Breakfast, Guest Post, Oatmeal, Slow Cooker

An Overnight Sensation

Some of you may know I have a sister…

… this is her. (tiny, isn’t she)
Since we were kids, Melinda has always been my closest confidant… my biggest critic.. and my sounding board. She is my favorite person in the world.

So, when I got the box of ingredients for the recent food challenge, my first instinct was to call Melinda and pick her brain for ideas. (You see… even though she isn’t in the food field, she is just as talented as me… if not more. And Nobody loves food more than her.)

One of the things she suggested was overnight oatmeal. My color palled. I don’t do oatmeal… it’s a textural thing. She went on to explain that it was  slow cooked oats with dried fruit.. (I still wasn’t warming to the idea.)

I suggested that she send me the recipe and I would take a look at it.
She did, I made it..and you know….. it’s pretty damned tasty!

So in honor of my sister, I am including her email to me as my first Guest Post!  Everyone give a polite round of applause for my Sister – Melinda –

I was watching an Alton Brown Good Eats episode a few years ago (before he went all weird and lost all of that weight and looked ill) and he was making an overnight oatmeal which sounded really good. Now I’m not a huge oatmeal fan, the quick cooking kind literally makes me gag, but this looked really, really good. So I searched online and looked for other “overnight oatmeal” recipes to see how they differed. Alton’s used water and half and half, the other just water. Alton’s used figs and dried cranberries, the other dried cherries and dried apricots. Well, I don’t/can’t do half and half – lactose intolerant, you know… so I took the 2 recipes and merged them and made some substitutions of my own. Here’s what I came up with. No sugar is added, you get plenty of sweet from the dried fruits, and the margarine gives it the buttery richness you miss out on by omitting the half and half.

It is a hearty, filling, stick-to-your-ribs breakfast cereal.

Overnight Oatmeal
(Crock-pot Oatmeal)

Yield about 4-6 servings
1 Cup Steel Cut Oats  (Don’t use rolled oats, they will turn to mush. You need the texture and structure of the steel cut.)
4 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Milk (I use Lactaid whole milk)
1/2 Stick Margarine  (Lactose Free – like Fleishmann’s Unsalted – You’ll need it to replace the fat from the half and half)
1/4 – 1/3 cup Dried Cherries or Cranberries
1/3 Cup Golden Raisins
1/4 – 1/3 Cup Dried Apricots – Snipped in half
1/4 Teaspoon Salt

  • Combine all together in a crock-pot, cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.
  • You can start this just before you go to bed and let it cook until wakey time.

The house smells heavenly when you wake up.

I’ve thought about using frozen or dried berries. I’m not sure how that would do. The fruit, no matter what you use, pretty much disintegrates during the long cooking process.


  • You can cook up to 9 hours, but any longer and the sugars from the fruit start to caramelize… which is not an altogether a bad thing.
  • You can also add some walnuts or pecans to it after it is cooked for additional texture and crunch.


  1. I could never choke down a bowl of oatmeal either. For some reason, the fruit doesn't do it for me. I recently saw a post on a health site about athletes eating it with chicken. I tried that and have been eating it ever since – cook it in chicken broth with chicken. When the chicken is soft, I shred it like for chili or pulled pork. Sometimes I'll add a can of northern beans or diced tomato. Sounds weird for breakfast, but at least I can eat the oatmeal that way. LOL What I really want to know is … what else was in the box??? Inquiring minds want to know…

  2. What I wouldn't do to hear my brother call me his favorite person in the world! The intro to this post was wonderful! And your oatmeal looks very delish!!!

  3. I'm glad you gave it a try!I do an overnighter but without cooking it. Just combine with non-fat Greek yogurt, soy milk, cinnamon, some nuts, honey; stick in fridge overnight and viola, next morning a yummy healthy breakfast.

  4. Hi, Toby. I like your take on the overnight version of porridge, especially your chosen dried fruits – ones I always use and have on hand.Thanks,Dn

  5. I dont really know why… but this DOES sound delicious. Overnight Oatmeal did make me kind of cringe, but that made me check it out! I cant wait to give it a shot!

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