Overnight Slow Cooker Oatmeal

Overnight slow cooker oatmeal

Cereal and milk is the standard breakfast in many homes, it’s also one of the least nutritious options. This slow cooker overnight oatmeal offers an easier and more nourishing start to your day – especially when paired with plenty of healthy fats.

Cereal and Granola – Unhealthy Choices

Breakfast cereals are made by an extrusion process in which grains are treated at high heat and high pressure to create the o’s, flakes, and other shapes. This process destroys nutrients in the grain, makes the oils rancid and may create toxic proteins. Despite its health food reputation granola isn’t any better. Raw oats are prepared with dry heat which makes them extremely indigestible.

Phytic Acid and Phytase

Cultures throughout the world either soaked, sprouted, and/or fermented all their grains prior to eating. Grains require special treatment because they all contain phytic acid, a storage form of phosphorus in plant tissues.

Phytic Acid:

  • found in grains, nuts, seeds, and beans – especially the bran or outer hull
  • humans cannot digest it
  • binds with other minerals in our digestive tract making minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc, unabsorbable by our bodies.
  • inhibits enzymes that digest our food like pepsin (breaks down proteins in the stomach), amylase (breaks down starch into sugars) and trypsin (protein digestion in the small intestine)

Consuming high amounts of phytic acid can lead to digestive issues and mineral deficiencies causing bone loss and tooth decay.  Proper preparation of high phytate containing foods is essential.

The phytase enzyme neutralizes phytic acid which makes phosphorus bioavailable. It is present in plant foods that contain phytic acid but requires proper preparation to be activated. One method is sprouting. Another way is to soak grains and flour in an acid medium at warm temperatures, like this slow cooker oatmeal.

UPDATE: Many people are asking which slow cooker I use for this; the Proctor Silex 33015 1-1/2-Quart Round Slow Cooker, I’m sure any brand works, though I would recommend sticking to a 1 1/2 quart size. You’ll find other great uses for it too – like chocolate fondue (post on that coming soon)!

For leftover oatmeal, check out Monica’s easy Oatcake Recipe. If you’re still craving a crunchy cold cereal, homemade is the best option, try a Coconut Granola Recipe from Haartke Online or a  Homemade Cold Breakfast Cereal at the Healthy Home Economist. For a grain-free variation see my Nutty Granola.

Recommended Reading:

Puffed Grains and Breakfast Cereals. Should We Eat them? Nourished Magazine
Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry Weston Price Foundation
Sprouted Grain: The How and Why Nourished Kitchen
Living with Phytic Acid Ramiel Nagel
Boxed Cereal is Not Food Simply Being Well
Be Kind to Your Grains Sally Fallon

This post is linked to Fresh Bites Friday | Real Food Whole Health, Fight Back Friday | Food Renegade and The Healthy Home Economist | Monday Mania.

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  1. Ben says

    I love my oatmeal, but if you’re following a paleo or primal diet, it’s a no go. Everyhwere I’ve looked concerning paleo or primal, when it states grains, it specifically mentions oatmeal due to the amount the it can spike the blood sugar. With that said, primal as the 80/20 rule that you can eat whatever 20 percent of the time, but if you’re strictly and seriously following the lifestyle, you may need to do without.

    • lisa says

      Hi Ben,
      Thanks for your comment. I am well aware of what constitutes a paleo diet, but my blog is not strictly paleo/primal (though many of my recipes are grain/dairy free). I’m hoping to educate people about the health dangers of processed/packaged foods and offering healthier alternatives. Those that choose to continue on to a paleo eating paradigm would know to stay away from oats.
      I hope to explore in a future post the different types of grain free diets like SCD, GAPS, and paleo and why it helps to heal various health issues.

  2. Chloe says

    Hey! Thank you for your great recipe and explanation and I have a question.You said that we need “1 cup Irish steel cut oats” and is it okay to use 1 minute quick oats from Quaker? I’m ignorant the differences between several types of oats. The 1 minute oats are not flavored and I think it is just oats with nothing else.

    And one more, if we prepare the oats according to your suggestion, we gonna put yogurt and let them several hours in a slow cooker before turn it on. Is it okay for the summer? The room temp will be hot and I wonder it is okay.

    Please let me know. Thank you very much. I just have decided eat oats instead of stupid highly processed with a plenty of glucose-fructose. Thank you again! :)

    • Chloe says

      oops! typos… the last line, I meant that stupid cereal… I will eat oats instead of cereal from now on. Cuz I have been eating too much of it. thx :)

    • lisa says

      I wouldn’t recommend the quick oats – I’m not sure what kind of processing it goes through. If you use regular rolled oats prepare the recipe with 1 cup oats to 2 cups water.
      Warm weather is even better for the soaking time.

  3. Nicola says

    Hi Lisa! Just wondering what the difference between rolled oats & steel cut is? I’m Irish (living in Ireland) & I love porridge for my breakfast. I have been very reluctant to soak my oats though as I make my porridge with milk & really don’t like it made with water.

    • lisa says

      Steel cut oats are the oat groats cut into pieces, rolled oats are rolled into flakes under heavy rollers (you can check Wikipedia for more details).
      One option for you would be to soak it with 2 cups of warm water and the acid then add 2 more cups milk or cream when you are ready to cook – or strain out the water and cook it with milk.
      Are your grandparents Irish as well? I would be curious to know how they used to prepare their porridge.

  4. says

    The Cheeseslave sent me over here. Thank you for this recipe. Since we have been eating more and more real foods I have been making homemade oatmeal with the oats that take about 10 minutes to cook. I would rather use steel cut oats but I do not have that kind of time in the morning. I cannot wait to try this recipe out.

    • lisa says

      This is my go to breakfast when I know mornings will be especially rushed. Let me know what you think when you try it!

  5. says

    Thanks for this! This is my first time on your blog…I followed a link from Cheeseslave because I have been wanting to try this.

    I just started my own food blog based on the Nourishing Traditions book, and when I get to my post on grains, I think I might link to this post because you’ve nicely explained the problem with unsoaked grains.

    Oh, and I remember reading that there is something about the oats getting rolled that destroys something good about the grain–can’t really remember–but maybe if you roll them yourself it’s okay?
    Lisa C recently posted..Nourishing Traditions- Politically Correct Nutrition

        • lisa says

          It was new information for me as well. But since I don’t make this often I buy the Irish oats that’s supposed to be heat treated at lower temperatures and soak it at least 18 hours ahead. If this was something I made on a weekly basis I would look into the appropriate equipment or find truly raw rolled oats shipped fresh.

  6. Ellen says

    finally started cooking the oats this way and its FABULOUS …. saves so much time in the AM! Thanks you again Lisa :-)

  7. says

    I think this blog will be useful for many people creating an awareness about the phytic acid. They are quite harmful for the teeth and causes tooth decay. So, it is good to avoid foods which is rich in phytic acid in order to avoid tooth decay. It is good to maintain good oral health in order to save both the teeth and our body. Anyway, thank you for sharing this amazing information with everyone and keep sharing.

  8. says

    Those who are looking for good health care for their teeth can go through this post. This is a nice and informative post about overnight slow cooker oatmeal. From this post we can get a view, how to reduce phytic acid. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  9. says

    thank you for your educational post.
    Can you please advise whether this method of cooking can be done with hot cereal such as like farina, semolina, fine bulgur,or any of the bobs red mill hot cereals?
    Thank You in advance

    • lisa says

      I usually don’t rinse them. If I come across information regarding that I’ll update it in the post. Let us know as well if you learn about rinsing them first.

  10. sarah says

    I had company over last night and I forgot to turn my slow cooker on before I went to bed so the oatmeal has ben soaking for 24 hrs as of this morning. Can I still use it? Do I have to cook it ASAP? Thanks!

  11. Kim says

    I don’t have a small crockpot but I do have a small heavy covered enamel pan and so I’d like to try this in a low oven. Do you think 175 degrees F overnight might work okay? Thanks!


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