Falling for Pumpkin!

Falling for Pumpkin!

The thermometer here in Arizona has finally dropped below 100, and the nights are becoming cool! Now it’s time for all things autumn, and I find myself falling for pumpkin!! Natural autumn decor, fall root vegetables in bowls, pumpkins at the door – Fall is so FESTIVE in nature, don’t you agree? Red leaves, gold and orange on the forest floor, and cinnamon browns that suggest fall.  It’s bonfire time! Sipping hot chocolate and crunching gooey s’mores run across my mind. Afghans, cable-knit sweaters, cool evenings…the list is endless. If you love fall like I do, then you may share my affliction – a love for anything pumpkin! This includes the tempting tastes of pumpkin-spice and cinnamon. Enter harvest-time baking, and lip-smacking pumpkin-y deliciousness!

 Falling for Pumpkin!

Pumpkins are a great choice for a centerpiece

Pumpkins are a great choice for a centerpiece!

Today was ‘Focus on Autumn’ Day. I brought in my fall decorations, and dug around in the cupboards for a can or two of organic pumpkin. My first order of business was to fill the oven with tasty things that would fill the house with the smell of fall! Eating clean, whole, healthy foods is on my agenda. Instead of something loaded with cream cheese frosting, I opted for Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal. I found the recipe on My Whole Food Life and tweaked it a bit to our taste buds. (if you are trying to eat healthier like we are, this is an amazing website! There are at least 10 pumpkin something recipes on here!)

So, this Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal reminds me more of a cookie/bar than an actual breakfast, yet it works well as a grab-and-go breakfast or snack. Here’s my version of the recipe:

Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients:

These healthy, tasty pumpkin-based treats spell F-A-L-L!

These healthy, tasty pumpkin-based treats spell F-A-L-L!

2 cups gluten free rolled oats
1/2 cup pepitas
1/2 cup Craisins or golden raisins
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup or raw honey (I used half of each since I love the flavor of both)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 Tablespoons almond milk
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet in another, then combine the two and mix well. Spoon batter into an oiled muffin pan (I use coconut oil). Bake for 15-20 minutes. Makes 10 regular size muffins or 5 large. These snacks freeze well, too.

Now it’s time to fill your home with warmth and the heavenly smells of baking, then you can pull out your fall decorations and get the season started!

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