I wasn't kidding when I said I loved pumpkin. After surviving a very wet (& humid) weekend here in DC, the crispness of fall seems to finally be diffusing into the city. As the cooling effects of fall start to take over our little row house in the mornings, there's not much else that beats waking up to a steaming cup of coffee paired with a warm bowl of porridge.
There's something about the word 'porridge' (as they call it in Europe), that just sounds more comforting than the American 'oatmeal.' So, please excuse any forthcoming Goldilocks & The Three Bears nostalgia ;)
This porridge is infused with warm notes of flavor and satiating protein+fiber to keep you fueled until lunch. Take a peek at the key ingredients:
Oats: high in soluble fiber, oats have been touted for their cholesterol lowering benefits. Just 3g of this type of fiber (the amount found in about 1/2 C. serving) has been proven in clinical studies to reduce the amount of LDL (bad cholesterol) in subjects' blood streams. Yay for heart health. Fiber also acts as a blood sugar stabilizer, so its also good for diabetics or those who want to keep their energy levels stable throughout the day.
Chia Seeds: I always mix a little chia into my oats before heating, as they blend excellently without sacrificing texture or taste. Added fiber, protein, and plant-based omega-3!
Walnuts: ever taken a look at a walnut? They actually resemble the appearance of our brain. And it's for good reason. Walnuts contain brain-boosting omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and antioxidants that have been shown to advance cognitive and motor functioning as we age due to reducing oxidative stress levels. The lesser known fact? Listen up, boys. A study from 2012 showed that walnuts also enhance sperm quality.
Pumpkin Seeds: as discussed here, they rock in a plant-based world.
Pumpkin: Again, discussed here.
Maple Syrup: Yes, it is very high in sugar. However, I'd rather have you use the real, pure stuff that actually contains some beneficial minerals (manganese+zinc) vs. your Aunt Jemima corn syrup solids BS. Brownie points if its from New England :)
Now that we've got that covered, let's get cozy.
Warming Fall Pumpkin Porridge
Makes 1 serving.
1/2 C. organic quick oats (GF, if you choose)
1/2 C. water (rough estimate)
1 heaping Tbsp of organic, unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp pumpkin seeds
1 tsp chopped walnuts
2 tsp light coconut milk (or almond)
1 Tbsp coconut milk yogurt or plain, organic greek yogurt (I used Siggi's)
drizzle of pure maple syrup
Optional Add-ons: carob nibs, cinnamon, sliced fruit
Combine oats+chia seeds in a bowl. Mix together. Pour water over oats so that there's just a small layer of water completely covering mixture. Stir in pureed pumpkin, and microwave for about 1.5 minutes, or until your desired thickness is achieved. You can always heat on the stove if you prefer not to use a microwave.
After heating, stir in coconut or almond milk. I've recently got on a kick of using light coconut milk, as it gives an amazingly creamy texture and touch of sweetness.
Now comes the fun part! Simply decorate your bowl with these nutrient rich nuts+seeds, favorite yogurt and natural sweetness to give it allthatjazz.
*Dietary Modifications: Vegan? Use coconut yogurt, or skip the yogurt all together. Gluten free? Use GF oats.