So it’s officially fall. Time for pumpkin. I’m always game for pumpkin, but it just seems especially wonderful in the fall. The color is perfect and vibrant, the texture is as soft as your favorite worn-in sweatshirt, and the spices that usually go with it just can’t be beat. It’s heavenly any time of the day, but it just seems extra special to indulge in pumpkin-laced treats first thing in the morning.
I chose baked oatmeal for my first heart and belly warming pumpkin meal of the season. The night before had been emotionally draining and I knew a baked pumpkin dish and a good cup of creamy coffee would be just what I needed. It sure was. Creamy and comforting, it was just what the doctor ordered.
Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
6 TBSP unsalted butter, divided
2 medium Granny Smith apples, chopped (I left the peels on.)
1/4 c. plus 2 TBSP brown sugar, lightly packed, divided
2 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
1 c. walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
4 c. old-fashioned oats
1/2 c. unsweetened dried cranberries (optional)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
4 c. very hot water
2/3 c. pumpkin puree
½ c. milk
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray or butter a 2-qt. casserole or baking dish.
2. Melt 2 TBSP butter in a
medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped apples, 2 TBSP brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Sauté, stiring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add nuts and sauté 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
3. Meanwhile, pour oats, remaining brown sugar, maple syrup, remaining 2
teaspoons of cranberries, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves into dish. Pour hot water over and stir until mostly combined.
4. In liquid
measuring cup, whisk together pumpkin, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Stir, along
with apple-nut mixture, into oats until completely combined. Bake 35-40
minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, about 5 minutes, before serving. Serves 6.