge base, while the quinoa adds pops of texture and a mild aroma.
You can use other grains in your porridge, too — amaranth, millet, farro, or whatever you have on hand — as long as you use at least half steel cut oats. Less than this and you loose that creamy, porridge-y texture in the finished dish.
Chopped, dried apricots hydrate overnight, becoming jammy and soft. They’ll rise to the top of the porridge as it cooks — just stir them in to distribute them throughout the porridge before ladling into serving bowls. Top things off with crunchy hazelnuts and a drizzle of honey, and you’re good to go.
If there are any leftovers, they'll keep well in the fridge (or in the freezer, scooped into individual portions). Don't worry if the chilled porridge becomes gummy and thick — a splash of milk and a minute or two in the microwave will loosen up the texture right away. It'll keep for up to a week, so make a double batch if you want an easy breakfast option all week long.
Slow Cooker Quinoa Oatmeal with Apricots and Hazelnuts
(1-cup servings).Recipe can be doubled.
3/4 cup steel cut oats
3/4 cup quinoa (red, white, or tri-color variety), rinsed
1 cup chopped dried apricots
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste)
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