6 Slow Cooker Breakfasts for Easier, Healthier Mornings
Your slow cooker is good for more than just soups and stews, and make-ahead breakfasts need not only be those that are pulled from the refrigerator. Don’t get me wrong, we love overnight oats for all that they offer. But so long as your bedtime self is doing a solid for your morning self by way of sorting out breakfast in advance, there’s no need to limit yourself to chilled oatmeal. Enter these slow cooker breakfasts.
Just as you might set the slow cooker in the morning to be greeted by the warm smell of dinner upon arrival after work, slow cooker breakfasts offer those same, cozy vibes, for when you wake up. Rather than set it and forget it, with these healthy slow cooker breakfasts, you can set it and dream about it. What could be better for getting out of bed on the right side of it than brunch-worthy breakfast whose prep and cleanup were both allocated to a higher-functioning hour of your day?
With everything from eggs to energy bars, here are six slow cooker breakfasts to make for easier, healthier mornings.
1. Crockpot Egg Casserole
Even better than waking up to the smell of a savory breakfast casserole in the morning is the opportunity for your evening self to gently encourage your morning self to eat a serving of veggies first thing. This crockpot egg casserole includes red pepper, spinach, and artichokes on the vegetable front, and is loaded with protein.
You can also easily use it as a template for other casserole-style slow cooker breakfasts by changing up the protein, vegetable, and cheese components to suit your taste or nutritional needs. You can also omit the bread for more of a frittata-style approach. However you make it, you’re also setting yourself up for several days of healthy breakfasts or even lunches.
Try the recipe at Well Plated by Erin.
2. Crockpot Sweet Potato Lentils
While probably intended to be a dinner dish, the comments for this Crockpot Sweet Potato Lentils recipe mention that it makes for a cozy breakfast. And why not? The texture is essentially porridge, the stuff that fairytale breakfasts are made of.
Plus, you need not settle for one superfood for breakfast when this provides two. Between sweet potatoes and lentils, you’ve got a laundry list of everything that is good and wholesome: not only fiber, protein, and vitamins to help put your best self forward, but also components that can help lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
Savory breakfast aficionados will love this as written, but sweet tooths can easily change this up by omitting the aromatics, swapping vegetable stock for water or low-fat milk, and substituting sweet spices like cinnamon and nutmeg for garam masala and chili.
Try the recipe at Pinch of Yum.
3. Homemade Slow Cooker Apple Butter
Orange juice isn’t the only great source of vitamin C in the morning, as an apple provides 10% of the recommended daily intake. Apples also have pectin, a prebiotic that can improve gut health and aid in digestion. So when life gives you apples, make apple butter, naturally.
Apple butter doesn’t get the attention it deserves, in my opinion, outside of the fall farm stand season. Essentially a condensed applesauce, this Slow Cooker Apple Butter recipe includes no added sugar, for a naturally sweet, thick spread perfect for spreading on multigrain toast.
Try the recipe at Ambitious Kitchen.
4. Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Of course, you can still have your overnight oats and eat them too, even in the realm of slow cooker breakfasts. Just as you would assemble refrigerated overnight oats in a bowl or mason jar, you can take those same components and add them to the slow cooker for a warm, cozy version, whose aromatics will rouse you from sleep in the most pleasant way possible.
This Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal recipe keeps it simple with basic oatmeal ingredients, plus the inclusion of raw apples and baking spice. Using low-fat milk instead of water provides a creamy texture, as well as a dose of additional protein to start your day.
Like the egg casserole above, as well as overnight oats, slow cooker oatmeal is also highly customizable; whatever flavor oatmeal is your jam can be overnighted in a warm way.
Try the recipe at Chocolate Covered Katie.
5. Overnight Quinoa Breakfast Porridge
Oats aren’t the only grain worthy of the slow cooker porridge treatment, and quinoa is a worthy adversary when it comes to crafting a hearty, healthy, slow cooker breakfast. Here, they join forces with strawberries, bananas, and almond butter for a morning meal that is low-maintenance in its prep, but has a high impact on its nutritional value. It’s an excellent source of protein, fiber, calcium, and iron to the proceedings while being filling and tasty to boot.
Try the recipe at Live Eat Learn.
6. Slow Cooker Quinoa Energy Bars
You don’t necessarily have to employ the overnight treatment with the slow cooker to set yourself up for breakfast success. These energy bars can be made in your slow cooker at any time, for homemade, whole-food grab-and-go convenience perfect for breakfast or snack time. Sweetened with a touch of maple syrup as well as dried fruit, these protein and fiber-packed bars are better than anything you would otherwise find individually wrapped.
Try the recipe at Food Faith Fitness.