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My friend Katie brought the most amazing thing to work one morning. It smelled like warm carrot cake but it looked like a healthy bowl of oatmeal. Plus, she told me it’s mostly vegetables, it’s vegan, and she made it overnight in her crock pot. Guys. Someone needs to tell me about these things sooner. I’m counting on you.

She pointed me here for the recipe, which is one blogger’s test kitchen post of a recipe from The Vegan Slow Cooker, which is now on my wish list of books because it looks like a work of pure genius.

I’ve adapted it quite a bit, so if you compare my version to the original you’ll get a good idea of how flexible this recipe is. Here’s how I make it…

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 large carrots
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 1 cup steel cut oats*
  • 1 quart (box) vanilla flavored nut milk (I use Coconut Dream)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • .25 cup maple syrup (more if you like it a little sweeter)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • .5 tsp clove
  • .5 cups chopped walnuts
  • .25 cups raisins

Instructions:

  1. Optional: cover the bottom a crock pot with a thin layer of grape seed oil, or spray interior with cooking oil spray (it marginally helps with sticking, I usually skip)
  2. Spread oats in bottom of crock pot
  3. Grate the carrots, zucchini, apple and sweet potato (this is where a food processor comes in really handy) and pile on top of oats
  4. Sprinkle all the spices, salt, syrup and vanilla over the grated veggies
  5. Pour the nut milk over everything
  6. Set crock pot on low overnight, or for at least 6 hours
  7. Wake up to the most amazing smell
  8. Stir in walnuts and raisins, adjust thickness with additional nut milk if necessary

You’re going to want to stir it – go ahead! I’ve done it both ways and it doesn’t seem to matter. I find that mine burns just a little around one area of my crock pot no matter what, so I lose about 5% of the recipe. But all crock pots are different. I made this at my parents’ house and found that it needed more time to get the same result – closer to 9 hours. Like I said, it’s a very forgiving recipe so you’ll still enjoy the outcome as you learn what works best for you.

*Oat Note: This ratio of ingredients works perfectly for me with the steel cut oats you get in a bulk bin. When I bought a big bag of Bob’s Red Mill Quick Cooking Steel Cut Oats, I found that I had to add a quarter to a third of a cup more oats to get the same consistency. Bob’s also carries gluten free steel cut oats.

 

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