Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fall Day Trip to Brown County

Yesterday, we took a family day trip to Brown County State Park to celebrate our 5 year anniversary next week. Aaron surprised me on a trip to Brown County our first Fall that we were together in '04 to check out the trees and the hills. It was a relaxing getaway for us since we were living the city life in Chicago! We took a picture there together against the beautiful foliage and used it as our save-the-date cards for our wedding. And now that we live so close in Indy it's less than a 90 minute drive.

We took a hike on a 1-mile trail and it was beautiful! It was a crisp day of about 50 degrees so we bundled Ava up in the stroller and took the dog and realized that the trail was not paved. We went back to the car and used the sling pouch to carry Ava. She was getting tired and started rooting on me to nurse so we decided to have Aaron carry her since there wasn't a place to stop and nurse. Then she fell asleep really happily in the sling. Good thing the sling is reversible and the gender-neutral brown side isn't so bad for Aaron to use...Haha! My job was to take Bena and she was loving every minute. Vizsla's are bird pointing dogs and she loved to stop and point at the birds. We had a nice hike and it was a good workout too! Carrying your baby and walking a strong dog helps maximize the workout!

After the hike at the State Park, we went into the small town of Nashville, which is a couple miles outside of the park, for a late lunch. I carried Ava in the sling around the town and we had a relaxing lunch on the main strip. Nashville is a touristy, artist colony and in the Fall season so it was really busy. Since we were eating later, we didn't have to wait too long. Ava was in a great mood and very playful. I had been nursing her frequently throughout the day so she was really content. We had a booth and she sat between us playing. She reached toward a water glass for a drink. She likes to drink it from a glass like mom! The women in the table next to me were commenting on how much they liked my sling. Ava and I love it too! She feels close, secure, and can even sleep. I'm planning to get a ring sling next so I can have enough give in the fabric for nursing on the go.

After the lunch, we headed to the Outlet mall since it was on the drive home. We haven't been shopping in ages since we've been busy with Ava. We stocked up on essentials for all of us. I needed some 12-month size sleepers for Ava and Aaron picked up a few new clothes, too. I got to spend my birthday money for some new clothes to freshen my Fall/Winter wardrobe.

Packed Snacks for the Day Trip: The trip was easy because we had snacks with us for the drive so we couldn't be starved or settling for junk food.
  • Before we left for the trip, I made a quick Breakfast Burrito to eat in the car since we were running late.
  • I packed two squash pecan muffins for a snack because they're nutritious and filling.
  • I threw together homemade trail mix from what I had in the pantry: peanuts, raisins, a few chocolate chips, dried cranberries and whole wheat honey pretzels. We left the shops at 6pm and since we were going to cook a quick dinner, I need something to hold us over. I picked up a pint of milk from the gas station where we filled up before the drive home and we snacked on the homemade trail mix. Not only is it economical, but it's way healthier to pack healthy snacks for the family.
You might like this post about individual serving packets of nut butter for a healthy snack. Yum!

I saw a family arrive at the State Park and eat their lunch at the car. They pulled out white bread sandwiches! I couldn't believe it. I haven't seen a bag of Wonder Bread in my house since I was a kid. We're a whole wheat bread family in our house. It amazes me that people would eat that for lunch.

When we first got to the Park, I was nursing Ava in the car in the backseat. She coughed on the milk, chocked and then grew up over both of us! In the moment we were wondering if we should have come with the baby, but a quick clean up in the bathroom helped us feel ready to enjoy the day. I know lots of parents that take their children out and about everywhere. We're still learning the best things to do and bring with us so we won't have too much to pack. We're learning the balance act along the way! All of these experiences help us with our confidence as parents and help enrich Ava's early development. A little baby puke never hurt anyone right? :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Product Review: Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping Bustier

This post is for my working, breastfeeding mom friends. You know I'm all about time saving tips. I have to share this really cool new product that I've been using the past couple weeks. I pump at work 3 times a day and have been holding the breastshields in place and balancing my iPhone to check email or make calls at the same time. Now, I'm using this Simple Wishes Hands-Free Pumping Bra. I tried a Le Leche League branded pumping bra and it just didn't work for me so I was a little hesitant to spend more money on something that might work, but this product really blew me away.

I thought at first that you had to wear this every day, but then I realized that you can zip it on really quickly over your existing nursing bra that you're already wearing. I don't use the shoulder straps. I keep this bra in my pumping bag at work and then just take home once a week to wash it.

My favorite part is that the holes for the breastshields are very secure because they open in two different directions. You slip the shields in the first direction and then the other, then make sure that your nipples are in the center of the tunnel. The bra is highly customizable for fit so the shield seal really well, I find that pumping is faster and there's less mess! I used to get drips on my clothes because I was flipping pages or moving around. These milk spots leave marks from the milk fat.

I find that since the breastshields are so secure, they are strong enough to use a variety of bottle sizes 5oz or 8oz and even the Medela Pump and Save Bags. I'm a high volume mom so I like that no matter if I use the bottle or bag, everything is stable. All that milk can get heavy and it still does a great job and keeping everything in place. I get the Pump and Save Bags from the Milk Bank that I donate Ava's extra milk to and it's great because I put them right to the freezer when I get home from work.

The best part is that I can type with both hands, which makes me super productive. I can work and pump at the same time! It's SO awesome! Before I took my laptop in with me to pump sometimes, but I used it to read industry articles and review documents. Now, I'm able to sit back and relax or work depending on what's going on and it goes so quickly. At work, we book the Mother's Room in 30 minutes increments in Outlook and if you're running behind because of meetings, it's nice to have a bra like this to help you get in and out efficiently. Timing is tight because there are other moms sharing the room so we have to be diligent with making our designated times during a crazy work day.

Helpful hints...
  • Before you pump for the first time, adjust the fit at home before you go to work. This helps because you can making all the adjustments at home and take your time to get the right fit. At work, you only have a very limited time to pump.
  • I have to sit upright and make sure that I'm not slouching so there's room for the bottles or Pump and Save bags to fill.
  • Once you turn on your pump, you might need to make minor adjustments to the tunnel placement.
  • When you pull the breastshield off make sure to tilt it away from you so that you can save the milk in the shield.
  • I use the bustier without the shoulder straps because it's easier to slip it on just before pumping.
I'm very impressed with this time saver. It's well worth the $35 purchase price to make your pumping session easier, faster, and much more efficient.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

One Whole Chicken, Three Dinners

Last Thursday, I stayed home from work sick with a fever and a terrible cold. I dropped the baby off at daycare for a few hours so I could sleep and went to Costco to pick up a few essentials. I picked up a whole Rotisserie chicken for $5 which is a great price because not only is it already cooked, but it's also growth hormone free chicken.

Meal 1: Veggie, Chicken and Brown Rice Soup - 6 servings
That night because I wasn't feeling good, I used the chicken thigh and drumstick meat to put in soup.

I started with chopping and sauteing veggies that I had on-hand in produce box: onions, celery, carrots, garlic, zucchini, and kale (here's my easy tip on cleaning leafy greens and lettuce). I added a quart of chicken broth, fresh water, seasoning, and a cup of brown rice. I brought it up to a simmer. After it was simmering for about 45 minutes, I added the chicken pieces at the end since it was already cooked. I kept the pieces of chicken fairly large, but still bite sized. I just pulled the chicken off the bone and added it to the pot.

This soup was very nourishing all weekend for me and it was so easy that it wasn't hard even being sick and by myself with the baby since Aaron was out of town.

Meal 2: Chicken Broccoli Casserole - 6 servings
On Sundays, I make a big batch of food so this casserole was great. I ate it for dinner by myself and then Monday night it was easy to reheat for us after a day at the office. I used fresh broccoli and a few other veggies since I felt I didn't have enough broccoli (only 1 pound). I used the chicken breasts and chopped them in large bit-sized pieces and combined the chicken and veggies. The recipe called for a white sauce (flour, butter, and milk with cheese and seasonings added). Then it said to soak bread pieces in a 1/2 cup of milk. It baked in the oven for about a half hour.

Make your favorite chicken casserole and serve with rice. I served mine with slices of fresh Roma tomato.

Time-saving tip: reserve the small leftover pieces from the chicken in a container and store in the refrigerator for green salads or my meal #3....

Meal 3: Chicken, Veggie, and Cheese Potato - 3 servings
Last night's dinner was really easy. We made an easy favorite meal that takes just minutes - Chicken, Broccoli, and Cheese Potato (here's the recipe). Except last night, I didn't have any more broccoli, so I used fresh steamed cauliflower. Green beans work, too. It's a baked potato with cooked chicken, broccoli/cauliflower, cheese and a dab of sour cream. I like to add sliced green onion on the top of mine.

So there you go. I used a $5 Rotisserie whole chicken and made 3 meals all week and they were all tasty and healthy. Add your favorite easy meals with using Rotisserie Chicken in the comments if you want to share!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My First Solo Mom Weekend

This past weekend, Aaron was off for a 4-day annual canoe camping trip in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with his two best friends. They take a canoe down the river with their gear and camp along the way. It the first time Aaron had got out of town since Ava was born. It's a little scary since Aaron doesn't have mobile service when he's up there. I was home sick from work on Thursday, which wasn't a good way to start things off. I was lucky that Ava was content to play while I cooked myself some chicken, veggie, and brown rice soup that night for dinner. I ate the entire pot of soup throughout the weekend and it really hit the spot since I wasn't feeling great.

Since I was sick on Thursday, I decided that I should go into the office on Friday instead of do my usual work-from-home day. I got the baby ready for daycare on Friday morning by myself without being too late for work. It was a miracle! Aaron helps me so much in the morning by getting Ava dressed and one last clean diaper. He plays with her while I'm pumping and getting Ava's first bottles ready for daycare and getting dressed. I have to pump after she nurses and before I leave for the office because of my high volume supply and I like her to have that first bottle from my morning milk. The morning milk is less fatty and more thirst-quenching. I try to give Ava what she would get from me if we were together. It all worked out! I got her to daycare, even though I was still really sick with a fever! I know lots of moms survive their partners traveling, but this was my first time so I was happy.

Friday night, our family friends came to stay with us because their daughters raced in the marathon. I was glad to have the Bollingers staying with me and Ava because the house is a little too quiet without Aaron here. On Saturday morning, Ava and I were getting ready to Skype with one of best friends and I noticed a crazy sight in our backyard. The neighbors horses were loose in our yard! I took this picture, but there were 8 horses in all. I freaked out and so did Bena. She barked in the sun room like crazy. I was planning on going to there house to tell them that the horses were out and by the time I went back downstairs, they were called back home. I was surprised how easily they went back when called.

Saturday afternoon we had a playdate with one of the babies at daycare, which was fun. Ava and Corey are really cute together! They like to socialize. The rest of the weekend flowed really well. Ava was in such a good mood and we took naps together so I could rest and get over my cold.

Sunday morning, I set Ava down on the counter next to the coffee maker while I was pouring my coffee. She was reaching for the tomatoes so I gave her one to look at. I thought it was so funny that I took a picture, then when I looked back it was in her mouth! Ironically, she hates solid food, but seems to like to put that tomato in her mouth to ease her sensitive teeth and gums!

Another first this weekend...Ava rode in the shopping cart sitting up in the front. We just switched her from the infant car seat so now we have to carry her or use the stroller when we go places. I bought this really cushy shopping cart pad that folds in on itself so it's easy to use. I REALLY liked it! It's great because you don't have to clean the cart and it's cushy on the sides to help hold her up. Even though she's stable, she does get tired and falls over sometimes.

I did a lot of cooking! Ava likes to be in the kitchen with Mommy. I cooked a butternut squash, pumpkin, and beets on Saturday night. Then on Sunday made a pumpkin pie, butternut squash and pecan muffins, and a broccoli chicken casserole. I put on music in the kitchen and depending on what I was doing had Ava in the Bumbo chair, lying on a blanket with toys where she played or in the sling while I was using the stand mixer. Ava loves to watch the Kitchen Aid mixer!

Overall, it was a very relaxing weekend with PERFECT Fall weather. Most of all it helped raise my confidence that I can do the solo-Mommy thing once and awhile. But it sure was so sweet to have Aaron home for all of us!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Family Photos and End-of-Summer Remembered

I can't believe I haven't shared these pictures yet! I was on the computer the other day and looked through them again and it reminded me of that beautiful, balmy summer day at Butler University's campus that we took these pictures. We did this shoot at the end of August when Ava was about 5 1/2 months old. She was in a fantastic mood that day. We went all over the campus to different spots and she was a trooper through all of it!

I'm working on a photo memory book that starts with my pregnancy/maternity photos, then goes to Ava's birth, then shows the first 6 months of her life with us. No doubt these pictures will be a great addition to the book! Here's a look back at our family photos: maternity, 10 days old, and 2 1/2 weeks old.

Our friend also shot my nursing photos with Ava that afternoon, which I was so excited to document because we spend a lot of time together nursing and I wanted Ava to have pictures. I've heard about moms that use nursing photos for their toddlers when they're "gently" weaning. The moms share the photos with their toddler explaining that nursing was very special for both of them since they were born and now it's time for them to grow up a little more. Also, my photos will be part of a project called Nursing is Normal, an initiative to show public nursing.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Our baby girl had a big month now that she's 7-months old, we're having even more fun as she's expressing herself very strongly sometimes! She has a loud, confident voice. Sometimes Ava yells at the top of her lungs just to hear her own voice.

Ava Marie just had her first Apple Butter experience last weekend. We went up to Northern Indiana and joined in on my sister-in-law, Megan's in-law's family event. They make apple butter on a farm every year for the past 4 decades! Last year, Megan and I were both pregnant and this year, the two cousins were there to witness all the fun. We went with Aaron's parents, while he was golfing with his best friends. We came home with 3 pints of fresh, naturally sweetened and smoky apple butter in jars for the upcoming year. I gave her a taste on my finger and she gave me a funny face and then blew a raspberry. But then, Ava took a couple more tastes at dinner with encouragement by Grandma and Grandpa. Here she is lounging with her Great Grandma Berkey on her lap while Grandpa is stirring the apple butter. We just learned that the Aaron's Great Grandmother's full name was Ada Marie, but everyone called her Marie, which is why we used Marie as Ava's middle name. It's so close to Ava Marie. I thought it was meant to be. Great Grandma Berkey tells lots of great stories about her mother being a very strong woman. I know she'll be proud to hear these stories as she grows.

What Ava is up to at 7-months:
  • Two bottom-front teeth are out and visible.
  • Sitting up for extended periods on her own, but she loves to do a "trust fall" on pillows, in your lap, or on the bed. She thinks it's very fun to fall back.
  • Ava is very happy and smiles when I pull out my iPhone! She's conditioned to smile for the camera now. Too funny! At daycare yesterday, Ava had the "giggles." Her caregiver said that she couldn't stop laughing every time she looked at her. Even this morning, I entertained her by jumping up and pushing my arms out while she was in her swing. She laughed so hard!
  • Ava is obsessed with movement. Even as a newborn, Ava was obsessed with ceiling fans. She loves movement so much that her hands are always moving. She smiles when the wind hits her face and watches the leaves on the trees move or the flag in our front yard.
  • Trouble with daytime naps. I'm amazed by how much she fights daytime naps. Sometimes the one way I can get her to sleep is in the sling or when I lay next to her in bed. I will nurse her in bed and then sneak out. That started with teething and adjusting to her new nursery room at daycare. It's much louder in there with the 12 babies moving around. She's still sleeping very well overnight at home.
  • Waving goodbye. We wave to her a lot when we're saying hello and goodbye. The first time I noticed was when I was dropping her off at daycare last Monday. As I walked toward the door in the arms of her caregiver, she waved goodbye. And this past Sunday, I left Ava with her Daddy as they laid tummy to tummy and she watched me head downstairs and she waved goodbye. What a precious girl!
  • This coming month, I'm going to re-start her on solid food. I have applesauce and sweet potatoes cooked and frozen in ice cubes ready for her. And this week, I'm planning on cooking up a butternut squash from my produce box. She liked bananas last time so I'll use that to start with again. She hasn't been especially hungry and breastfeeding satisfies her so I haven't been in a hurry to get her onto solid food.
  • Ava is very vocal "Dada" "Daw" for Dog. I tell Ava to say "mama" and she replies "Dada!" I know she'll get it eventually. A couple times, Ava has said "daw" for dog when she sees Bena. She loves Bena so much. When Bena comes near Ava, she laughs and shakes her entire body. Ava has been babbling for months, but now she talks all the time, especially when she's playing with her toys when we put her on the floor. She rolls to her side and plays with her favorite toys like the bear head that tops her set of rings. She also likes the cardboard mailers. She won't put it in her mouth, but she likes to bend the paper with her hands and bang it on the ground. Sometimes it sounds like she's singing when she's talking. She likes music and they play it a lot at daycare.
That's the fun things that we're up to these days. Ava and I are having a girls weekend. I have arranged a couple of playdates on Saturday and Sunday with babies the same age. That will be fun for both of us. Aaron is headed up the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for his annual canoe camping trip Thursday to Sunday night. Tomorrow night I'm baking cinnamon bread for Aaron to take on the trip. Every year, Aaron goes with his best friends and the wives pitch in by making them food to share. They eat like kings for sure!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Breastfeeding Story

I'm so excited to share my breastfeeding story with the moms in La Leche League and all of you. My guest post was published today on the blog for my local LLL chapter that I attend. The moms in this group are very supportive and if you're pregnant or nursing at any stage - nursing or toddler, the comfort that these moms can provide you as you navigate the breastfeeding parenting style is amazing!

My story is about my journey of growth and learning of becoming a mother. Our family friend, Shawn Pierce, took these nursing photos as part of a Nursing is Normal project that he's spearheading with his wife, Jill, who is a new LLL leader. We took them at Butler University and in the first picture on the top left, that's Aaron sitting on the bench near us. The project seeks to raise awareness for breastfeeding in general, especially nursing in public so moms won't feel intimidated with nursing their babies.

Every breastfeeding mom has their own story of their nursing relationship with their children. My relationship with Ava is centered on our bond that we share and I believe it largely stems from our breastfeeding relationship that we worked hard to master. What I've learned is fathers have a part in this relationship as the support for mom and baby. They are in the triad! Some nights all we do is nurse and then that's when Aaron makes me a sandwich or washes dishes for me. My husband is truly a dream come true.

What is your story?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fall Season Brings New Changes for our Family

The new Autumn season is here and you can feel the cool air and it even smells different from just a couple of weeks ago. We're wearing longer sleeves, sleeping under blankets, and the heat is warming the house at night. October is my favorite month! My birthday is next Wednesday, too. I love birthdays. I embrace my age every year because it marks a new year to enjoy. Ever since I moved to the Midwest, I've enjoyed the Fall season even more. Especially here in Indy because our house is surrounded by trees so you experience all the seasons.

Ava is 6 and 1/2 months now and changes are happening every day.
  • Her two teeth have surfaced and we're passed the ugly teething pain from last weekend that kept her awake. She has bit me already once while breastfeeding, but luckily it didn't hurt too badly. I squealed and she jumped and pulled off. She feel asleep so it's not like she did it for entertainment. I can't for the life of me get these tiny teeth photographed. I'm sure other parents can attest that it's hard to get babies to open their mouths long enough!
  • She's sitting on her own now. Although when she's tired she throws herself back and we call it the "trust fall" because she falls back knowing she'll hit something cushy or we'll catch her. We put a pillow behind her and she does a little crunch to pull herself up, but she can't do it on her own. She entertains herself that way, which is scary because there won't always be a pillow behind her.
  • The biggest change is Ava graduated to the older baby nursery at daycare. She'll be in this nursery from now until about 15 months. There's a lot of activity in this nursery with the babies that are crawling, playing and walking. The fun part is that she has lots of friends there that she started daycare with in the newborn nursery. She has transitioned better than they expected, although she was pretty attached to her first set of caregivers. With the change, Ava is having a harder time with naps. Since she wasn't napping with the loud noise, I replaced her daycare blanket with a blanket with fresh home smells including a receiving blanket that I slept on the night before so it could have "mom smell." We put the thin receiving blanket on top of the crib sheet and she had 2 one-hour naps at daycare that day. I was very pleased! I think it's working. They don't have many breastfed babies in that nursery so they were unsure when to feed her. I told the new caregivers about Ava's feeding cues so they're learning to read her. I leave them instructions on feeding-on-demand, but they were still unsure when she was hungry because she doesn't cry much. So now, they are looking for her little signs, like burying her face in their chest and turning her head and opening her mouth. Check out my post about daycare tips for breastfed babies and about the working mom balancing act.
  • Another change is that we're leaving Bena outside during the day while we're at work and taking her to doggy daycare once a week to save on costs. She's doing great with it! She's been trained on an electric fence at the house and slowly we've been leaving her outside on her own while we're out on the weekends running errands. Since she enjoys the outdoors so much, Bena often spends most, if not all the day out in the yard stalking birds, deer, and relaxing in the grass. Aaron installed a dog door in the garage and we have a bed for her to lay on. The only downside is the post office and UPS like to drive up to our front door to deliver packages since we our house is set back from the road. Bena barks like crazy at them, which really freak them out! She's very protective. I've told them about the electric fence so if she's out and we're not there, they can leave the package on the other side of the wire. But just to be sure, Aaron found a fun sign that he posted on the driveway about halfway up. Here's the picture from today after our walk.
  • New role at work, still working at home 2-days a week. I started reporting to a new team in the Marketing group at work focusing on our Partners. The ironic thing is that the director of the group was the person that originally hired me at ExactTarget. My first week on the job last summer, moved from Product Marketing to Partner Marketing along with my current manager. I'm so excited to work with them again and I'm looking forward to making a big impact with our Reseller and Embedded Partners. I'm even trying something new, by owning lead generation campaigns. They both work out of their home offices in Portland and our team is very virtual, so we use Skype for video conferencing. I do my weekly catch-up meetings with my manager on Skype on Friday's when we're both working at home. I love it! The balance of work at home two days a week is amazing because I can have more time with my sweet Ava without the commute. With Ava having a harder time napping at daycare, I can keep her home longer in the morning so she can go there rested. Then I pick her up around 4pm. It makes a big difference in our day.
Loving the Fall colors: We took a family walk this afternoon on our street. It's a hilly walk and beautiful today with the Fall colors. Ava was snug in her sling. We both like the closeness of the sling and it's often times more convenient than a stroller. Since she's now over 19 lbs, it's a good workout for me to carry her around without it straining my back. I'm still slowly losing the baby weight. My body is different after carrying Ava, but I know I'll get there.

Don't forget to check out my post on making Steel Cut Oats in the crockpot. We had them for breakfast today. It was perfect for a lazy Sunday morning.

Our family was in a video for our User Conference, Connections, acting as my coworkers family. Check it out, the video is called "Joel Book - Family."

Slow Cooked, Overnight Apple-Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats

This week, I planned a morning wedding celebration for my coworker and was looking for a breakfast dish that was easy to make in the slow cooker overnight. I thought of oatmeal because of the cooler Fall weather. I got a recipe for Steel Cut Oatmeal from a family friend who learned it from a whole foods cooking class hosted by a doctor's office. She and her husband were very focused on nutrition and wellness and I remember him talking about how much he liked this recipe. So I was glad she shared the recipe because I came home with an empty crockpot. The oats were gone at the end of the party and my coworker thought it tasted more like an apple crisp than a breakfast food! You don't need to add a lot of sugar to these oats because of the natural sugars from the fruit.

Last night, I decided to make another batch for me and Aaron. And I have a slight addiction to oatmeal from the Au Bon Pain cafe in my office building so I'll bring the leftovers to work this week and save a few bucks! Aaron teased me and called it "porridge" but he liked it.

The Overnight Apple-Cinnamon Oats are great for hosting house guests or a busy household with family members that get up at different times of the morning. Today it was so fantastic to get up and grab a bowl of oats while the baby was having a morning nap and I could eat before she woke up. You can put out spoons, bowls, napkins, and toppings for your guests or family to customize their bowls.

Steel cut oats because they are minimally processed have the most fiber and protein than other oat varieties.

Suggested toppings:
  • Dried fruit - such as raisins, apricots, cranberries, blueberries.
  • Sweeteners - brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup
  • Nuts - walnuts, almonds, or pecans
  • Fresh fruit - sliced banana, strawberries, or peaches
  • Milk
Overnight Apple-Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats: Serves 6-8
You can find steel cut oats in the bulk bin at your local health food store such as Whole Foods (my fav!) or check out the Red Mill brand. They have a package sold at grocery stores nationwide.

  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • 8 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t0 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 apple, peels left on chopped
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • Preheat slow cooker to Low setting.
  • When it's warm, use a the back of a spoon and push coconut oil around the slow cooker including the sides to prevent sticking. It WILL stick! It happened to me the first time I made it and my friend forgot to tell me about that part.
  • Add oats and purified water. Then add mashed banana and chopped apples. Add in sea salt and spices. Stir.
  • Cook on Low for 8 hrs.
  • If you can get up early, stir the oats in the morning and make sure to change the setting to "keep warm" if it looks like you'll need the oats for the late morning.
  • Serve it up.

What's the difference between Steel Cut and Regular Oats? The whole grain is called an Oat Groat. Regular oats are more processed. The grain is sliced thin and flattened into flakes. Steel cut is a coarser type of texture because it's cut in pieces and not flattened. Check out this post comparing the different types of oats. Steel cut oats need to be cooked much longer, which is why the slow cooker is a perfect way to do it!