Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

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The first sickness of the fall/winter 2014 season has entered our home in the most unwelcome fashion. I shouldn’t be surprised after the past week of sick co-workers and clients, but I was unrealistically hopeful that my immune system would protect me and I would escape the clutches of this cold. DEAD WRONG! ha. No amount of immune boosting essential oils or Neti-potting (verb?) saved me from becoming the next unlucky recipient. Insult to injury: flu shot on Thursday. I will forever believe a flu shot is the precursor to getting sick…bless the nurses at work who try to convince me otherwise. 😉 So instead of doing all the errands and chores that I should be doing, I am trying to rest and blog so I can recover quickly!

Comfort foods have been my friend the past two days; thank goodness I still have my appetite! This morning I was craving something warm and comforting with bold flavors to counteract my weakened tastebuds. Pumpkin spice oatmeal definitely fit the bill. Oatmeal always reminds me of weekend breakfast as a kid; I liked my oatmeal with waaaayyyy too much brown sugar and just a touch of milk. Luckily my preferences have evolved over the years, and as much as I still love brown sugar, sometimes its nice to glam it up a bit. The warm pumpkin pie spices (and extra cinnamon for good measure) were the perfect choices to transform a boring bowl of oatmeal into a fall spice heaven.  Plus, pumpkin = vegetable. And vegetable for breakfast = healthy choices!

I used a combination of almond milk and water to cook the oatmeal; you could also use cow’s milk, soy milk, rice milk, or whatever milk alternative you like. I find using a combination of milk and water creates a creamier texture in the finished product compared to using water alone and prevents leftovers from turning into a big glob of cement. I made a big batch this morning and stored the leftovers in the refrigerator for the upcoming week. Chop extra walnuts for the leftovers too!

Ingredients

Note: Look for certified gluten free oats to ensure this recipe is gluten free! 

  • 2 c. almond milk
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/3 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/4 c. to 1/3 c. brown sugar (adjust depending on how sweet you like your oatmeal)
  • 1 1/2 c. old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)

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In a 2 quart saucepan combine the almond milk, water, pumpkin puree, pie spice, ground cinnamon, maple syrup, and brown sugar. Whisk to combine the ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

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Add the oats and stir to combine.

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Simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed and the oats are tender; approximately 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to rest for 2-3 minutes before serving; the oatmeal will continue to thicken as it cools.

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Spoon oatmeal into bowls and top with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts. I love the crunchy texture of the walnuts against the creamy consistency of oatmeal. This oatmeal is the epitome of a healthy breakfast with fall flavors, I just love it! Enjoy! :)

 

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