I’m atoning for my sins of last week: fattening, nitrate-filled chili-cheese dog casserole, decadent red velvet cake with a pound of butter and over a pound of cream cheese in it, and beef roast slathered with high-sodium cream of mushroom soup and onion soup mix. I felt I owed myself, and you, a healthy reprieve.
I usually don’t like labeling my recipes “healthy” or unhealthy” in the title (although I have been known to do so) because that’s not how I want you to think of them. If something is healthy, I want you to think about how delicious it is, not how healthy it is. And if something is unhealthy, I don’t want you to focus on that either, I just want you do enjoy your splurge. So, I’m not labeling this as “healthy” in the title, but I am telling you right now it’s pretty darn healthy.
First of all, it’s naturally sweetened from three sources: apple cider, maple syrup, and honey (because it’s sweeter and because I was running low on maple syrup). Second, it’s packed with fiber from the pumpkin and the oats. It’s even got a little protein from the eggs (and the oats)! I did use a smidgen of butter, but I’m not one who thinks of butter as unhealthy, especially in meager amounts. It could easily be left out if you want to reduce the fat.
Now let’s talk about the important stuff: the taste. It’s all well and good to eat healthy foods, but who wants to eat them if they taste terrible? Not me, and there’s no reason to when healthy food can (and should) be just as delicious as unhealthy food. These baked oats are perfectly sweet, with a great spiced pumpkin taste, very soft and creamy, with a nice nutty crunch from the pecans. Served with a drizzle of maple syrup over the top, it is a breakfast treat that is good enough to make your mouth so happy that you forget that you’re doing your body good as well.
Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup apple cider
½ cup milk (any kind)
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¾ cups rolled oats
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a deep-dish pie plate or a casserole dish with oil; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, apple cider, eggs, milk, honey, maple syrup, butter, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the oats, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
Pour into prepared dish and sprinkle with pecans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until set. Serve hot with maple syrup or honey.