Slow cooker recipes: Better breakfasts

Crockpot french toastEveryone knows dinner can be made in a Crockpot, but you may not realize that breakfast can too. Instead of starting your slow-cooker dish in the morning, you get it going at night right before you go to bed. That way, when you wake up, breakfast is served! Use a programmable slow cooker that switches to warm when it’s done. That way you can sleep well knowing your breakfast won’t get overcooked.

A great dish to start with is Alton Brown’s Overnight Oatmeal. It uses steel cut oats, which are heartier than the rolled variety and hold up well with the long cooking time. But don’t stop there! Go beyond oatmeal with these other morning meals, both designed specifically for your slow cooker.

French toast with berries

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1 loaf Tuscan-style bread, torn into 2-inch-sized pieces

12 eggs

3 cups milk

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 bag frozen mixed berries (or fresh if in season)

1/2 cup maple syrup

Grease inside of the slow cooker with butter. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla. Spread one-third of the bread on the bottom, then pour one-fourth of egg mixture over bread. Spread half the berries on top. Repeat with one-third of bread pieces, one-fourth of the egg mixture, and remaining berries. Top with remaining bread and pour remaining egg mixture on top. Press slightly to help bread soak up egg mixture. Drizzle maple syrup over top and bake on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.

Nutritional Information (Makes 10 servings)

Per serving: 333 calories;13 total fat; 346mg sodium; 39g carbohydrates; 2g fiber; 14g protein

 

Breakfast risotto

1/4 cup coconut oil

1¼ cup Arborio rice (risotto)

1/2 cup farro

1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped

1 large pear, peeled, cored and chopped

2 bananas, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup pepitas or sunflower seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 cups whole milk

2 cups water

Turn the slow cooker on high and add coconut oil to melt. Add risotto and farro and stir to coat with coconut oil.  Add the apple, pear, bananas, pepitas and cardamom. Stir well. Combine milk and water in a small bowl and pour over grain/fruit mixture. Cover, switch heat to low, and cook for 5 to 6 hours.

Nutritional Information (Makes 6 servings)

Per serving: 261 calories;4 total fat; 58mg sodium; 52g carbohydrates; 4g fiber;7g protein

 

Note: Steel cut oats, Arborio rice and a variety of seeds are available at many Michigan grocery stores, like Bullseye Marketplace in Vandalia. We previously shared some tips on cooking with a Crockpot so check those out if you haven’t used one before.

 

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