Rolled oats are whole oats that were already toasted -- and then flattened to decrease the amount of time it takes to cook them. If you want to cook oatmeal from rolled oats for a large group, or need no-fuss oatmeal for breakfast on busy mornings, you can use your slow cooker. Most recipes for slow-cooker oatmeal call for steel cut oats, which do not disintegrate during the long cooking time. Rolled oats will yield slow-cooker oatmeal that's creamy and porridge-like with the individual oats completely broken down, notes cookbook author Stephanie O'Dea.
Coat the insert of a 4- or 6-quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.
Pour the rolled oats into the slow cooker and stir in your choice of liquid, such as water, milk, plant milk like soy or almond milk, or a combination. Plan on using 2 1/4 times more liquid than rolled oats; for instance, 4 1/4 cups of liquid for 2 cups of rolled oats.
Add your choice of seasonings, healthy sweetener or chopped fruit, if desired, such as cinnamon, apple pie spice, nutmeg, diced apples, dried fruit like raisins, honey or maple syrup. Mix thoroughly.
Put the slow cooker's lid in place and cook on the low setting overnight, or up to 7 hours.
Stir the oatmeal. Add additional liquid, if needed.
Things You'll Need
4- or 6-quart slow cooker
Non-stick cooking spray
Liquid, such as water, milk or plant milk
Spices, sweeteners, fresh or dried fruit, optional
If you need to prepare the rolled oats in less time, cook them on the slow cooker's high setting for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
Store leftover oatmeal in the refrigerator or freeze cooled serving-sized portions in zip-top plastic bags or small containers.
Try topping the cooked rolled oats with nuts, seeds, applesauce, fruit butter, shredded coconut or freshly chopped fruit.
Do not substitute steel cut oats for the rolled oats using the same oat-to-liquid proportions. Steel cut oats prepared in the slow cooker require more liquid than rolled oats.