Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Morning Munchies - Sweet Potato Pumpkin Autumn Oatmeal Bake

Ahhhh...Fall is in the air - at least for me it is!

Hearty dishes made with savory, filling ingredients; pumpkin patch visits with the family; festive Halloween decorations; crackling campfires; deep, earthy hues; crisp, chilly nights...my mind is centered around Fall.  Every Good Housekeeping or Family Circle with fall-themed covers that arrive at my doorstep and that line the store shelves excite me, putting me in the Autumn spirit.  The Edy's Slow Churned Pumpkin Patch Ice Cream that I found at the store yesterday and purchased without any hesitation seems to help, too (seriously...go buy it!).  As more Autumn influences found on magazine pages, displayed on store shelves, and hinted on the color-changing trees seem to increase daily, my ideas for meals fitting for that refreshing, cooler weather seem to grow as well. 

Everything about Fall screams coziness; as such, I wanted to incorporate that feeling within my breakfast.  Combining the flavors and ingredients that many seem to associate with Fall, I created a Sweet Potato Pumpkin Autumn Oatmeal Bake.  This warm, filling oatmeal bake with hints of toasty walnut, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg spices will make you crave one of those days where you snuggle up with a comfy blanket and your favorite book underneath an open window while letting the brisk breeze encompass you. 


Ingredients:

Topping:
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup mashed sweet potato
  • 2 egg whites or 6 tbsp. liquid egg whites
  • 2 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • cinnamon and ground cloves to taste
  • 1 tbsp. chopped walnuts
  • maple syrup, optional

Oatmeal:
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. black walnut extract
  • cinnamon to taste
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • cooking spray/butter/oil of your choice
Recipe:

Prep:

In order to soften the sweet potato for mashing, you can bake it, steam it, or do what I chose to do and microwave it.  First, I rinsed the sweet potato, dried it, and poked holes all around with a knife.  Then, I microwaved the sweet potato for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes, I checked for firmness and decided it needed another 3 minutes of zapping, so I flipped it over and microwaved it once more.  My sweet potato was rather small; the time it takes to soften it depends on the microwave and sweet potato size.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Magic-making time:
In a bowl, whisk egg whites until slightly frothy.  Mix in pumpkin puree, mashed sweet potato, almond milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and ground cloves until everything is evenly combined.  In a separate bowl, combine the oats with the baking powder, turmeric, ground cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Add in a couple drops of walnut extract to give that lovely, maple smell along with some almond milk.  With a spoon, lightly stir all the ingredients together, just until the oatmeal becomes damp.  Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray (or use butter or oil), and evenly line the bottom with the oatmeal mixture.  Spoon the sweet potato pumpkin mixture on top, spreading evenly once again.  Sprinkle crushed walnuts all over the puree and dash some more cinnamon on there.  Place the oatmeal bake into the oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until the topping sets; a toothpick should be able to be inserted and removed without any residue.  Remove the bake from the oven, let cool for a couple minutes, drizzle with some maple syrup if you are so inclined, and savor the loveliness of Autumn with every bite!


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