Category Archives: steel cut oats

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats (Water Bath version)

You all know I loves me some pumpkin oats.  I especially love steel cut oats, but remembering to soak them the night before is kind of a pain.  I have been obsessed with the slow cooker lately, but have not been as happy with how overnight oats come out.   They can get burned on the edges and really don’t need to cook overnight. However, I am not willing to get up at 3 am to start the oats for breakfast, know what I mean?

There are 2 brilliant solutions to this, which I wish I had come up with, but I didn’t.  One is to use a programmable light timer to have the oats start cooking at a set time.  I need to get a light timer to try this some time.

The other is the water bath method.  This allows you to turn the cooker on when you go to bed and the water bath slowly cooks the food without burning it.  I have made 2 different kind of steel cut oats this way and love it!

What you need is a smaller baking dish that fits inside your slow cooker.  Ours happen to be souffle dishes, but whatever works for you.  Place a shallow heat proof plate (or a tinfoil snake) underneath the bowl so that it isn’t sitting directly on the bottom of the slow cooker.  You want to fill the crockpot with water to about halfway up the side of the inner dish.  Not to the top or it will bubble over into your food (not good).  This will gently cook the oats and not burn them, making cleanup much easier.  The oats come out with a more pudding texture, too.

My version of the pumpkin oats for 4 servings:

  • 1 cup of steel cut oats (not the rolled oats)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (you could just do water, I wanted a bit of creaminess)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 40 grams of dried cranberries
  • pinch of salt

Spray the smaller cooking dish with cooking spray.

Mix the oats, cranberries, salt and cinnamon together in a large bowl.



Then mix in the almond milk, water and pumpkin.  Place the smaller cooking vessel into the crockpot and fill with water to come halfway up the side of the smaller dish.  Then pour in the oat mixture.

water level


Put the lid on,  turn the heat to low and kiss it goodnight.



This cooked for about 8 hours by the time I got up on New Year’s Eve and came downstairs.

It will not look like much when you open the lid.


Not really appetizing, eh? LOL.  Oats just don’t photograph well.  Anyway, give this a good stir and it will look much, much better.

I topped mine with a tablespoon of real maple syrup.  This recipe is unsweetened, so add what you like.

pumpkin oats

They are wonderfully creamy soft this way.

This recipe makes 4 servings (1-1/4 cup each approximately).  To reheat, just add a little water and heat in the microwave or on the stove top.

Nutritional info per serving:

213 calories,  3 grams of fat, 39 grams of carbs, 7.5 grams of fiber, 5 grams of protein.

** If you want to sweeten during cooking, try adding 1/4 cup of sweetener of choice to the mixture.  I would avoid cooking with artificial sweeteners because I believe they will break down with the long cooking time, but I don’t know for sure.  I like doing it unsweetened because then I can top with whatever I want, like maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, etc.

Operation Endurance begins

Take advantage of every day. You never know when things can change overnight.  My heart goes out to all those in Japan right now.  Please remember if you donate to any relief effort, check it out first at Charity Watch to make sure it is on the up and up.

Rainy night all night and rain today. At least it isn’t snow! We are lucky enough to be on top of a hill, so no flooding worries for us or basement issues. Very thankful.

I had a protein drink and then headed to do an awesome strength workout. I am moving to Operation Endurance now that bike season is approaching, so I am lowering the weights and increased the reps.  I think I will also go back to 3 times a week with lifting. My goal is to not build strength anymore, but to regain endurance.  Cupcakes are 20 miles  each way!

Exercise Set/rep/weight Muscle worked
Cable Squat to Row 3 sets of 12 at 50# Full Body
Horizontal Wood Chop 3 sets of 10 each side at 30# Core
Barbell Chest Press 3 sets of 12 at 45# Chest
Stiff-legged Deadlift 3 sets of 12 at 60# Lower body
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown 3 sets of 15 at 40# Back
Calf Raise 3 sets of 12 at 140# Calves
Low Back Extension 3 sets of 12 at 90# Low Back
Dumbbell Overhead Press 3 sets of 15 with 8# DBs (16# total) Shoulders

The gym was friendly and fun today. I love days like that. Maybe because it was Friday, or just because of who was there.  However fun it was, I was ready to come home and cook up the steel cut oats I had soaked overnight.

With pumpkin, cinnamon, and egg whites cooked in.  Topped with the last of the crystallized ginger and some coconut butter.

Triple fantabulous yum!

I am in fruit withdrawal!  I may have to shop tonight and pick some up.  Normally we shop just once a week, but a fruit emergency is looming! We have some apple sauce, but I wanted to save that for dinner, so I doubled up the broccoli for lunch!  With a Boca chik’n patty.

Afternoon snack included the usual latte and a few dark chocolate crisps from Marisa’s box to me.

They look like Pringles, but they are chocolate.  At first I thought they were chocolate covered potato chips, but they are not.  Very tasty.

John asked if today was a lower carb day (obviously not with oats on the menu…) and then asked if I wanted to go out for a slice of pizza tonight!  Was I going to say no?  I don’t think so!  Guess I didn’t have to worry about that applesauce after all. :mrgreen:  We stopped at East End Eatery:

This was buffalo chicken pizza.  Boy howdy did that hit the spot!  It was the perfect Friday night dinner.

Update:  After dinner we stopped at the store for emergency fruit rations!

Guess you know what my snack is going to be tonight 😀

Question:  How many times a week do you shop?

Bikes and classic cars

It’s long ride day!  I was up early and came down to make brekkie.  It was 47 degrees out when I got up.  Can you believe that?  That’s what mountain area does.  It did warm up to 80 degrees, though.

I put on a big pot of coffee and made some banana custard steel cut oats that I had soaked overnight:

Missing from this pic is the drool I wiped off my mouth!  This bowl was tasty.  I need to figure out something to do for long ride days, though, as John sleeps a couple hours later than I do, so I eat too early.  Maybe I should have just a small snack and then a bigger breakfast later.

I puttered around in the garden and got stuff ready for the ride.   We decided to pack a lunch today to save a little money and then just spend on a couple snacks.

Fabulously gorgeous day!  It seems every single Saturday has been nice this summer.

15 miles later and we ended up at the lake:

The sky was so clear and the water was so blue.  Nature is the most amazing thing.  The classic car show was going on today.  Always something happening during tourist season.

Delorean – made out of stainless steel.

A Triumph with wooden dashboard panel and a beautiful cranberry color:

Old school mini Cooper:

And a pic for my dad, even though I don’t think he  reads my blog – a Road Runner:

We ate lunch in the park, which consisted of chicken salad and a piece of the bread I made yesterday.

Nice view of the lake:

Hmmmm…. closer look.  Is this man naked?  You be the judge:

We didn’t go around to find out.  Back on the bikes and we continued northwest to Warrensburg.  First time up this way and there was a long slow climb of probably 4 miles.  I was dripping sweat, but didn’t have to stop at all.  Warrensburg is a small town, but cute.

We stopped in at Willow Bistro because we had a BOGO coupon.

It’s very tiny and cute inside.  I would love to open a place like this.   I had a latte and a scone:

Hooray for carbs!

This was around 22 miles or so.  We then headed back the way we came, which was nice going down that 4 mile hill!  Except for the headwind.

We kept going in a really large loop.  At mile 38, we stopped at a grocery store to pick up some ibuprofen since John was getting a headache.  Perfect time for some coconut water!

Nice tip – we froze these overnight  so they would thaw out during the ride.  They were slushy and delicious!!

I was really feeling good at this point.  I wanted some yogurt, though!  We biked off to Cooper’s Cave, which we reached at the 46 mile point:

We parked our bikes next to a Trek and a Giant.  With John’s  Specialized and my Fuji, it was a pricey rack full of the who’s who of biking.

I got something special!  A Mexican sundae with yogurt, which is peanut butter sauce and chocolate fudge on top.  With whipped cream (no cherry as I don’t eat cherries ever).

It. was. so. good.  I jumped around a little after the first bite because it made me so happy.  I think my body really wanted the glucose rush from it.  I was going to get ice cream, but I decided since I had the scone earlier, I would get yogurt.

Then we biked the last bit home.

Ride Stats:

52.9 miles (may as well say 53)

Ride time (not including stops) 4:12

Avg speed 12.6 mph

Top speed 27.5 😯

Calories burned:  1625

Either I am getting used to the seat fast or the anti-chafing gel is amazing because no problems and I know I have another 10 miles in me for the charity ride in 2 weeks.  Of course, I won’t have the breaks like I do on our rides LOL!  I was saying to John at how I was feeling lazy biking today.  Like 53 miles is being lazy!  This was quite a hilly ride.  Good practice for the duathlon in October, and I have no idea what the course is for the charity ride!

The day is almost over.  I get one day a week where I don’t work and it goes by so fast.  I feel so fortunate to be able to spend the day with my best friend doing something I love and eating some good food!

What’s blooming and no sugar day.

Free as a bird for the weekend as of now since I finished up work!  The work week went by so fast.  I woke up waaaay to early today.  I told myself I was going to sleep in, so that meant my eyes popped open at 6:00 am.  What is up with that?  My normal waking time is 6:30.

BTW – Nibbler won the throwdown yesterday.  I snacked a lot last night to the tune of a Zone bar, some cashews, a piece of toast with fluff and some coconut M&Ms.   Now that is a snack binge.  Funny thing?  I still was not full after eating all that. Certainly not hungry, but I should have been stuffed.  My body is so weird sometimes.

I finally remembered to make my oats in a jar today with the almost empty jar of nut butter that has been in the fridge for weeks.  About 1/2 a serving in there.

I also remembered to soak some steel cut oats overnight to cook up with a banana today and egg whites.

This was tasterrific!  Steel cut custard oats have an extra special chewy creaminess to them.  If I wasn’t accountable on the blog, I would probably eat some form of oats for breakfast and lunch every day.

Had a busy morning with conference call for work and a window estimate  for our house.  Our house was built in the 1890s and still has some of its original parts, like the windows.   Old stuff is charming, but in upstate NY, that is not so charming come winter time.  These are big windows, too, and we need 17 of them done.  Can you whistle the tune of $6500+ for that?   😯  I can’t quite do it without choking.  We are getting one more estimate, but this one actually looks pretty good.  It will pay off in the long run, so we will get at least half of them done this summer some time.

Lunch break of an egg/laughing cow wrap with hot sauce.  Plus a yummy pear, which I always sprinkle cinnamon on.

I wish that I could eat fruit all the time.  As it is, I eat 3 servings a day at least.

Then it was back to work with my little helper:

Regarding the apple yogurt cake from yesterday.

Here is the link to the full recipe.  John made the following substitutions: Replaced the oil in that recipe with a 4oz applesauce, and replaced half of the flour with whole wheat flour.  Otherwise, as written. 1/8 of the cake has 220 cal (which is about twice the size of the piece in this picture).

It’s yum!  I really wanted a piece today, but I went with a no added sugar day today.  Instead, I had a latte:

And a date stuffed with some slivered almonds.  Sweet and crunchy:

We decided to bike to dinner tonight, since it is the start of my weekend.  Wanted something inexpensive and casual, which means pizza!

Cheese and white pizza.  Can you say garlic?  Good thing John had a slice of that as well.  As you can see, I did eat 2 pieces.  Really, 1-1/2 would have been fine and I left a bit of the crust.  Dinner for 2 for under $10?  Check!  Plus a workout to boot.  Then it was off to the library to get a new book out.  I nixed the last one.  13+ mile ride tonight.

Going to show you a few bloom pics today, as tomorrow’s post is a special ‘what’s blooming’ anniversary for me!  The old fashioned day lilies are now starting to go:

Scentimental rose.  I love the smell of this one.


And I found a home for Mr. Buddha:

Tonight’s no added sugar dessert:

Sigh…. I love berries.

Make sure you come back to check out Friday’s post.  It’s a milestone one!

Have a super night 😀

Salad daze

Boy – everyone sure made all those favorite cookies sound so good! I’ve got a hankerin’ for some bakerin’!

Last day of the work week for me today! WooHoo!  The weather was forecast to be quite warm, so I actually slept in until 7 am today knowing I would run later outside.

Had forthought last night  to do some overnight steel cut oats.  Soaked them and then added a mashed banana during cooking.  Topped with chocolate sauce and almond butter.  Yum!


My legs and butt are sore today from the squats I did yesterday.  Squats always do that unless I keep doing them!  I won’t be doing any lifting tomorrow to rest my muscles for a 5K on Saturday.

Lunch was salad #1 today!  I kind of got on this BBQ chicken salad kick.  It’s so easy and tastes so good!  I warm up the chicken (cooked) and mix it with BBQ sauce, then use feta cheese and sliced almonds.


It’s one of those things that takes 5 minutes (with salad in a bag!) and looks so ‘bistro.’  This was a huge bowl of lettuce, too.

After lunch and my afternoon latte snack, I hit the track.  It was 55 degrees today, can you believe that?  Cloudy, but great running temperature.  I was thinking 4 miles, but told myself to do at least 3.  I ended up at 3.75 miles and called it a day.  Funny how my legs were so sore moving around, but they don’t feel sore when I run.

John won the football picks this week, and his choice for dinner was Chipotle.  (He changed his mind from chinese earlier!).  I had another salad for dinner!


Barbacoa on lettuce with some cheese and salsa.  Really good!  I was really hungry after that run, too.

After dinner, we did a bit of Christmas shopping and got several more people done.  Yay!  Our dinners seemed a little small, so we decided to split a treat:


Dunkin Donuts chocolate mint donut!  This is really good, I have to say.  With some decaf coffee.  I could easily have eaten a whole donut, but I am glad John split this with me.

Ornament of the day:


It’s Horton!  I love Dr. Seuss (as does MizFit), and Horton is one of several Seussian inhabitants on our tree.  I grew up loving Dr. Suess books!  My very favorite is the Grinch – that is my very favorite Christmas special on TV, too (not the Jim Carrey one, ick!).

Question:  What is your favorite Christmas special?

Quick cook method for steel cut oats.

I love steel cut oats, but I don’t want to wait the 30 minutes it takes to cook  them.  I also don’t like cooking up a big batch and then reheating later, because they are too gummy to me that way.

So,  I was looking at the McCann’s site and used one of their tips.  Last night, I put 1 serving of the steel cut oats into a container and added 1 cup of water, put the lid on, and stuck it in the fridge.  They recommended cooking for a minute before doing this, but I didn’t bother.

This morning after I got back from the gym, I dumped the container into a small saucepan and brought it to a boil, added my spices and a tsp of brown suger,and cooked for 9-10 minutes.    The result?


(Yes, the pecans are overtoasted)

Creamy and chewy, just like steel cut oats are supposed to be!  I’m excited!  Okay, I know it’s lame to get excited about oats, but I am 😀  Just a few more minutes to cook than regular rolled oats, totally worth it!

For this bowl, I mixed in 1/2 a cup of canned pumpkin at the end of cooking and topped with cranberry sauce and pecans.

You could do this for more than one serving, too.