By Ali Lopez
Happy December! A few weeks back, in my blog post and podcast about the Bad Apple Ultra, I mentioned my new favorite pre-race, pre-long run breakfast. For those of you who aren’t familiar with steel cut oats, you don’t know what you are missing!
Steel cut oats vs. rolled oats
Steel cut oats are less processed than rolled oats, so they have a lower glycemic index, which keeps blood sugar—and energy—at a steadier level. (Perfect for those endurance events!) And they have a nuttier and chewier texture than rolled oats. So that means you can make a big batch of them and reheat them all week long—can’t do that with rolled oats! Although I don’t tend to use a crockpot for cooking very much, steel cut oats are perfect for breaking it out. Just set it and forget it!
And not to worry if you don’t have a crockpot. You still can make these awesome oats. Just cook them in a big pot or Dutch oven. If you soak the oats overnight (or for a few hours) and then cook them, they will cook a bit quicker (less than an hour!) and you will have breakfast all week!
Erika-Inspired Overnight Power-Packed Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats
- 2 cups steel cut oats (NOT rolled oats or instant/quick oats)
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups milk (dairy or non-dairy) (or all water is OK too)
- 1 or 2 apples chopped small or shredded (or fruit of your choice)
- 3 tablespoons ground flax
- 3 tablespoons hempseeds
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon cacao powder or cacao nibs
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Toppings: walnuts, raisins, nut butter, more maple syrup, yogurt, or whatever you like!
Place all of the ingredients except the toppings in the bottom of a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4 hours, until the oats are soft but are still a bit chewy.
Remove cover and stir to combine the ingredients. Enjoy warm with your favorite toppings.
Overnight steel cut oats can be refrigerated for up to one week. To reheat, top desired amount with water or milk, then warm in the microwave or in a small pot on the stove (low heat) until hot.
Have a fueling question for Ali? Post it below in the comments section or email MRG with your healthy-eating questions at heather [at] michiganrunnergirl [dot] com
Ali Lopez is a northern Michigan runner, chef and health coach. You can learn more about her at her web site Healthy Chef Ali. She’s also on Facebook here »
You can listen to a conversation about running and eating between Ali and Heather on this MRG podcast.