Last week’s cold snap reminded me how much I love warm breakfasts. Truthfully any type of hot food was welcome during that freakishly freezing weather, but there is something so comforting and satisfying about a toasty bowl of oatmeal to start the day. Plus it keeps me full for the entire morning. That doesn’t mean I’ve moved on from my favorite morning baked goods, though. This Crock Pot Banana Bread Oatmeal is an delicious compromise and creates a tempting aroma that coaxes even the sleepiest of heads out of bed in the morning.
Oatmeal cooked in the Crock Pot can be notoriously fickle. Some units run hotter than others, and removing the lid hours later often reveals crusty, overbaked oatmeal edges. The solution? A Crock Pot water bath. Get out your large Crock Pot for this recipe, and find a heat proof container that will fit inside it (I used CorningWare, but Pyrex would work well, too). Combine all of the ingredients in the CorningWare and then place it in the middle of your Crock Pot. Add enough water to the Crock Pot until it is about an inch or so below the top of the CorningWare. Then step back and let ‘er cook. That tiny bit of effort ensures your oatmeal cooks gently and evenly in its toasty water bath. And no crusty edges means no scrubbing baked on oatmeal out of your Crock Pot the next day. Who wants to do dishes first thing in the morning? Not me.
This Crock Pot Banana Bread Oatmeal keeps for a week in the fridge and needs just a bit of milk when reheating to bring the leftovers back to their glory. Feel free to play with the ingredient amounts to suit your taste. My kids would never say no to extra brown sugar, so that’s always an add-on at our house, while I load up my bowl with toasted pecans and a few banana slices. Though I’ll never give up my love for banana bread, this Crock Pot Banana Bread Oatmeal pretty much nails the best of both worlds.
2 very ripe bananas, mashed or pureed until smooth (I used frozen ones I had in my freezer)
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1 cup steel cut oats (do not substitute quick cooking or rolled oats as the consistency of the oatmeal will be off)
Water (for water bath)
Toasted, chopped pecans, optional
Banana slices, optional
Brown sugar, optional
Combine milk, mashed banana, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and oats in a heat proof bowl. Place in your Crock Pot and fill the Crock Pot with enough water so it is about one inch from the top of the bowl.
Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
When ready to serve, carefully remove hot bowl from Crock Pot. Gently stir oatmeal until it is thoroughly combined. Serve with pecans, banana slices and extra brown sugar.