Using your slow cooker is one of the easiest ways to meal prep. You basically dump all your ingredients in, turn it on, and walk away for 4-8 hours. Here’s how to make cinnamon banana steel cut oats in your slow cooker for a healthy breakfast.
Slow cooker steel-cut oats is a great make ahead breakfast. You can start the slow cooker the night before so that you wake up to a pot full of hot oatmeal or you can make it on the weekend to use for several weekday mornings.
Steel cut oats are the best type of oats to use in a slow cooker. Rolled oats will become too mushy if you cook them for hours. Steel cut oats are better at retaining their shape during cooking and have a chewier texture because they are not flattened during processing the way rolled oats are.
This recipe does not use any added sugar or liquid sweetener because the bananas will cook down and provide the sweetness. I love to use fresh fruit for the sweetener when making oats.
You need to use a lot of liquid when cooking steel cut oats: four cups of liquid for every one cup of oats. Here I use half almond milk and half water, but you can use all non-dairy milk if you’d like. Soy milk could also work in place of almond milk. You can also use coconut milk for some of the liquid to add a little coconut taste (I think it would be too strong to only use coconut milk though).
Oatmeal tends to stick to what you cook it in and sometimes it takes some work to scrub it off. A tip for easier clean up is to spray the ceramic insert of your slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray or rub it with coconut oil before you add the ingredients. This will minimize how much oatmeal sticks to the insert.
Oatmeal by itself can be kind of boring. To add some extra flavor, texture, and sweetness if you need it, top your oats with some of the suggestions below.
- Chopped banana
- Fresh berries or frozen berries that have been thawed
- A little maple syrup if you want it sweeter.
- Chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans)
- Nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter)
- Raisins or other dried fruit
- Seeds (hemp seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)
Portion out leftover oatmeal into individual servings and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Steel cut oats are good at retaining their texture after you reheat them.
When ready to eat, add a few tablespoons of water or non-dairy milk so it doesn’t get too dry, and heat up in the microwave or on the stove top in a small saucepan.
Slow Cooker Cinnamon Banana Steel Cut Oats
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 2 cups almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
- 2 cups water
- 2 bananas, sliced
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Add all ingredients to a slow cooker and mix until combined.
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours.
- Serve or portion out into food storage containers to eat later.
- Add any of the suggested toppings you'd like.