Like a mad scientist, I have immersed myself into experimentation mode, assembling my personal best cooking tools, which include but are not limited to my beloved slow-cooker, spectacularly beautiful measuring cups from Anthropologie (wait for a sale to purchase), a hard wood cutting board (gift from friend, Betsy), sharp knives that Peter (husband) brought to the mix explaining to this Dysfunctional Chef that sharpened knives are far better to work with than dull ones (imagine that someone had to point that out to me; I wear Dysfunctional well!) – along with real food ingredients.
Real Food is my mantra of the day (week, month and year). I am determined to treat my body like the holy vessel that it is and preserve it without preservatives. I’ve read more than enough articles to know that the ill-effects of processed foods on the body and the brain are not worth it! I won’t go down that road now, but just know that real food is what the Intelligent Universe intended for us to eat. There are no processed boxes of cereal growing on bushes out there; are there? (I see a fun visual / art project in that comment!)
Now … as you breeze through the list of ingredients below, you will note that I am using half n’ half (not fat-free half n’ half). Surprised? Me, too! I totally shocked myself when I put the bottle in my supermarket cart. Not something I usually stock up on!
Next time you go to the supermarket, compare labels. Fat-free half n’ half is loaded with high fructose corn syrup, while half n’ half is basically milk and cream. Considering that there’s only 1/2 cup of half n’ half in the recipe, calorie-wise, it ain’t that much per serving, so I figure it was worth the real food splurge.
Dig this: When products say fat-free, ‘they’ have usually added a slew of sugar to it to improve the flavor; and when things say sugar-free, ‘they’ have probably added a slew of fat to improve the flavor. Read the labels, please! Not just for serving size and calorie count, but for real hard-core information!
And now for the recipe! Enjoy!!! And please feel free to share your Best Ever Oatmeal recipe below – in the ‘comment’ area!
Slow-Cooker BEST SWEET n’ CREAMY OATMEAL … EVER!!!
1 cup steel cut oatmeal
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried figs, diced into little pieces, best you can
3-1/2 cups water
1/2 cup half n’ half
2 T. agave syrup light (optional)
handful of walnuts (optional)
Mix all (exception optional items) in slow-cooker. Cook on low for 9 hours.
Best to make it at night! When you wake up in the morning, you are in for a treat. The cranberries and figs add sweetness to the mix. If you are a sweet freak (as am I) and you are in search of ‘more sweet,’ then drizzle the agave syrup over the mix before cooking or after. I prefer agave light to dark, but that’s just my personal taste. A handful of crumbled walnuts atop is nice, too!
Now, for the BIG Question! Is this worth the effort? Is it better than making oatmeal in the morning, on the stove??? For me, yes!
Partly because I was playing the part of Mad Scientist/Dysfunctional Chef. I totally enjoyed myself. It was FUN! Don’t discount the importance of having fun! Waking up to the sweet smells of something already cooked was a novelty, and now that I think about it, I truly believe that it influenced my sleeping and dreaming. I woke up extremely happy, from the get-go, bouncing out of bed, heading into the kitchen for the big reveal.
It was bigger than cooking, more than making a healthy breakfast; it was a cooking adventure!
And finally, it was oh, so creamy, sweet good! Sounds like a win/win/win/win/win … win!
What cooking adventures are you creating today?
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