Why would I be making a pumpkin dish in this summer heat? Well, because our refrigerator's compressor died and I have lots of processed garden grown pumpkin in the freezer that defrosted and I can't let go to waste! This recipe from a bookmark a decade ago from the Heart Association recommends I eat more sugar than I'd typically eat for breakfast along with dairy milk. This works with any other sweetener or dairy free milk which is more my taste. The pumpkin and spices along with the slow cooked oats are what makes this good... the dairy and refined sugar isn't really need but for fussier guests I follow as directed!
2 cups uncooked steel cut oats
1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin
6 cups water
1 cup low fat half and half
1 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, firmly packed
2 teaspoons light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon walnuts, chopped
1. Lightly spray a 3.5-4 quart slow cooker with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in the pumpkin. Gradually stir in the water and half and half. Stir in the raisins and vanilla.
3. Ladle the mixture into the slow cooker. Cook, covered, on low for 7.5-8.5 hours. Serve topped with the remaining brown sugar and walnuts.
Notes: Refrigerate any leftover oatmeal for up to 3 days. Put the desired amount in a microwaveable bowl, cover it and reheat it in the microwave at 100% power (high) adding a bit of fat free milk as necessary for the desired consistency. (The chilled oatmeal will have thickened).
We go in food phases in our house, one day we love oatmeal but the next day I'm finding expired packets that need to be tossed. One of those throwing out days I wondered if there's a better way to get great tasting instant oatmeal... after much experimentation there is!
There's tons of recipes out there, this is a good basic that works for us. I mix a batch up and portion out into half pint jelly jars, labeling the lid with a dry erase marker. At first my husband laughed skeptically at these rows of jars but after a few days he was asking what exactly is in these and bringing friends in to see his wife's crazy good oatmeal collection! Now it's a staple in our house.
Home Made Instant Oatmeal
2 1/2 cups Quick Oats or Regular Oats
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
Blend 3/4 cup of the oatmeal in a blender or food processor (I use Vitamix with grain mill blender container but not needed; just a few pulses to it up to a heavy powder). Mix ground oatmeal with other ingredients, adding to a container with sealed lid (or ziplock bag). Shake up really good to combine. This is the instant oatmeal base that will make 9 servings. Sometimes I mix a few and leave the base which my husband likes because some days he adds a little more plain to his bowl or he feels like going outside my jars and mixing his own!
To package for individual servings add the following to a half pint jelly jar:
1/3 cup of the oatmeal base along with flavoring mix-ins such as: 1 tsp seeds (chia, flax) + 2 tsp grain, nuts or dried fruit (oat bran, wheat germ, any ground nut, choppied dried fruit) +1-3 tsp sweetner (stevia, coconut sugar, vanilla sugar, or more brown sugar) + 1/8 tsp spice (cinnamon, apple pie spice, grains of paradise) + pinch salt
Or use your imagination and follow the above proportions (aprox 3 tsp flavorings + 1-3 tsp sweetner +1/8 tsp spice) along with the 1/3 oatmeal base. Some of our favorites include: coconut, hot cocoa mix, chocolate chips, and PB2 dried peanut butter.
To cook the oatmeal:
For regular oats: add about 3/4 cup liquid to a bowl along with contents of the jar. Cover and microwave about 2-3 minutes depending on the microwave. Our favorite liquids to use are soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk, hazelnut milk. Chocolate versions of any of those are obviously really good!
For instant oats: add boiling water directly to jar, about 1/2" from the top. Cover and let sit about 5 minutes. You can also add 2 tsp powdered milk for creamy consistency with the water. I love this option for the office since it's so easy.
I've also done overnight oats with this method: add desired liquid (any milk works great or water for lower calories) to jar, about 3/4" from top. Regular oats will still be runny in the morning and I'm not a fan of cold oats so I do heat up in the jar, covered, watching very closely heating in 30 second increments because it will overflow very quickly!
We have become more creative with our mix-ins and came up with snappy concoctions such as: Almond Joy (almonds, coconut, chocolate chunks, coconut sugar), Cherry Pie (dried cherries, graham cracker crumbs, vanilla sugar), Peanut Butter Cup (chocolate chunks, PB2 dried peanut butter), Pina Colada (dried pineapples, coconut sugar, coconut)... the possibilities are endless! Let me know if you come up with any options we must try!
is the smallest kitchen ever. We used to watch those decorating shows that said they were doing small kitchens and then could see that 4 of my kitchens would fit in their "small kitchens".
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