Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tastes like autumn: Pumpkin Oatmeal

Oatmeal is one of those things it seems people either love or hate. My mom, for example, won't touch the stuff (no matter how often I try to get her to have some), while I quite enjoy it, especially when the weather turns cooler. That being said, I much prefer steel-cut oats than the rolled/quick cook stuff... I find it has a much more satisfying taste and texture. So with autumn rolling in, there are baked pumpkin oatmeal recipes flying all over the place and they all call for rolled oats. Having tried one of these recipes recently, I was not impressed... the thing I don't like about rolled oats is the glue-y texture they end up with, and baking them just seems to amplify that. It was like a big casserole dish of pumpkin-scented paste. *herk*

So! This morning I decided to try my own version of Pumpkin Oatmeal using steel-cut oats, and I must admit, the finished product is much more appealing:



To make was quite simple... I cooked the oats as per the normal directions, which for mine is 1 part oats to 4 parts water. For a healthy serving, I boil 1 cup of water and add 1/4 cup oats. To that I added a few dashes of pumpkin pie spices... I used some nutmeg, allspice, clove and cinnamon but go with your preferences. Let that bubble away on medium heat until the water is mostly absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. I then added about 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree, mixed it in and lowered the heat to low, letting it warm through for another 5 minutes or so. You can cook more or less according to your preference... I like my oats creamy and al dente, but if you want them softer, just add a bit more liquid and cook a few minutes longer.

Into a serving bowl and top with a dollop of butter or margarine - a little added fat does wonders for oatmeal! Also a bit of sweetener... I used brown sugar but you can use maple syrup, agave, white sugar, etc. Mix it all up and top with something that has a bit of crunch to add some texture... I used a bit of trail mix and shredded coconut. Pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries would be especially nice with this one. And that's it! Pair it with a hot cup of coffee and a fuzzy pair of slippers and enjoy! :) 

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