OATMEAL!

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It’s Vegan MoFo Day 29!  Just one day left of this amazing month, and today I wanted to talk about Oatmeal!  Because, who doesn’t love oatmeal?!

I didn’t talk a lot about breakfasts this month, mostly because I’m not huge on cooking my own breakfast.  I prefer easy things like boxed cereals (Cheerios!!!) mostly because I like to use my time in the morning to curl my hair or watch some tv.  But that’s just me!  So I usually wake up in the morning, pour myself a bowl of Cheerios, and sit on the couch while I try to wake up and prepare myself for the day.

I eat like a hobbit, so there is always a second breakfast.  That’s about 2-3 hours after getting to work.  I”m hungry, but it’s too early to eat lunch.  (10 a.m. is WAY too early for lunch!!)  So I eat a second breakfast.  I’ve been made fun of it over the years, but I’ve just decided to own it.  Issues with my gallbladder left me with the inability to eat large meals.  Now I eat several small meals throughout the day.

For the longest time the one thing I always ate for my second breakfast was Quaker’s Instant Oatmeal (or some generic version of it.)

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I would eat 2 packets a day with a banana and a yogurt and a cup of tea.  This was my routine every single day.  Until I found out you can make oatmeal in your slow cooker!  WHAT?!

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I’m trying to figure out why I bought a slow cooker in the first place.  I remember my first one and where I got it.  I just can’t remember what possessed me to do so.  I guess that doesn’t matter now.  Once I got a slow cooker, I needed to find a good vegan slow cooker book.  There aren’t a ton of them out there, but there is this one.  A book from the amazing Kathy Hester called “The Vegan Slow Cooker“.

In that book there are a ton of really awesome recipes for meals you can make without a lot of effort.  One of the first things I made from this book was the Zucchini Bread and Carrot Cake Oatmeal.  Before this book, I had no idea that oatmeal was more than the instant stuff I had been making for myself for years.  I was introduced to steel cut oats.  And WOW!  That boring old instant oatmeal packets had nothing on this stuff!!  I think I made almost every recipe for oatmeal in this book.  My slow cooker was a 4 quart, so I had to double all the recipes and make lots of oatmeal.  I brought it in and shared it with my coworkers.

That gets expensive though cooking all that oatmeal all the time.  I decided I wanted a smaller slow cooker, for dips and breakfast foods, so for my birthday last year my mom got me a 1.5 quart slow cooker.  This little guy is so cute!

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I didn’t use him much until this summer when I finally got sick of spending so much money on little packets of boring oatmeal.  That’s when the real fun began!  I started out by following recipes, and then I started to experiment.

This is what I use as my base:

  • 2 cups liquid (water, or nondairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats (regular, or gluten free)
  • 1-2 TBSP brown sugar

And from there you can do whatever you would like with it!  What I loved doing all summer was adding in frozen fruit while it cooked.  Here are some of my favorite combinations:

  • peaches and blueberries
  • cocoa powder and strawberries
  • cocoa powder and cherries
  • dark cherries and vanilla extract
  • raspberries and vanilla extract
  • mangos and peaches
  • zucchini and carrots

For MoFo this month I tried a few experiments and they both came out horribly!  I call them my epic failures.  That’s why it took so long for me to put together this post.  I wanted to have some new fun recipe to post, but all I have is what NOT to do when making your oatmeal.

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This one I thought up when I tried the oatmeal I made with mango.  It made me think of the mango tea from Ruby Tuesday’s, so I decided to try to recreate it as an oatmeal.  Sounds weird right?  Well I love weird things.  I made up some tea, then cooked the oatmeal and mango chunks in the tea.  Doesn’t sound horrible right?  Well it was.  There was just something off and I never figured out what it was.  Oh well!

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It looked good.  But oh it was so wrong…

And then I don’t have any pictures of my other epic failure, but was my take on a tropical oatmeal.  I found a bag of frozen tropical fruit, and I thought it would be fun to take some of that and cook it with coconut milk and oatmeal.  I don’t know what I did (I added some Stevia sweetener instead of the brown sugar) but it was just awful!  Maybe it wasn’t the right fruit flavors, or maybe they didn’t go well with the coconut milk… but yuck.  That was just gross!

Even though I’ve made some mistakes, I highly recommend making oatmeal in your slow cooker.  You can set it up right before you go to bed, set it to low, and when you wake up your oatmeal will be ready to go.  It’s perfect for someone like me who hates to get up and cook.  The slow cooker does all the work for me!  And double bonus- oatmeal cooked this way without oil is low fat!  Score!!

Wow, just one day left.  This month went by very quickly.  For my last post tomorrow I’ve decided that I’m not going to talk about anything that I’ve made.  I’m going to go through all my new friend’s blogs and list out all my favorite things from this month.  I’ve met some really cool people, and I’ve gotten a lot of support here on my blog because of this month.  I’d like to spread the love to my other blogging friends too!

I’ve also been nominated by not just one person, but FIVE different people for a Liebster award!  I’m finally going to respond to all that in a post in early October.

Until tomorrow!  It’s our last day!

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