Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Apples and Pecans

Again I am getting almost to the point of needing groceries, therefore I have been scrounging about my freezer for bits and pieces to add to recipes. Last night I found some frozen pumpkin puree I had saved from a previous recipe. I happen to love pumpkin and those types of foods that have similar flavor profiles like butternut squash and sweet potatoes. I didn't want to take the time to bake pumpkin muffins, but I wanted something pumpkin-y for breakfast. Oatmeal was the answer to that question so I googled recipes for pumpkin oatmeal. I found an interesting one from the Food Network website that way by Aarti Sequeira. I had never prepared any of her recipes before but I have seen her shows a couple of times and enjoyed it. I think I liked her because her style of cooking was unique. I love Indian cuisine and she was one of the few people who would regularly prepare it on Food Network. Anyway, I used her recipe as a springboard for a pumpkin oatmeal for one person. Of course I changed the proportions but also I changed some of the methods to suit my taste. For instance, I like to dissolve my sweetener in the boiling liquid instead of just adding it to the finished product because I think it gets into the grains of the oatmeal better so overall you have to use less sweetener. I also used apple instead of raisins, mainly because raisins are calorie-dense and I wanted to use a fruit that was a little less calories. Besides, I didn't have any raisins in the cupboard. Also, I used pecans instead of pumpkin seeds because I thought their mild maple flavor would go well with the maple syrup.

I have to say this reminded me so much of my grandma's pumpkin pie because it was silky and creamy, however it was nicely punctuated by the crunchiness of the pecans and apple, which also added some tartness. Good breakfast.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal with Apples and Pecans
Printable Recipe

1/3 cup pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup low-fat milk (ie: 1%, soy, or almond milk)
1/2 cup water
small pinch salt
1/8 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup finely diced apple (about 1 small apple or half and medium apple)
1 tbsp chopped pecans

1. In a small saucepan combine all the ingredients through the maple syrup and blend well.
2. Heat the pumpkin mixture over high heat until boiling; stir in the oatmeal. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer.
3. Cook the oatmeal until it reaches your desired level of thickness. For me it was about 5 minutes because I prefer my oatmeal to be on the liquid-y side.
4. Pour the oatmeal in a cereal bowl and top with the apple and pecans.

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