A hearty & flavorful breakfast that’s good for you? Yes, please!
Oatmeal is a nostalgic dish for me; it makes me feel child-like when I eat a bowl of it. Of course, if I’m eating oatmeal in that fashion, it’s more of an indulgence than a healthy meal. Oatmeal itself has a decent amount of calories. Then when I add some brown sugar and put pats of butter on top of it (as my mom would do), it becomes this sweet, salty, indulgent dish. It’s really yummy, but it’s not making its way onto my weekday eating list.
I’ve been seeking a way to make oatmeal into a possible weekday breakfast option. The biggest problem for me is that I try to keep breakfast under 200 calories. With oatmeal as the central ingredient it’s harder to do. However, if you make pumpkin the central ingredient and add oatmeal for texture and body, you have a whole new dish.
When I made my first test batch, I wasn’t sure what to expect. With the pumpkin being the dominant ingredient, I wondered if it would taste odd or wouldn’t be all that filling. The good news is that with a little bit of seasoning it actually felt a bit like I was eating pumpkin pie filling, which was pretty darn yummy. It definitely was a filling dish.
What may have helped make this a filling dish was the addition of egg whites. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make something that had egg whites (which would need to be baked) or go egg-less (which could even be eaten cold). In the end, the egg whites were key for me. They gave a bit more body to the oatmeal and added some protein, which equals fullness.
I made the oatmeal the night before baking and left it in the fridge. This isn’t crucial, but it does help soften the oatmeal a bit. Since I use rolled oats, that gave them an al dente texture. I also am sure people wonder about baking on a weekday morning. There are two options for this. Bake while you’re showering and getting ready, and it’s done at about the same time you are. Alternately, bake the night before, and just reheat your serving. Either way you have a nice, hot breakfast ready for you!
- 1-1/2 cups canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
- 2 egg whites
- 2 tsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ½ cup almond milk
- Spray a small baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Combine pumpkin, oats, egg whites, sugar, and cinnamon in prepared dish, and stir well.
- Cover with foil, and refrigerate for 8-12 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Bake covered for 20 minutes and uncovered for another 10 minutes.
- To serve: scoop half of the pumpkin mixture to a cereal bowl.
- Top serving with 1/4 cup almond milk.
- Sprinkle with extra cinnamon and sugar, if desired.