I received a Hamilton Beach 4-20 Cup Rice and Hot Cereal Maker for review in exchange for this post featuring my caramelized apple oatmeal recipe. I was not otherwise compensated.
It’s cold in Chicago, and I’m moving away from my morning smoothie bowls and homemade cereal to lots of poached egg dishes and oatmeal. Tons and tons of oatmeal. I love how oatmeal can be a vehicle for so many different flavors. It’s so versatile, but this caramelized apple oatmeal is our current favorite.
I make this oatmeal with steel cut oats for a variety of reasons, but you could also make this with standard oats and simply cut down the cooking time. This is hearty and keeps you full because of the protein and fiber, but it isn’t too sweet. That said, I actually made a batch of this for my family for dessert the other night, and they loved it. Total win.
The oatmeal I make has a secret ingredient. I add egg. Yes, really. I whisk an egg into the milk before adding it to the oats to cook. It gives the oatmeal a fantastic creaminess and gives it protein that it sometimes lacks otherwise. Once I discovered this trick, I haven’t made oats without it since.
The other fun secret to this caramelized apple oatmeal recipe? I make it in my rice cooker. I know you just did a double take, but the Hamilton Beach 4-20 Cup Rice and Hot Cereal Maker does a fabulous job of not making perfect rice but also so many other functions. It comes with a steam basket in addition to the regular insert, rice paddle, and measuring cup (because rice is measured differently from a standard measuring cup). I can easily steam veggies to go with the rice I’m making for dinner while the rice cooks. And my daughter’s current favorite? It steams tamales like a dream.
As much as I love(d) it, this is not the rice cooker my husband bought me before we were married. This rice cooker does so much more, and the easily programmable buttons on the front make it intuitive and easy to use. My absolute favorite feature is the delay start. I can delay the start time for up to 15 hours. No more last minute rushing to get rice cooked or six hour old rice for dinner.
This is the feature you can use to set up your oatmeal to cook in advance. If you do that, leave out the egg and use water instead of milk. You’ll get close to the same taste and texture for those morning where you can’t wait 20 minutes for breakfast to cook itself while you walk the dog or take a shower or other morning routines.
And yes, you can truly use it to make a ton of things. I use it for oatmeal most mornings now, but I also made the kids’ new favorite soup with this rice cooker. I did everything from soaking and cooking the dried chick peas to sauteing the onions and garlic before I started to cooking the soup itself. The only time I removed it from the rice cooker was to puree it in my high speed blender before serving. And wowsers was that soup good!
But back to the focus. We’re talking about caramelized apple oatmeal here. This recipe makes enough to serve two and you can absolutely increase it to serve your whole family. Because everyone wants some of this once they smell it!
How to Make Caramelized Apple Oatmeal…In Your Rice Cooker
Start by chopping your apples. Use firm apples with good taste that hold up well to cooking, just like you would with a pie. My favorite is always Granny Smith. While you could remove the peel, there’s no need to do so. Why go through the extra work and remove the nutrients in the peel if you don’t have to?
Add the apples to the bottom of your rice cooker, reserving a few pieces for garnish at the end if you choose. Top with the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Sprinkle all of these so they are spread amongst all your apples.
Add steel cut oats over your apples and spices. If you choose to use regular oatmeal, reduce the cooking time to 7 minutes. The rest of the recipe remains the same.
Whisk together milk and egg until homogeneous. Carefully pour this over your oatmeal. Do you see how the egg is completely incorporated into the milk? No scrambled eggs in your oatmeal allowed!
Shut the lid to your rice cooker, and set the time for hot cereals at 18 minutes. I love that I can choose how long to cook my grains! Walk away until this has finished cooking. I love that I don’t have to worry about anything scorching, I don’t have to watch the stove, and nothing gets stuck to the bottom of the pan. Making my caramelized apple oatmeal in the rice cooker is such a win!
Once the rice cooker beeps to let you know it has finished, open the top and stir. It may be a little bit loose, but it will come together within just a couple minutes. Alternatively, the Hamilton Beach 4-20 Cup Rice and Hot Cereal Maker automatically switches to warm once it finishes cooking, and you can let this rest for up to two hours until you’re ready to enjoy it.
Serve in bowls with the reserved apple chunks and sprinkle with a little more cinnamon. A healthy breakfast has’t tasted this sweet in awhile!
Have you ever tried caramelized apple oatmeal? What unusual item do you make in your rice cooker?
This caramelized apple oatmeal recipe is easy to make and has a secret ingredient to boost protein and make it creamier. This is a perfect low maintenance breakfast! Pop it in your rice cooker (you read that right!) and don't worry about anything burning or walking away from your stove. This is a filling and delicious cold weather comfort food.
- 1 large Granny Smith apple, chopped
- 3 T brown sugar
- 1 t cinnamon
- 1/4 t nutmeg
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 c steel cut oats*
- 1 3/4 c milk
- 1 egg
- Chop apples into bite size pieces. Add to the bottom of your rice cooker. Sprinkle brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt over the apples. Add oats next.
- Whisk milk and egg together thoroughly. Pour over oats. Close top and set rice cooker to hot cereals for 18 minutes (7 minutes if using old-fashioned oats).
- When rice cooker finishes, stir and let sit for 2-3 minutes if too loose. Serve immediately, garnishing with additional apple chunks and sprinkles of cinnamon as desired.
*You can make this with old-fashioned oats, as well. In this case, reduce the cook time to 7 minutes.
You can also prep this recipe the night before and delay the start so it's ready when you wake up. In that case, use 2 cups water in place of the egg and milk. Do not have milk or egg sitting out overnight before cooking.