I've developed a small dependency on those sugar-laden oatmeal packets. I know they are so not the best thing out there, junk masquerading as healthy, but I can't help it. The packets are convenient, make a great pre-run snack and are a great base for pumpkin oats. Oh, and did I mention they are convenient?
While my beloved slow cooker steel cut oats are also convenient, tasty and great with pumpkin, I had them for two ... three weeks in a row. Boring! I needed something new - something healthful and something not so full of sugar. And then, as if she knew I was on the hunt for a change, a co-worker mentioned wanted to try barley for breakfast.
I had barley a time or two and loved it as a cold mix-in to yogurt but the gray, rainy weather had me itching to make a warm barley bowl.
Pumpkin Chai Slow Cooker Barley
Adapted from the recipe here
2 cups strongly brewed chai tea
1 cup apple juice (I used Motts for Tots, which has 40 percent less sugar)
3/4 cup barley
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Add all ingredients to slow cooker; stir. Cook on low for 8 hours or overnight. Enjoy with splash of almond milk and garnish with raisins, nuts or favorite toppings.
Have you ever tried barley? What's your favorite way to eat it?