Imagine coming down to breakfast to the delicious smells of apple and cinnamon wafting round the kitchen. This Overnight Apple and Cinnamon Porridge recipe means you put everything in the pot before you go to bed, and it’s done when you wake up. Perfect school fuel – with slow-release energy oats, fruit and a little bit of spice. Nice!
I’m not going to lie. My kids aren’t big on porridge. But I’ve stopped counting how many of my friends tell me their kids love it and I’ve both marvelled and felt slightly envious at the same time. Packed full of slow release energy, with no added sugar or fat, porridge is up there as the best breakfast cereal of all time, so I wish mine would get just a little bit interested.
To be fair the only reason I ate porridge as a child was because we ladled huge spoonfuls of Golden Syrup on top; the porridge was just a vehicle for the sugar. Till now, whenever I’ve made porridge for the kids I’ve done it in the microwave, which is a slightly hit-and-miss affair – think Goldilocks and the Three Bears: sometimes it’s too runny, sometimes you could stand a spoon up in it and it’s ever so slightly, shall we say, rubbery? It’s no wonder I have no takers.
I’ve learned the hard way that to make perfect porridge you really do need to cook it on the stove top. But who has time to do that on a school morning? Well, let me introduce you to a little tip I’ve just learned: slow cooker overnight porridge.
Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker just before you go to bed, turn it on to low and let it cook while you’re asleep, which is about seven hours but depends on your slow cooker. When you wake up, breakfast is not only ready, it’s delicious, warming and the perfect food to fuel your kids with.
There are so many different flavours you can add to overnight porridge but this one uses our lovely seasonal British apples (together with Scottish oats, this is a perfect dish for British Food Fortnight). Add some cinnamon and a little brown sugar (optional but it’s my little indulgence), and what you get is a lovely golden apple crust with creamy porridge underneath.
One quick word of advice. Make sure you grease your slow cooker really well before adding the ingredients, to avoid burnt-on porridge (difficult to get off, believe me!). To be safe I’d really recommend using the double boiler method in the Top Tips box.
I like to top this with pecans or walnuts coated in maple syrup, but raisins, honey and a splash of milk are all good options, but really it’s up to you and whatever you know the kids will eat.
So while I originally made this for all my friends whose kids love porridge, I did also try this on my own kids, and yes, they liked it enough to give it a 7 out of 10 – more than I expected. I’m hoping it’s the start of a whole new porridge era.
Makes 4 servings.
- 90g of porridge oats (about 1 standard coffee mug's worth)
- 700ml milk (you can use less or more depending on how creamy you like this or you can use half milk and half water)
- 2 to 3 Tbsp brown sugar (optional)
- 2 large or 3 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into cubes
- 2 Tbsp butter
- Grease the inside of your slow cooker with the butter (if you're not using the double boiler method in our Tips section - recommended!)
- Put all the ingredients except for the apples into your slow cooker or bowl.
- Give it a good stir to mix well and dissolve the sugar (if using).
- Add the apples.
- Turn the slow cooker on to low and cook for 7 hours.