Friday, February 08, 2013

Oatmeal: An Homage to Carrot Cake

So yesterday we made a dash to Trader Joes to get some provisions for Snowpocalypse 2013 (ZOMG!). We had a meager few things to get, almost not worth dealing with the dead eyed drones emptying the shelves of nearly every comestable imaginable.

The Maharjah needed lactose free milk and a few frozen entrees; I needed a steak, cottage cheese, and OH SO IMPORTANT for this blog post: Shredded Carrot.

Here is MY recipe for what I've seen elsewhere abounding on the net, a slow cooker oatmeal recipe. Though in honesty, if I were to have upped the volume of quinoa, it might be classified as a "porridge." Doesn't matter much, does it? It's delicious.

I was using the ratio of oatmeal to liquid as in Alton Brown's Slow Cooker Oatmeal recipe, and even w/the addition of a few tablespoons of dry quinoa, I found things a bit too liquidy for my purposes. So the next time I make this (and I will!), I think I'll omit the half and half, and instead save it to pour on top of the cooked porridge. Also the 8 hour cook time might have been a bit too long (though I wasn't using the long cook oats, but steel cut, quick cook oats). I found happy oatmeal homeostasis at 6 hours in the crockpot. YMMV.

That aside, here is the recipe I concocted. 

1 Cup Dry Oatmeal
4 C water
1/2 C Half and Half
1 big fistful of Trader Joes shredded carrots
Roughly 3 T quinoa
2 tsp Chia seeds
pinch of salt

From here on out, you can pick and choose what your add ins will be. (Next time, I'm going to add some crushed, canned pineapple.):

1 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
pinch Mace
1 T Brown sugar (though next time, I'm going to use Torani Sugar free Brown Sugar Cinnamon Syrup--I just was out of it in my pantry)
1 T Maple Syrup
1 T Ginger Syrup (brand name Ginger People) Feel free to sub out 1/2 tsp ground ginger, or perhaps some finely minced candied ginger if you want.
1 Handful raisins
1 Handful dried cranberries

Give everything a good stir, set crock pot for 6 hours. I gave it a good stir after every two hours of cooking time.

Once cooked, I turned off the crock and added  a handful of walnuts (you might prefer pecans or hazelnuts or almonds, whatever nut you like, use that) and about 1 cup of sweet shred coconut (because I'm weird like that, I love coconut in carrot cake).

To be honest, using the ratios of Alton's recipe, I found the oatmeal to be a bit too liquid for my preference. Again, it might be due to the type of oats I used. I added a little more chia to it, knowing the chia would help sop up the excess fluid.

Taste. If not sweet enough adjust sweetener. Use the sweetener of your choice. Given I was making this and giving some to someone who doesn't "do" sugar free, I used maple syrup and brown sugar, but there are sugar free hacks/work arounds for this. I also adjusted the cinnamon, too. I think next time, I'll wait until everything is done cooking then add the vanilla, so the flavor doesn't cook off.

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