Michigan winters are tough. But we Michiganders know a few tricks of the trade: Wear long underwear. And start your day off with a hot and hearty bowl of oatmeal.
Ever since I was introduced to steel cut oats, I have not gone back to using rolled oats for oatmeal. Steel cut oats make for heartier and creamier oatmeal. They are less processed than rolled oats. And the name “steel cut” comes from the fact that the oat kernels have been cut by steel blades.
These oats take a while to cook down over the stove top, about forty minutes. I much prefer to have them cook in the slow cooker overnight. So, by morning, breakfast is ready and waiting for me before I even slip my booties on. In the winter, I make this oatmeal at least once a week because morning comes before the sun rises, and the simple task of getting out from bed turns into a challenge; but the sweet aromas of cardamom and cinnamon emanating from my slow cooker help to alert my senses, and lure me out from bed and into the kitchen.
There are infinite ways in which one can make oatmeal. But this particular combination of spices, and the addition of sweet potato and dried dates really hits the spot for me.
May you stay warm, and start your mornings smart.
Slow-cooked, Spiced, Steel Cut Oatmeal
- 1 cup steel-cut oats
- 4 ¼ cup water
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 2-inch ginger, smashed
- 10 whole cardamom pods, grounded
- 1/2 star anise
- 1-2 dried dates, pitted
- cinnamon to taste
Spray or brush the bottom and sides of the crock pot with oil. Add in the oats, water, sweet potato, ginger, cardamom, star anise, dried dates and cinnamon. Set the temperature on low. Cook for six to eight hours.