Pumpkin and Spiced Apple Slow Cooked Oats
Ceri and I have both been climatizing ourselves to our new school years. I say “ours” because school is not just about the kid. Ask any parent who spends an evening helping with homework. Since September, Ceri has searched high and low for the ultimate lunch combination. One that is nutritious, portable and so delectable looking Esme can devour the whole meal before her friend can say, “Wanna throw that slop in the garbage and go play on the monkey bars?” In contrast, I’ve been focused on the first meal of the day.
Scarlett comes home each day for lunch so I don’t have the noon-time panic attack of what must be happening in the school lunchroom. (Kid’s boiling over with energy. Paper airplanes. Mad panic eating binges in order to get out side to run around aimlessly in circles. Or worse. A long negotiation for some kid’s whoopee pie in exchange for your homemade, pumpkin spelt cookie. The very cookie I sacrificed my Sunday run in order to loving bake for you so you had a friggin healthy cookies to eat!) Do you think it’s that bad? It’s just me, right?
Instead, at night, when I should be watching horrible reality TV I venture back into my kitchen to plan the perfect breakfast. There are nights I make French toast that I can just pop into the toaster oven and serve with fruit. Other nights I’ll hard boil eggs, slice fruit and set her placemat. I even make pancakes some evenings. I do it all at night because I know myself. Not a morning person, I move pretty slow in the am. It’s all I can do to help Scarlett get organized and put clothes on myself. Therefore, it’s a luxury to have her breakfast in order. It’s definitely worth me tackling the task well past the dinner hour.
One of the easiest breakfasts is when I fill my slow cooker with oats. It yields enough for a few morning meals and I can quickly re-heat leftovers on the stove top with some milk. I’m also really enjoying coming up with the recipes. This pumpkin and apple spiced explosion of yumminess was my latest creation.
Apple and Pumpkin Spiced Slow Cooked Oats
1 1/4 cup steel cut oats
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 cups milk or almond milk
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 gala apple, diced (go ahead and use the whole thing if you want but I used the other half for garnish)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Add oats, chia, milk, water and pumpkin to slow cooker and give it a stir. Then mix in apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, vanilla extract and walnuts. Set slow cooker to low (8 hours).
In the morning, spoon warm oats into serving bowls and top with fresh, chopped apple and serve.
Scarlett and I ate it a few mornings for breakfast. We even had it for lunch one day. Obviously, we enjoyed it in the quiet of our own home. However, I did trade her some of my apple for her last spoonful.
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