Slow cooker steel cut oats are one of my favorite breakfasts. We often make a large batch on Sunday morning and enjoy it reheated on the stove top all week long. When combined with seeds, nuts and fats, oatmeal packs a nutritional punch and lots of protein. One of the main reasons I prefer to use the slow cooker is the ease in clean up, and the absence of an overflowing oatmeal pot on the stove top.

Steel cut oats are slow burning

Why steel cut oats vs. rolled oats? They have a lower glycemic index, keeping you full for a long time and without causing blood sugar spikes. Steel cut oats are also less processed than rolled oats.

High in protein and antioxidants

Oats are high in protein and I boost it even more by adding chia seeds, flax meal and hemp seeds. I use coconut, hemp or almond milk to incorporate more healthy fats, which also helps to stay satiated longer. Organic blueberries and 1/2 a banana are a delicious additions to add a serving or two of fruit, (I substitute organic raisins when we can’t get fresh blueberries). Cinnamon is a great addition with a host of health benefits in it’s own right.

Slow cooker steel cut oats

The ratio for oats to water is 1:4. I consider a single batch to be one cup oats and 4 cups of liquid. I add a pinch of salt. A double batch makes a pretty big batch and if you had two people eating it everyday all week, it would be a nice way to go. For just myself and the kids, 1 cup of oats is perfect for a few days of breakfast.

You can cook the oats overnight on low, or I often turn them on in the morning on high. The high version takes 2.5 – 3 hours to cook.

The ratio of liquid to oats and deciding to cook on high or low are the only real guidelines.

I often substitute coconut milk for some of the water. My favorite to use is Trader Joe’s organic coconut milk in a can. I also sometimes throw in a handful of unsweetened dried finely shredded coconut. As a vegetarian, I feel better if I keep a watch on making sure I include enough healthy fat in my diet. Coconut is a saturated fat with advantages over other saturated fats. Despite all the media attention lately, like all saturated fat, it needs to me used with care. If you’re interested in learning more, check out this article from WebMD and this one from Harvard Health.

If there are leftover oats, I store them in a glass container in the refrigerator. When I reheat oats each morning, I add the amount we’ll eat that day along with a little nut milk to a small pot on the stove. The oats will congeal in the fridge, so breaking them apart with a spoon and incorporating more liquid as they warm. You could also add your seeds while they are warming. I top with berries or raisins, cinnamon, 1/2 a banana and a splash of maple syrup.

Hyatt family eats are occasional posts devoted to sharing some of the things our family is cooking. We believe in a whole-foods, minimally-processed approach to nutrition that is realistic for a busy family of four. We’d love to hear about what you’re eating too! Email us at