Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal


Well, it is officially fall now!  Although I never understood why some people get so entirely bent out of shape over friend's or even stranger's seasonal and culinary preferences, I did wait until the official day had passed to put this particular recipe out there!  Well, I kind of have an opinion on it...  People are bored, addicted to social media, and think they have a say in other people's lives when they just need to tend to their own.  Me, I like spring and fall best, winter next, and summer last.  I hate the heat, and that means anything over 75ºF (23.9ºC) for me, with 72ºF being perfectly heavenly.  As my kids proclaimed during a "would you rather" session, you can always add layers, but you can only get so naked.  My very good friend absolutely thrives in hot weather that would make me pass out but she hates the cold.  Everyone is wonderfully different and I certainly don't begrudge her love of warm weather, even if I definitely don't share it.  So I never had an especial love of pumpkin spice or pumpkin flavored things, I have never gotten the infamous PSL, (pumpkin spice latte).  But I do enjoy pumpkin; it's a superfood and good for you in so many ways.  For this application, where only a couple tbsp are needed, I dollop the rest of the can of pumpkin onto a parchment lined tray in 2 tbsp portions and freeze it.  Then it can be stored in a freezer container or ziptop bag until needed.  Just take out one portion and stick it in the bowl while heating up the water and boiling the oats and it should be nicely thawed in time to mix into the oats.

Our family always made chewy oats that are cooked in a lot of water and then drained.  And so I never preferred creamy, gummy oatmeal.  Given the phytic acid in oats, I think the cook and drain method is probably better anyway for unsoaked or unsprouted oats, but feel free to cook the oats to taste!  We like some tooth to our oats and this recipe has great texture.  Creamy from the pumpkin, chewy from the oats, and crunchy from the nuts; a very satisfying breakfast bowl.  Now, is the whipped cream really needed?  The dish is vegan without it, but if we're going to call it pumpkin pie oatmeal, I think it is absolutely required.  Leave it out if you wish, or use a dairy free alternative, but it is seriously good with it!

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
makes 1 very generous serving

½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
pinch of salt
2 tbsp pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
¼ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp of cinnamon
Dash of fresh ground nutmeg
2 tbsp chopped toasted or crispy pecans, divided
1 tbsp maple syrup
Whipped cream or dairy free alternative (technically optional, but not really 😉)

Fill a small pot of water ¾ with water and bring to a boil.  Add a pinch of salt and add the oats.  Boil for 10 minutes for thick oats or 8 minutes for old fashioned oats, (or as desired).  While oats are cooking, combine the pumpkin, 1 tbsp of the pecans, maple syrup vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. 

Feel free to serve with a little milk if desired.  Garnish with a little whipped cream and the remaining pecans.