Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday Morning Munchies - Baked Cinnamon-Spiced Pumpkin-Apple Oatmeal

Nothing starts the week off better than a yummy, satisfying breakfast!  Every Monday, I hope to give you all a delicious yet healthy breakfast recipe to keep you filled and happy.

Monday is my Sunday, so I get the chance to make something that requires a little more effort or time.  For about a week, I've been waiting to try this idea out, and I definitely was not disappointed!  While this breakfast does require a little baking time, it can be made the night before and simply reheated in the morning.

Once again, I was inspired by this late summer, soon-to-be-fall weather (probably because last week felt like fall over here!).  Baked Cinnamon-Spiced Pumpkin-Apple Oatmeal for one is a healthy, nutritious breakfast that warms your soul and simply makes you feel good.  The slightly sweet, spicy smell of apples and cinnamon will also fill your kitchen, comforting and relaxing you when you sip a cup of coffee or tea while waiting for breakfast to be ready! If you want to make this for the whole family, just multiply the ingredients by the number of mouths you will be feeding.



Ingredients:

  • 1 small red delicious apple, cubed
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled outs
  • 1/4 cup almond milk, or any other milk you have
  • 3 tbsp. liquid egg whites, or the egg white from 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp. chopped walnuts
  • dash of salt
  • cinnamon - as much as your little heart desires!
  • water
Note:  If you do not have ground flax seed, you can substitute the egg white and flax seed for a whole egg - this will give you the much needed protein!

Second note:  I do not like my oatmeal very sweet; I like the sweetness that fruits add naturally to my oats.  If you like things a little sweeter, feel free to add sugar or any other sweetener of choice.  Maple syrup lovers can also top the oats prior or after baking!

Recipe:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a small saucepan, mix together half of the chopped apple cubes, a little water to cover up half of the layer of apples, vanilla extract, and a lot of cinnamon (to taste...in my case, a lot a lot).  Heat the mixture on medium-low heat until the apples soften and the natural sugar from the apple "thickens" slightly; this will have an almost syrupy texture.  Most of the water should be absorbed in the end, so don't add too much; remember, you can always add more!  In a bowl, whisk the egg whites until frothy.  Then combine the egg whites with the milk, pumpkin puree, and apple sauce until it is nicely blended; it should turn a slightly orange color from the pumpkin.  In another bowl, mix together the oatmeal, baking powder, salt, more cinnamon, and flax seed.  Stir the egg mixture into the oatmeal until well combined.  Once the saucy apples finish cooking on the stove, add them to the bowl and mix all together.  Toss in the other half of the chopped apples; including some uncooked chopped apples adds both a different, crispier texture and taste to the oatmeal that the softened, cooked apples won't provide.  Pour the oatmeal into a small baking dish - mine is about 5"x5".  Evenly top the oats with the chopped walnuts, and place into the oven.  Bake for around 30 minutes, or until a toothpick can slide in and out of the middle of the oatmeal cleanly.  Let it cool for about 3-5 minutes before eating, just enough so that it is still warm without being piping hot; if you try to eat it right away, one, you will burn yourself, and two, the flavors have not settled all together yet so it won't be as appetizing!  Serve and enjoy!

I wish you a wonderful, tasty start to your week :)


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