Sweet Potato Oatmeal in the Slow Cooker

20130114-151759.jpgWhen the weather is cold, I love to have a warm breakfast waiting for me when I wake up. I like to set up the slow cooker in the evening with oatmeal, and then it’s ready in the morning. My favorite combination is sweet potato with cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s such a warm, healthy, and satisfying way to start the day in the winter.

Leftover sweet potatoes are perfect for this dish. If you have some leftover baked yams or sweet potato casserole, then mash them up with a fork. Mashed sweet potatoes work well too. If your leftover is already salted and sweetened, omit the additional sugar and salt. No leftovers, don’t worry. Just pierce and microwave a sweet potato or yam for about 7 minutes. Then mash the flesh with a fork, and you’re ready to proceed. Since this recipe has become my new favorite breakfast, I leave some cooked sweet potatoes in the freezer to have at the ready.

This recipe makes 4 servings– the perfect amount for a small slow cooker(3 to 4 quarts). If you have a larger slow cooker(6 to 7 quarts), the pot can be adapted to hold the small amount of food without drying out. Use a heat proof container (like a Corningware) that fits inside the slow cooker. Put the oatmeal mixture inside the container, and then put a water bath in the slow cooker around the outside of the container like this:

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This recipe is adapted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbookby Beth Hensperger and a recipe on Skinny Ms.

Sweet Potato Oatmeal in the Slow Cooker
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Ingredients:
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cook and not instant)
  • 2 tablespoons dark or light brown sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Several grates of whole nutmeg
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • ½ cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes or pumpkin purée
  • 3 cups of water (plus more for the water bath)
Instructions:
  1. If your slow cooker is 3 to 4 quarts: Place all ingredients in the slow cooker, and stir well to combine. Skip to step 3.
  2. If your slow cooker is 6 to 7 quarts: Find a heat proof container like a glass Pyrex or Corningware that fits inside the slow cooker and still leaves some extra room all the way around the container. (See photo above.) Place all the ingredients in the container, and stir with a fork to combine. Keep stirring until the sweet potato mostly dissolves in the water. Place the container inside the slow cooker. Pour water in the slow cooker so that a water bath goes all the way around the outside of the container. Pour in water until it comes about ¾ths of the way up the container.
  3. Cover the slow cooker, and cook on low for 7 hours. The oatmeal will hold on a keep warm setting for 2 additional hours if you want a little more sleep.
  4. Stir before serving. If you prefer a thinner consistency, stir in water, milk or any non-dairy milk. Serve warm.
Notes:
Any leftovers can be refrigerated, then re-heated the next day. Add in more liquid, and stir with a fork to get the desired consistency.

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