You know the best part about this Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal? Waking up to the delicious aroma of Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal! That and realizing breakfast is ready to go before your feet touch the floor, cutting one more step out of your already busy morning routine. I call that brilliant.
If you’re reading this post, you probably already have a thing for hot oatmeal on a cold morning (or afternoon, or night…I admit I have a bit of an oatmeal obsession). And if you’re serious about your oatmeal, you’ve long ago shunned those little packets of oatmeal dust and sugar disguised as breakfast. Seriously? Add hot water and stir? Where’s the love?
Speaking of love and recipes and such, the FDA told a Massachusetts based bakery last week that they needed to stop listing “love” as one of the ingredients in their granola. In a letter sent by the FDA to said bakery, the FDA indicated that “‘Love’ is not a common or usual name of an ingredient, and is considered to be intervening material because it is not part of the common or usual name of the ingredient.” Ha! This home cook begs to differ. I double dog dare you to make this oatmeal with LOVE and to tell your family you did so. You rebel you!
I admit it took me a couple of tries to get this oatmeal right, but practice makes perfect. (If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.) But seriously, it takes the right amount of oatmeal to liquid ratio and the proper setting on your particular slow cooker to get this recipe right. My slow cooker is a West Bend Crockery model, and in the years I’ve had it I’ve noticed it tends to get quite hot, even on the low setting, which for this recipe was much too high. Cooking on the “Keep Warm” setting for about seven hours yielded the perfect consistency – a silky smooth, creamy oatmeal.
When cooking in a slow cooker, it’s good to be familiar with your particular model. If your crockpot is new and you don’t have a lot of experience cooking with it, I recommend giving it a trial run when you’re home and awake so you can occasionally check the progress of your recipe. Once you have a good handle on your slow cooker’s performance, you can feel confident about placing your ingredients in the pot and letting it do its thing.
I love using my slow cooker in the fall and winter because cooking food slowly intensifies flavors with minimal effort on the cook’s part. For my family, being able to step away while dinner cooks in the slow-cooker means we can get a few extra runs on the ski slopes and have a tasty hot meal waiting for us aprés ski. Who can argue with that?
Toppings and Alternatives:
So let’s talk about toppings. For this very fallish Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal, I naturally gravitated to two other very fallish toppings, plump, juicy dried cranberries and toasted pecans. In the future, I might try the following variations:
• apples and raisins
• pears and toasted pumpkin seeds
• dried cherries and toasted almond slices
• love (ha, always love!)
How about you? How would you dress up your Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal? Leave me a comment with your suggestions. Happy, cozy, oatmeal, love-filled mornings to you!
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup milk or non-dairy milk alternative
- 1 cup rolled oats or steel cut oats do not use quick oats
- 1 cup pumpkin purée
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2-3 Tbsp brown sugar or honey or maple syrup - adjust to taste
- dried cranberries and toasted pecans for topping
- Place water, milk, oatmeal, pumpkin purée, cinnamon and salt in slow cooker, stir and cover with lid. Set cooking temperature to low or warm setting (*see note below). Cook oatmeal for 6-7 hours. Add sweetener of choice, serve in bowls and top with dried cranberries and toasted pecans (or preferred toppings). Enjoy!