I’ve, or I should say we’ve been trying to perfect the art of slow cooker porridge. There are several reasons I’ve been trying it lately:
- Now I’m relying on the rail replacement for work I have to leave the house 30 minutes earlier than I did. I therefore need something quick in the mornings.
- I bought some steel cut oats, thinking they would be healthier than rolled oats – more on that to come
- Steel cut oats take 45 minutes “ain’t nobody got time for that”. Ok, some people have time for that, I don’t – see point 1
So, as Ben comes to bed much later than me, I’ve set him the task of putting the oats in the slow cooker before he comes to bed with the hope that they will be delicious and ready by the time I get up for work.
We have had varying degrees of success
It’s given us some problems – the first time Ben put it on he added too much water, then we thought we’d got it with equal quantities of water and almond milk, but the third time it wasn’t even cooked, so Ihad to pop it on the hob to finish. This morning I came down to a nice golden top – a bit like rice pudding – and I knew we had it right again!
I’ve still got to stir in my ‘additions’ – porridge is never complete without banana in my opinion. I’ve also added raw cacao powder, vanilla protein powder, and today’s concoction was blueberry, banana and chia. The chia seeds absorbed the last of the liquid so I was left with a deliciously thick porridge – just the way I like it.
Now to those steel cut oats, also known as pinhead oats. I thought they would be more nutritious than rolled oats: here’s some information from Real Foods:
“Pinhead oats or coarse oatmeal…also known as steel-cut oats and sometimes called Scots, Irish or rough oatmeal, they’re made by passing groats through steel cutters which chop each one into three or four pieces. Since they still contain the whole grain including the oat bran, steel-cut oats are very nutritious.”
As opposed to rolled oats:
“Rolled oats are made by steaming groats and flattening them with a roller. These come in two distinct varieties. Jumbo oats are made from oat groats, quick-cooking rolled oats are made from pinhead oats.”
But I think I was thinking of instant oats:
“Instant oats are made in a similar fashion to rolled quick-cooking oats, except they are steamed longer and rolled more thinly. It produces the kind of oats used for making many types of ‘instant’ porridge. They don’t have a great deal of nutritional value as they’ve been processed and many nutrients are lost in the steaming process.”
Rolled and steel cut oats are both made with the whole oat groat, so they are similiar in terms of fibre and protein. Because of this they are similiar in terms of Glycemic Index (GI) too. (source)
So what it really boils down to, is what you prefer. BEcause of the convenience of making them myself in the morning, instead of relying on the slow cooker, I think in future I might stick with rolled oats.
Slow Cooker Porridge
- 40g steel cut oats
- 150ml unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)
- 150ml water
- ‘add-ins’ that you like: fruit (eg apple, banana, berries etc), cacao nibs, granola, nuts, protein powder, chocolate powder – whatever you fancy!
- Simply put the oats, almond milk and water in the slow cooker and set to auto (mine has 3 settings: low, high or auto – this takes it to high, and then keeps it steadily warm)
- In our case we leave it for 2.5 hours.
- When cooked, stir in your add-ins and top with whatever you fancy.
What is your favourite way to serve porridge? Tell me about your favourite toppings. Have you ever made porridge in the slow cooker?