Happy new year! I’m already sketching out plans for next year’s home garden and the Grace Garden, especially with all of this warm weather we’ve had lately.  What are your garden and kitchen related resolutions for 2012?

I know this recipe is soo last season, but we’ve been eating it quite a bit around here. We sometimes sub out the pumpkin for another winter squash or even sweet potatoes (Grant’s favorite variation). I try to make a big pan of it on Monday, and it typically lasts us through the week. If you haven’t tried steel cut oats yet, make it one of your new year’s resolutions to get on the bandwagon. I still love rolled oats for baked goods, but I’ve become totally a steel cut girl when it comes to breakfast.

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
Barely adapted from Annie’s Eats

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
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Ingredients1 cup steel cut oats
6 tbsp butter
4 cups hot water
2 medium very ripe bananas, sliced
1/3 cup local honey
2-3 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 cups rolled (not instant!) oats
1/4 cup cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Dash ground cloves
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (see note at bottom of recipe)
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350. Place the steel cut oats in a large bowl with four tablespoons of the butter. Pour the hot water over the oats and cover the bowl.  Let stand for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the bananas, two tablespoons of honey, and one teaspoon of the cinnamon to the pan.  Toss gently and cook briefly. Remove from the heat and let cool.

After the steel cut oats have finished soaking, stir in the rolled oats, remaining honey, maple syrup, remaining cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.  In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the pumpkin, milk and vanilla.  Stir the pumpkin mixture into the oat mixture.

Spread the bananas over the bottom of a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish.  Pour the oatmeal mixture on top of the bananas.  Bake for 35-40 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

To make your own pumpkin puree: 

As previously mentioned, we have a wonderful you-pick farm just minutes from our house. They also have a pumpkin patch complete with free hayrides in the Fall (so of course, we had to go a few times because our little guy wants to BE Farmer Spencer when he grows up). We picked up several pumpkins for our porch and some pie pumpkins too. I learned there that pie pumpkins are often no different than regular pumpkins except that they were selectively bred to have thinner skins and a consistent amount of “meat” versus the regular jack-o-lantern variety.

Making your own pumpkin puree is so easy! Preheat your oven to 350. Then just clean your pumpkin, cut it in half, and remove all of the seeds. Put just a little bit of water in the bottom of your baking pan, and then place the pumpkin halves face down on the pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until soft (a fork should easily go through the skin when it’s done). Once the pumpkins have cooled, scoop out the pumpkin meat and place it in a food processor or blender for just a minute. If your puree is too watery, place the pureed pumpkin in a fine sieve over a bowl or the sink for a half hour or so. I’ve noticed that I can typically skip this step with the pie pumpkins.

While the pumpkins are baking, rinse out the seeds, spread them out on a baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin (or the spice combination of your choice). Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or so – until crunchy. Grant likes to put these on his salad, and Jas and I like to snack on them in trail mix.

One pie pumpkin tends to make about two – three cups of pumpkin puree, so use some for some baked oatmeal and freeze the rest for some other pumpkin treat.

 

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