Oatmeal

I rarely make New Year’s resolutions, and I definitely don’t make any related to dieting.  All things in moderation, right?  That said, there are a few things I’ve been working on for a while now.  One of them is making better choices for breakfast (as hard as I try, even I can’t convince myself that cookies are a healthy way to start my day).  So, when I saw this pumpkin oatmeal while watching Food Network recently, I made a mental note to give it a try.  The thing I really love about oatmeal for breakfast is that its one of the few foods that keeps me feeling satisfied until lunch.  Plus, warm and comforting food is always welcome on cold winter mornings.  

I know it isn’t really pumpkin “season” right now, but canned pumpkin is available just about year-round by me so I don’t really consider it to have a season, and I love it too much to only eat it a few months of the year.  This is a simple recipe you can whip up on Sunday night or Monday morning, and then reheat for breakfast the rest of the week.  It’s highly adaptable too.  You could add brown sugar to the pot when you start if you want extra sweetness, or switch up the dried fruit (or leave it out entirely).  I garnished my oatmeal with extra raisins, dried cranberries and a drizzle of maple syrup and highly recommend the dried cranberries, which pair beautifully with the pumpkin.

Pumpkin Oatmeal
from Aarti Sequeira (via Food Network)

1 (14-oz) can pumpkin puree
2 cups water
2 cups milk (or water, if you prefer)
2 tablespoons raisins (plus extra for serving, if desired)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or substitute w/ a combo of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg)
2 cups oats (I used Quaker old-fashioned)
maple syrup or honey (for serving, optional)
dried cranberries (for serving, optional)

Add the pumpkin puree, milk, water, raisins, salt and pumpkin pie spice to a large saucepan.  Set over high heat and bring to a boil.  Add the oats to the pan and lower the heat to medium.  Cook, according to the instructions included with your oats, stirring often, until the grains have absorbed the liquid and are tender.  My old-fashioned oats took about 15 minutes to cook completely.

Serve garnished with additional raisins or dried cranberries, or drizzle with maple syrup or honey.