If you have to leave early in the morning, you can use a slow cooker to make your breakfast overnight, whether you prefer hot cereal or eggs.
Slow Cooking Hot Cereals
Slow cookers are excellent tools for making hot cereals. When using a slow cooker to make hot cereal, follow these guidelines.
- Liquids as flavoring: Hot cereal is usually cooked with water, but fruit juices can be used to vary the flavor.
- Kinds of grain: The amount of processing a grain has had determines the best way to cook it. Whole grains, such as cracked wheat, require a long cooking time and large amounts of liquid. Processed grains, such as oatmeal, require less water and less cooking time than whole grains. Highly processed grains that have been steamed and flattened by rollers, such as Cream of Wheat®, require the least liquid and the shortest cooking times.
- Personal preference: Some people like their hot cereal smooth and loose, while others like it a bit stiff. Any hot cereal recipe can be adapted by varying the liquid content to achieve the desired consistency: the more liquid added, the looser the cereal will be.
Oatmeal (serves 4–6)
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup chopped dates, raisins, or combination (optional)
- 4 cups water
- Dash of salt
Combine all the ingredients in the crock. Cover and cook on low for 8–10 hours.
Slow Cooking Eggs
Slow cookers don’t provide much of an advantage in making eggs. Though they can be used to poach or hard-boil eggs, once the water in the slow cooker begins boiling, the eggs will poach or boil as quickly as they would on a stove. Slow cookers are ideal, however, for preparing breakfast casseroles. The Western Breakfast below is just one example.
Western Breakfast (serves 6–8)
- 1/2 pound bacon, fried, drained, and broken into pieces
- 1/2 pound sausage, cooked, drained, and crumbled
- 1/4 cup onions, diced
- 1/2 green pepper, diced
- 16 oz frozen hash brown potatoes (1 bag)
- 1/2 pound cheddar cheese, shredded
- 6 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
- Salt and pepper
Mix the bacon, sausage, onions, and green pepper in a bowl. Put a third of the frozen hash browns in the bottom of the pot, then a third of the meat mixture, and then a third of the cheese. Continue making layers, ending with the cheese on top. In a bowl, beat the eggs, milk, and spices together. Pour the egg mixture over the layers. Cover and cook on low for 10–12 hours.