Oatmeal w/Nuts, Seeds, and More

A convenient way to make oatmeal is to use a slow cooker; I find either the 2.5 qts. or 3 qts. as the ideal size. You can use thick rolled oatmeal or steel cut oat groats and mix it with oat bran, if you wish. Refer to the oatmeal packaging’s cooking instructions for the oatmeal-water ratio and add another 1/4 cup of water. Over time, you can adjust the ratio based on the consistency you like.

Depending on how many people you will feed or how many days of the week you want to eat oatmeal, put in your desired amount of oatmeal, oat bran (optional), and the required amount of water into the slow cooker.  Stir in a couple of dried, unsulfured apricots if you want to add a sweetener while it is cooking. Remember to turn the slow cooker on to low and go watch TV, read my blog, or go to bed.

Or, you can prepare the topping mix that you will add to the cooked oatmeal the next day. I usually make a batch in a glass Pyrex that comes with a lid and refrigerate the mix, which you can have as a snack by itself during the day.

Mix the following: (1) 16 oz. bag of raw or roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds and/or raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds, (2) cup or two of raisins and/or dried cranberries, (3) cup or two of your choice of unsalted raw or roasted nuts–slivered or sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, or pecans, (4) a cup of dark chocolate chips, and (5) unsweetened, unsulfured coconut flakes (optional).

The next morning, turn off the slow cooker and stir the oatmeal.  Ladle oatmeal into bowl(s). Put any extra servings in a covered container so you can store it in the refrigerator to warm and serve the next day.

Sprinkle ground flaxseed meal into the oatmeal, add cinnamon if you wish, sprinkle however much of the mix over it, add a handful of frozen blueberries, and top the whole thing with any of the following: (1) plain Greek or regular yogurt, (2) ricotta cheese, (3) sour cream, or (4) frozen, non-dairy dessert Chocolate flavored made with coconut milk (from Trader Joe’s; I used it this morning). Stir to mix. You’re off to a good start.

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