Pumpkin slow cooker steel cut oatmeal is a wholesome healthy recipe perfect for fall mornings! Made with warm spices and tender pears for a naturally sweet taste. Cook overnight and wake up to a hot nutritious breakfast waiting for you in the kitchen. Plus, your house will smell like fresh baked pastries!
Let’s add a fall flavor to the most important meal of the day. This pumpkin slow cooker steel cut oatmeal has all of the right ingredients for a warm and cozy, effortless meal. I’m going to show you how to take simple ingredients and transform them in your slow cooker for your new morning go-to recipe.
Each bowl is bursting with warm spices, tenderly cooked pears, naturally sweet pumpkin puree, and nutritious oats. Grab your trusty slow cooker and let’s get to it!
Do you own a slow cooker? After a very long time without one, I finally made the purchase. I guess I just didn’t realize all of the amazing benefits of using a slow cooker. Now, I can’t live without my handy 6 quart Crock-Pot cooking buddy.
Each bowl of this breakfast is gently cooked to ensure the steel cut oats have thickened to a creamy oatmeal with a little bit of chew. It’s delicious! The slow cooking process unlocks and infuses the wonderful flavors of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves, all of the lovely notes you would want in a classic pumpkin pie, but so much healthier for you!
The health benefits of Steel Cut Oats
There are many great nutritional benefits of eating steel cuts oats! They come from the same plant as rolled and instant oats, but the difference is in how they are processed. Steel cut oats come from the whole grain, which the kernel is cut into very thin slices, which helps it retain more protein and fiber.
In just 1/4 cup of dried oats, you get 5 grams of fiber, 2 grams coming from insoluble fiber. This is unique because some studies have shown d-beta-glucan contained in insoluble fiber, is associated with improved blood sugar levels in diabetes and improved cholesterol levels.
It also contains complete protein containing all the essential amino acids, providing 7 grams of protein per 1/4 cup serving. The whole grain oats also provide natural sources of B vitamins and iron. There are also gluten free steel cut oats available in the market for any individual dietary needs.
The biggest surprise when you lift the lid after HOURS of anticipation is that the pears all float to the top! Each piece of simmered pear is super tender, adding extra layers of flavor and juicy fruit to each spoonful. It’s pretty amazing 🙂
Let’s talk about toppings for a minute, and this is where you get to have a little fun! Even though there are lots of spices already in the oatmeal, I like to add a sprinkle of extra cinnamon to make those spices POP.
If you like a like crunch and sweetness, grab some of your favorite dried or fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds. I added diced pear, cranberries, pecans, pumpkin seeds and a little bit of granola I had in my pantry.
A little drizzle of maple syrup and honey would be a nice touch too. I’ve also been using a lot of liquid stevia to naturally sweeten my meals without adding extra calories.
You wouldn’t believe how much my son James is addicted to this oatmeal recipe, he requests it for almost every meal! Good thing the slow cooker can make a huge batch that lasts us nearly a week so I can just grab some whenever he asks. I feel good about offering this meal to him because it’s got so many nutrient-packed ingredients such as fiber, protein, and vitamins collectively from the oats, pear, and pumpkin.
The pumpkin is a super food that contains beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A, essential for eye health, and just one cup contains seven grams of fiber and three grams of protein, and we’ve got TWO cups in this recipe, boom!
This pumpkin slow cooker steel cut oat recipe is the easiest way to meal prep so that you can reheat on demand. No excuses for not getting a wholesome breakfast, especially when it’s got so many nutritional benefits to energize you at the start of your day!
What is Pumpkin Puree?
I’m sure you’ve seen the famous orange Libby’s pumpkin puree can. According to the USDA, defines canned puree as “The canned product prepared from clean, sound, properly matured, golden fleshed, firm shelled, sweet varieties of either pumpkins and squashes by washing, stemming, cutting, steaming and reducing to a pulp.”
I would recommend choosing the products labeled 100% pumpkin to ensure you’re getting the actual product you’re looking for, and it should be unsweetened. The difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin filling is the latter already has spices and sweeteners added, which you would only want for making pre-made pie filling.
Healthy Pumpkin Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal
- 2 cups steel cut oats
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree, (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups pears, 1/4-inch dice, Bosc or Barlett, skin on, about 2 pears
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups milk, unsweetened cashew, almond, soy, coconut or dairy
- Add all of the ingredients into a 6 quart sized slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on high heat for 4 hours, or on low heat for 8 hours. Oats can be cooked overnight. Oats are ready when thickened and tender. Add toppings if desired, enjoy!
- Topping Suggestions: Pecans, diced fruit, dried fruit, seeds, maple syrup, honey or stevia.
- I like to add more spices after cooking to my bowl of oatmeal for even more flavor.
- You can substitute apples for pears.
- You can make the oatmeal with 8 cups of water and then top with milk when serving instead.
- I don't add sweetener to the oats when cooking because I think it has a nice natural sweetness already. Also, this allows you to add sweetener later as desired. If you do want to add some additional sweetness, try 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey added to the slow cooker during cooking.
- Cooked oats last one week refrigerated in a tightly sealed container. You can portion the oats in individual servings and refrigerate or freeze for a meal prep option.