A few weeks ago, I wrote about oatmeal for my Natural Nibbles column at YSFP. I talked about my obsession with oatmeal, how often I find myself thinking about it or thinking about eating it; I even wrote one of my final semester papers on it. I wrote about how I find comfort in each warm, gooey bite, and how the heat and creaminess from the oatmeal spread from my stomach to my blue limbs that would scream for warmth if they weren’t so lifeless and lazy from the cold.
What I didn’t stress last time is the chameleon quality of oatmeal. It can be anything you want it to be. Oatmeal is like one of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, which have been on my mind lately, as I’m going through the senior job search and thinking about what I want to do, where I want to live, what stores I want in my neighborhood, whether or not my future land”person” will let me grow vegetables on or around my apartment building, what it will mean if I eat mashed potatoes for dinner, etc. You know what I mean. Oatmeal is so basic that it can become the dream of whimsy.
You can start with a can of whole rolled oats and end up with plain oatmeal. You could be in a chocolate frenzy and end up with oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. You could have a craving for crunchy, buttery, honeyed granola. You could rice for oatmeal and eat it with your stir-fry. You might start out with cinnamon and sugar on hand and realize that what you actually want is maple oatmeal with bacon mixed into it. Mmmm that last one sounds good. For those of you who, like me, are in a “festive fall” mood, your tastebuds might crave apples and cinnamon, or, tired of the traditional flavor, might decide to branch out the tiniest of bits and make this pumpkin spice oatmeal.
The bright orange hue of the oatmeal is so reminiscent of the changing colors on the leaves and, of course, pumpkin flesh. Note: no pumpkins were cruelly harmed during the making of this oatmeal. While one of the most pleasing aspects of this oatmeal comes from its sheer aesthetic beauty, the best part of this recipe is that it tastes just like pumpkin pie. And you’ll still fit into your jeans after you eat it. Recipe after the jump.
Recipe (serves four-6)
1 1/2 cups of pumpkin mashed or pureed (one can of pumpkin would work here too)
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup light brown sugar
3 cups of water
1 cup of plain soymilk
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
toasted walnuts and raisins (optional)
1. In a pot, bring water to a boil. Add oats and milk and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
2. Once mixture has come to a boil, add pumpkin and spices. Lower heat to medium and let the oatmeal cook until your desired consistency.
3. Add toasted walnuts and raisins, if you like.