Steel-cut oats Raise the Bar

You will find an oatmeal in nearly every running article, recipe site, or cookbook. The reason? It’s a whole, unprocessed food that’s easy to prepare, simple to digest, and leaves you full, which makes it a great option both pre-workout or post-workout.

I recently discovered steel-cut oats. I had always known about them but never cooked them. Let me tell you: They’ve upped the oatmeal game. If I had to rank oatmeal on deliciousness, the bottom would be those sad, instant packets and the top would be steel cut.

Steel-cut oats have a chewier texture and nuttier flavour than traditional rolled oats. And, because they are processed differently, steel-cut oats are coarsely chopped while rolled oats are steamed, rolled, steamed again, and then toasted. Steel-cut oats are slightly lower on the glycemic index.

The only problem is they take forever (or it feels like forever when you’re starving post-workout) to make, which means it’s not a great option when you’re rushing out the door before work or you’re trying to time your morning long run down to the minutes to give you the most time to sleep, digest, and get out there (and not wake up at dark o’clock middle of the night).

With this recipe, you can cook your oats all night in a slow cooker. It requires very minimal prep, and you’ll wake up with a delicious aroma and great fuel. Even better, you will have multiple servings so you can divide up and stash in the fridge to grab and go all week before work.

Creamy Slow Cooker Steel-Cut Oatmeal


  • Nonstick cooking spray or coconut oil
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup steel-cut oats
  • ¾ cup nondairy milk
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Generous dashes of cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (optional for sweetness)
  • 2 chopped apples or pears
  • 3-4 chopped dates
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • Coconut sugar


  • Sweetener such as honey or maple syrup
  • Dried fruits
  • Chopped nuts
  • Seeds


Coat the inside of your slow cooker generously with cooking spray or coconut oil.

Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

To serve, add a drizzle of milk, honey, and some chopped nuts or seeds.

My favorite combination is chopped 2 apples, 2 tablespoons coconut sugar and a hefty shake of cinnamon and nutmeg. Using a whole cinnamon stick makes it even better. In the morning stir and top your portion with chopped walnuts, more cinnamon and a drizzle of honey.


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