I feel like whining. Nooooo, I don’t waaaaaaant school to start tomorrow. I have to wake up so eaaaarrrrrly. Ugggh. And lunnnnnnches. Ok. I’m done. Thanks for listening.
I think making breakfast, lunch and dinner during the school year is hard. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a competition on a Food Network show. Minutes to spare. Limited ingredients. Tough judges. The pressure! The fact is that I cannot wing it when school starts. To feed my family and myself real food as much as possible, I need a plan. I have one child leaving at 6:35 am, another at 7:20 am and my youngest leaves at 8:00 am. To all of you who can pull together breakfast, lunch and dinner without so much as a list, I am in awe of you. I consider myself a culinary quasi-professional and I cannot wake up on a Monday morning and open the fridge and say, “Hmmmm. What should I make today?” It stresses me out just thinking about doing that.
Every Sunday night for 18 years, I have planned my meals for the week and I shop accordingly. And every year I do one new thing to help me get a little better organized because every year my family seems to throw me a new challenge. This year I think I’m going to do a breakfast schedule so I don’t have to think so much about that meal when I’m making my list.
Tuesday: breakfast quesadilla or burrito
Wednesday: pancakes or waffles (homemade, silly)
I will always have homemade granola in the pantry, yogurt and nut butters in the fridge, stuff to make smoothies, and fresh fruit on the counter. If one of the kids doesn’t want what I’ve made that day and chooses to make his or her own breakfast,
I’ll believe it when I see it that would be lovely. Here’s a previous post with more breakfast ideas.
I’ve been making this slow cooker oatmeal for the last year and I couldn’t wait for it to be apple season again so I could share it with you. We all love it! Love! It tastes like you stirred apple pie filling into your oats. I like steel cut oats because they are so hearty and they take a little longer for your body to digest than rolled oats, so you get a longer-lasting energy. There’s nothing wrong with making plain and simple oats for breakfast and setting out a bunch of delicious toppings, but this is so easy and it’s ready when you come into the kitchen in the morning. Nothing else you need to do. We love it as is, but if you don’t like raisins, you can leave them out. But I encourage you to try it with the raisins because they plump up so beautifully and add a little extra sweetness to the oats. You can also add more sweetener than I do, but again, try this as is because you can always add extra sweetener later.
If you don’t have a slow cooker, I have a post in the archives for stovetop overnight steel cut oats. You bring everything up to a boil on the stovetop the night before, cover and turn off the heat. I repeat, turn off the heat. In the morning, just warm through and your oats will be perfect in a few minutes. I don’t see why you couldn’t do this with this recipe. And of course, you can do this the traditional way on the stovetop as well. Just dump everything into the pot and cook. No excuses on this one!!
I wish all of you an excellent beginning of school!
slow cooker apple pie steel cut oats
I know it’s tempting to leave the peel on the apples, but after they cook, the apples get soft and the peel stays tough. Not so fun to eat! To make this on the stovetop, see the last paragraph above.
1 cup steel cut oats (use certified gluten-free oats for GF oatmeal)
4 cups water
2 apples, peeled, cored, & cut into bite size pieces
2 Tablespoons maple syrup (you can use any sweetener you want)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
¼ cup raisins
Place the steel cut oats, water, apples, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and raisins into a slow cooker and cook on LOW heat for 5 hours. Actually, anywhere between 4 and 6 hours is fine. Most slow cookers have an automatic “WARM” setting so after it cooks, it will stay warm until you’re ready for it.
Stir well to combine before serving. I like to finish my oatmeal with a little homemade almond milk to thin it out a little. Yum!