This is the Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal of my fall breakfast dreams. Why? Because it is all about that creamy pumpkin. The "oats" hide beneath a velvety blanket of golden, spiced, pumpkin cream on top.(You can make this recipe #26!)
This recipe starts with a steamy, hot bowl of stove top simmered steel cut oats. Then I fold in a few gem ingredients like crunchy nuts, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spices, flax seeds, soymilk and a hint of pumpkin puree that melts slowly into the hot mixture. Then over top of this seemingly ordinary bowl of oats, I pour my secret ingredient: silky, sweet, smooth, buttery pumpkin cream.
This is my take on Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal for fall. And it is also my favorite new way to boost my diet with healthy omega-3 fatty acids! Dive into this..
Travel Week. All day I've been frolicking around the land of Disney here at Disney's California Adventure Resort.
..I'm here for Dole's first-ever Banana Summit. More about today a later post. But yesterday, before my crazed packing, planning and travel adventure began - I took a calm moment and made oatmeal. This creamy, cozy, omega3 infused bowl of Pumpkin BLISS.
OMEGA what? As part of my fall wellness kiskstart, I've been trying to take small steps. Adding more healthy omega-3 fatty acids to my diet is one of my small goals. A few handfuls of walnuts a day, chia seeds and/or flax oil has been helping me to do this. But this omega-3 lingo can get tricky...
Hm. Flax oil? Pumpkin seed oil? Walnuts? ALA? DHA? EPA? It can get quite confusing.
As I researched the best ways for vegans to supplement or consume omega-3'a (as opposed to fish oil - which is obviously not vegan) I found a new super food that I think many of you might not have heard about either. (until now!)
I found my friend Gena's post on something called Algal Oil. I talk more about it in this post I wrote up for Babble.com. But long story short, Algal Oil is a plant-based source of both DHA and EPA. It basically goes straight to the source - the ocean algae that the fish eat.
You see, walnuts, flax seeds and other well known omega-3 plant sources contain ALA. And your body can convert that ALA to EPA and DHA. Confused yet?
BOTTOM LINE: If you are interested in supplementing your vegan diet with omega-3 fatty acids, ask your doctor about increasing the plant sources of it (walnuts, flax oil or seeds, chia, and more..) and if you want to go directly to the source - the lovely sea algae - look into Algal oil! Ask your doctor. This discovery made me super happy. And I'm sure all the fish appreciate the stuff too.
Where do you get Algal Oil? Supplements. Pills. Powders. Gena's post talks about one. I have not tried any yet. But funny enough, right under my nose, I noticed that I was already buying Silk's "Brain Health" soymilk which contains Algal Oil! Neat...
OK, enough nutrition talk. Lets get to this recipe - super rich in healthy vegan omegas. Sources: Silk's Brain Health soymilk, Vega's omega oil and also some flax seeds and walnuts in there too. Omegas pair well with pumpkin, yes? :)
Omega Boost Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Pumpkin Cream
vegan, serves 4-5 (I like to fridge or even freeze any leftovers for re-heating)
*or simply make less if desired
1 cup steel cup oats
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats (optional - I used to thicken up a bit)
Once oatmeal is cooked and fluffy, fold in:
1 cup pumpkin puree (if using canned, add this when oats are still simmering so that it melts easily)
1/2 cup apple sauce (helps to sweeten naturally - sub with mashed banana or fave sweetener)
1-3 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1-3 Tbsp flax seeds
1/2 cup mixed nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts..)
sweeten to taste (maple or agave syrup, organic sugar, your choice)
non-dairy milk to loosen oats (about 3/4 cup added for me)
vegan buttery spread (as desired)
Serving - Add over top:
1/2 cup Pumpkin Cream per bowl of oats (more/less)
1 Tbsp chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp flax seeds
1 tsp vegan omega oil blend (Vega used)
splash of brain boost Silk soy milk
1/2 tsp vegan buttery spread
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup soy milk (add more based on how thick or thin you'd like it)
1 Tbsp vegan buttery spread or virgin coconut oil + pinch of salt
dash of pumpkin pie spice
sweeten to taste (1-2 Tbsp maple or agave syrup)
1. Bring your water to boiling in a large pot. Add in the steel cut oats, salt, spices and rolled oats. Bring to boiling and cover with lid. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender - usually 35 minutes or so.
2. When oats are cooked, remove lid and stir in the fold in ingredients. Continue simmering on very low heat to make sure everything melts together nicely.
3. Blend your pumpkin cream in a blender. I advise you to sweeten and salt to taste. You want a rich buttery flavor, mildly sweet. Remember you can always drizzle more maple or agave syrup over top - or add some raw or organic brown sugar to sweeten.
4. To serve, scoop the oats in a bowl and carve a little donut hole in center. Pour a nice puddle of the pumpkin cream in the hole. The hole oats should warm the cream just enough. Add as much pumpkin cream as you like and garnish as desired as well.