As mornings are getting colder, and my body craves more and more warm-cooked dishes, I switched from fresh veggies and guacamole breakfasts to heartier ones – pudding, hummus, or porridge. I didn’t really have a love affair with oatmeal until this year, when I played a bit with flavors and discovered some delicious combinations. I photographed some recipes with pumpkin and butternut squash as the main ingredient, and I had some roasted batches in my fridge, so I decided to add pumpkin to my morning oatmeal. How about pumpkin spice and chocolate chunks oatmeal? Dessert for breakfast? Yes, please!
Pumpkins aren’t the autumn highlight just because they look funny for Halloween and taste delicious in Thanksgiving pies. Their bright orange color signals a huge nutrient load, and you can count on the humble pumpkin for the necessary antioxidants to face the seasonal colds and flus. Nature gives us the good things for our bodies, just when they’re needed. We just have to learn to open our eyes and see them. Pumpkins and all their orange-colored squash relatives (butternut, acorn, ironbark, or golden nugget) provide the highest percentage of certain carotenoid antioxidants and also high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese. The healthy properties of pumpkins go even further, and even if they are a really low-fat food, they are a great source of omega-3 essential fatty acid, with anti-inflammatory properties.
It’s really important to find an organic source for pumpkins, as they absorb the chemicals and pollutants from the soil (sometimes they are even used for the remediation of contaminated soils). Purchasing pumpkins from certified organic farms gives you the certitude that you will get the maximum health benefits from eating them and not burden your liver with PAH pollutants.
Combined with oats, vegan chocolate, and seeds, pumpkins make a comforting, warming breakfast, packed with everything you need to start your day perfectly – antioxidants and oils for better absorption, fibers for good digestion and lowering blood sugar levels, and vitamins and minerals to support your body cell’s activities. I prepared the oatmeal using homemade hemp milk to add a protein kick, but you can use any other plant milk (coconut, almonds, or nuts).
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup roasted pumpkin (or canned)
- 1 cup vegan milk ( hemp, coconut or nuts)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- ¼ tsp pumpkin spice
- ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- vegan chocolate nibs
- Add the pumpkin in the food processor and pulse to obtain a smooth puree.
- Place the oats, vegan milk, pumpkin spice, and salt in a sauce pan and bring to boil over medium heat.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously until you reach the desired consistency, then add the pumpkin puree and stir to combine.
- Put the oatmeal into the serving bowls and top with pumpkin seeds, chia, and chocolate nibs.
- Serve warm.