Hi Friends. As I started to write this post about these Cherry Vanilla Overnight Oats, my mind kept going to the word I chose as my focus word this year. In the last few years I’ve seen more and more friends select a word for the year instead of setting goals and resolutions. That’s what I’m doing this year as well. As I see it, that one word becomes a focal point from which I can focus my day’s activities.
What’s my word for 2015? Flourish. I want to flourish – thrive – in my life and there are four areas I’m working on this year. I want to flourish professionally, physically, relationally, and spiritually.
- Professionally means thriving as a work-at-home homeschool mom, in my parenting, my writing, and with my website. I want to do my best at all these hats I’m wearing.
- Physically means flourishing by eating healthy and exercising regularly to be in the best health I can be, and to be an example to my friends and family.
- Relationally means growing deeper and stronger relationships with friends and family.
- Spiritually means strengthening and growing in my faith, knowledge, and wisdom; and having Christ as my guide. If I’m rooted in Him I can flourish in all these things.
How does this relate to a recipe for overnight oats? Well, a healthy breakfast is a nourishing way to start the day, and that helps me flourish physically. On a cold, winter day a bowl of steaming, warm oats in the morning provides a breakfast filled with whole grains, B vitamins, fiber, and iron. Since this recipe uses steel-cut oats you get the benefit of protein as well.
There are a few things to consider when you make overnight oats in the crock pot.
- First, make sure you spray the inside of the crock pot with non-stick pan spray before adding any ingredients. The oats will still stick a little, but not as bad as when it’s not sprayed.
- Second, try this recipe during the day before you try it overnight. I can’t stress this enough. Your crock pot may cook things a little faster or slower than mine, and you’ll want to know if the suggested times work for you. If it cooks too fast on low, see if your crock pot has a warm setting that you could try instead.
- Third, add the cherries and vanilla in the morning right after you wake up. Then get ready for your day. This will give the cherries and vanilla a little bit of time to soften up and add flavor to the oats. I tried adding them at night and slow cooking everything overnight, but the cherries became overcooked and lost their flavor and color. The vanilla just disappeared and you couldn’t even tell it had been added. So for the best flavor and mouth feel, add these two ingredients about half an hour before serving.
These cherry vanilla overnight oats are a delicious, nourishing way to start the day. Enjoy!
Cherry Vanilla Overnight Oats
- 1 c. steel cut oats
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 c. water
- 1 1/3 c. skim milk
- 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 Pinch salt
- 1/2 c. dried cherries
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- Spray the inside of the crock pot with non-stick pan spray.
- Add oats, cinnamon, water, milk, brown sugar, and salt. Stir lightly to combine.
- Cover with lid and turn crock pot on low for 6-8 hours.
- About 1/2 hour before serving stir in dried cherries and vanilla. (I do this first thing when I wake up and then get ready for my day. The oats are then ready when I get back to the kitchen)
- Serve and top with your favorite add-ons. (Toasted slivered almonds go very well with this recipe)
Have you picked a focus word for 2015? I’d love to hear what it is and why you chose that word. Tell me in the comments below.