Porridge has always been a family favourite, and this slow-cooked porridge makes it even easier to feed the family a healthy, nutritious and delicious breakfast each morning.
Slow cooking oats not only makes consistently great porridge, but it also frees up more time in the mornings - and older kids are able to serve themselves a yummy warm breakfast straight from the slow cooker. However they are cooked, oats are a brilliant breakfast option for kids as they are both filling and gut-friendly - as well as being high in manganese and they keep blood sugar levels under control.
100g rolled oats
1.2 litres whole milk
1 - 3 tbsps clear honey or maple syrup
Small amount of butter for greasing
This will serve 2 - 3 people; simply use an additional 50g of oats per serving - along with 400 - 600ml extra milk per extra portion.
Butter the inside of the slow cooker to stop the porridge from sticking, then add the oats and milk into the cooker
Give the oats and milk a good stir before replacing the lid on
Cook on low, setting the timer for 6 - 6.5 hours
Once cooked, stir in the honey or maple syrup and serve immediately
The first time you try the porridge in slow cooker method, it is best to do a trial run during the day to make sure you know exactly how long your cooker takes to cook the porridge to your preferred consistency. After this trial run, you will know exactly how long to set the timer for, which could be anything from 5 - 7 hours.
Use large, rolled oats or steel-cut oats for slow cooker porridge, as the smaller, quick-cook oats tend to become mushy with this method. Rolled oats and steel-cut oats are harder to break down as they haven't been processed or cut for more speedy cooking times.
If you're adding fresh fruit or vegetables to the recipe, use slightly less milk to counteract any extra liquid from the fruit.
You can use a mixture that is half milk, half water - or even add some fruit juice for a sweeter version.
If you are adding dried fruit into your porridge mix, then it can be a good idea to make the porridge in a double cooker inside the slow cooker - as it will ensure that the fruit doesn't burn or stick to the pan. Simply place a heat-proof bowl, such as pyrex or ceramic, into the slow cooker, then pour water into the slow cooker pan so that the smaller bowl is sitting in the water. Then add the porridge ingredients into the smaller bowl, and cook as usual.
Substitutions and Alternatives
If you are looking for ways to get more fruit and vegetables into your children's diet, then they can easily be hidden in this porridge cooker recipe. In addition to the oats in the slow cooker, you can include some grated apple and carrot as well as some delicious spices to make a warming carrot cake slow cooker treat. Follow the recipe above, adding in 2 medium apples and 1 large carrot (both grated) as well as 4 - 6 dates (chopped) and 1 tsp of cinnamon and another of vanilla extract.
This recipe can be easily made with oat milk or nut milks for a dairy-free version (also, grease the pan with coconut butter or dairy-free spread in place of the butter).
Sliced banana, a swirl of cream, chopped dried fruits such as figs, apricots and raisins, chopped nuts, flaxseed, fresh or stewed fruits are all delicious toppings for porridge slow cooker-style.
Without toppings, this slow cooker porridge can be enjoyed by very young children as soon as they are eating solids.