Earl(y) Grey Oatmeal (Slow Cooker)

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Look, it’s oatmeal, it’s the first thing I ate today, and I didn’t do a glamour shot. Sorrrrrry! (I’m even in my pajamas, see!)

Since I wrote just over 3,000 words today for NaNoWriMo (you’re supposed to average 1,667 per day), I think it’s ok for me to take a short break to share something delicious that I’m making.

I love oatmeal.

Not the packaged, instant crap with too much sugar and not enough texture.

The real, homemade kind, with cinnamon, and maybe some cut up chunks of fruit or nuts, like this.

I’ve recently gotten into steel cut oats, and I have one of those lovely little metal cans of McCann’s Irish Oatmeal sitting proudly on our kitchen counter. It’s kind of a hassle to cook it for such a long time, but it’s worth the wait when you can spare the time.

Or… from what I’ve heard… you can cook it in your slow cooker.

So that, my friends, is what I’m attempting to do. Tonight I’m preparing my oatmeal, and tomorrow morning I’ll be gleefully eating it without having done any work in the morning.

I bet you’re like, “Meh, big deal, everyone has a slow cooker oatmeal recipe on the internet.”

This may be true.

But I wanted to share with you the brilliance of one particular Bonzai Aphrodite’s oatmeal brilliance.

She puts tea in her oatmeal.

What?

Let’s go back and review that again.

She prepares her oatmeal with Earl Grey.

I love tea and drink it fanatically. I love the tea drinking experience, but I also love the flavors, and Earl Grey happens to be one of Charlie’s favorites. We have an awesome Earl Grey No. 69 from TeaGschwender that’s heady with bergamot that I love to use for cooking, and I prepared a strong cup to experiment with in this oatmeal. I went easy with the tea flavor this time, but I’ll probably increase it the next time I try it out.

As for the slow cooker recipe, well, I did what I usually do. I looked at a half dozen recipes, closed all the tabs, closed my eyes, and started mixing stuff up. I hope what I get tomorrow turns out delicious. I’ll update this post before I go live with it! [Go to the bottom of the recipe for the results!]

*Someone on a tea community pointed out to me that they don’t really like Earl Grey, and wondered if this would work with another type of tea. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m thinking YES! I fully intend to try this with my favorite Black Currant Tea, a fragrant Jasmine I enjoy, a calming Lavender Green Tea, and I have a tea I got in a bulk bin that’s bursting with lemongrass that I bet would be brilliant in the morning, too. So yeah! Try it out with any kind of tea you like. Let me know how it is.

Ingredients

equipment: slow cooker (I used a 4-Qt Oval from Hamilton Beach, so if you have the same one, your settings will probably match!)

1 cup steel cut oats, uncooked
1 cup whole milk
3 cups boiling water, let cool until the bubbles stop bubbling like crazy
~6 grams loose leaf Earl Grey tea (or about two tea bags) – use more for a more intense flavor
cooking spray
delicious toppings like raisins or walnuts or pears for the morning

Directions

Spray the inside of the slow cooker with the cooking spray. If you’re not into cooking spray, give it a thin coat of butter or oil.

Steep the tea in your preferred tea filter for about 6-7 minutes.

Add the tea, milk, and oats to the slow cooker. Stir.

(Since we weren’t quite ready for bed yet, I let this soak this way for an hour or two before I turned the slow cooker on.)

Cook on low for ~8 hours, depending on your slow cooker. Since Charlie gets up earlier than I do, he’ll switch it to warm for me when he gets up, and I’ll it out a bit later. He’s got a busy morning, so he probably won’t take a picture first unearths it, but the taste is what really matters, right?

Update: The oatmeal formed a bit of a crust on top when I took it off, but I got up more like three hours after Charlie instead of one, since I stayed up late writing last night. I just scooped under the crust, and what I found underneath was delicious. The Earl Grey flavor was definitely present, and the oatmeal was creamy without getting that starchy texture that happens when you cook it too long on the stove. I’ll definitely be making this again! (Our real time cooking: 7hrs on low, 3 hours on warm – since I like my oats to be a little more defined, I may experiment with this a bit… i.e., not stay up writing all night and see if that makes a difference to the texture, put them in right before bed so they don’t soak at all and see if that makes a difference, but all in all, they were awesome.)

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