I know it’s the wrong time of year, since it’s almost Spring, but I had a giant can in the cabinet leftover from pumpkin muffin making season. And anyway, I can think of at least one person (you know who you are) who would argue that it’s always the right time of year for pumpkin. So last week I felt like baking a pie, and pumpkin seemed the logical choice based on the contents of my pantry. Then I had leftover pumpkin puree, and I needed a filling breakfast to eat on the train while on my way to a babysitting job at the ungodly hour of 7am. Thus I created the shockingly delicious and filling Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bowl, involving raw rolled oats, pumpkin, soy yogurt, raisins, cinnamon and nuts all placed in a plastic container the night before and stirred together into a cold orange slurry while riding the G train.
Someone recently suggested more snacky things on the blog (sorry Ray, I failed to come up with a chip alternative), so I took my remaining cup of pumpkin puree and got to work on a breakfast cookie. It’s not quite perfect, but I like it and I am excited that there’s a lot of room for fun variations. You may prefer something a little sweeter. If so, I suggest adding a few tablespoons of maple syrup or honey in step 3. A more natural route to sweetness might be to grind a few dates with the nuts, but you’ll have to try it and let me know how that turns out. Also keep in mind that the browner the banana, the sweeter it will be.
1/2 c nuts of your choice (I used walnuts)
2 c rolled oats
1/4 c ground flax seed
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each: nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger
1 c pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix! the only ingredient should be pumpkin)
1 large ripe banana
1/2 c plant milk (I used almond)
1/2 c raisins
1 c rolled oats
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9″x13″ pan, including up the sides. You could try a smaller pan for thicker bars, but I can’t guarantee the results.
2. In a food processor fitted with the S blade, pulse the nuts until they are slightly chopped. Add 2 cups oats, flax, soda, and spices and pulse until just combined, but not so much that the oats and nuts get powdery.
3. Add the pumpkin, banana, and milk. Pulse until well-combined.
4. Add the raisins and remaining cup of oats. Pulse a few times, then finish mixing by hand. The batter will be quite thick by now.
5. Spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 25 minutes, until lightly browned and pulling away from the edge of the pan. Turn it half way through the cooking time for even baking.
6. Let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then cut into squares and carefully remove them from the pan to cool on a wire rack.
So what kind of variations could we make? I’m thinking of a peanut butter and banana bar next, with either blueberries or chocolate chips. Who else has ideas?