Thursday, April 7, 2016

Steel Cut Pumpkin Oats

If there's one recipe I've made over and over and over again since becoming a new mom, it's this one.  The restorative powers of a hearty, healthy breakfast can not be overstated. 

I generally have a pretty good little sleeper monkey, but some nights there are more wake ups than others, and a warm filling bowl of pumpkin oats is a great way to start a new day.

Since returning to work, I love having a grab and go serving of oats so this continues to be on rotation in my house while the weather stays cool! It's a simple, straightforward recipe that is delicious every time I make it. 

I've tried a dairy free version with coconut milk, and I've tried it in the slow cooker.  While both variations are edible, I found the pumpkin flavor muddied by the coconut milk, and the slow cooker gave the oats a somewhat less appetizing gummy texture.  I recommend the baking option.  Easy as (pumpkin) pie!

Steel Cut Pumpkin Oats, adapted slightly from The Kitchn
Makes about 8 servings

2 Tbsp butter, divided
1.5 cups steel cut oats
1 can pumpkin, or 2 cups pumpkin/squash/sweet potato puree
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
2 cups whole milk
2.5 cups water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 cups toasted pecan pieces
Optional: Maple syrup, cream, or whipped cream for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In large oven safe pot, heat 1 Tbsp butter and sauté oats for 3 minutes until they smell toasty.  Move oats to outside of pan and melt the other Tbsp butter in the middle.  Add pumpkin puree and fry in butter for another 3 minutes.  The mixture might get dark brown and stick to pan, that's OK.

Add sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg and stir it all together.  Then whisk in milk, water, vanilla, and salt.  Scrape those brown spots off the pan and stir it all together.

Put a lid on the pot and bake for 35 minutes.  Carefully remove lid and stir in toasted nuts.  Eat immediately topped with a little drizzle of maple syrup and milk/cream or whipped cream.

I portion out individual servings into Tupperware for grab and go breakfasts throughout the week.