Baked Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

I wish I could be one of those people who drink smoothies alone for breakfast. They're so quick and easy, and you can pack in a ton of fruits and veggies before you're even fully conscious!

I love a good green smoothie as a pick-me-up in the afternoon, but for breakfast, they just aren't enough to fill me up. I need something a little bit heavier, but not so heavy that I want to crawl back into bed. Also, breakfast can't take forever either; I have things to do! That's why I love oatmeal!

Sometimes, I make an individual bowl in the microwave, and when it's hot in the summer, overnight oats in the fridge is where it's at. However, baked oatmeal is perfect for this time of year. Baked oatmeal is basically (healthy) cake for breakfast, it makes your kitchen smell amazing, and you can prepare it in advance which is perfect for the holidays! I also think its great because it lasts for a few days, and when I want to get up early to run, I just have to heat up a piece in the microwave.

This recipe is 100% whole grain with lots of beta carotene from the pumpkin purée (I'm going to turn orange from all of the orange veggies I eat. Hello sweet potatoes!). Plus, you get a boost of omega-3s from the chia seeds and the walnuts. I'm not sure what would happen if you skipped the chia, but you might want to add an egg instead for binding if you aren't vegan. Additionally, the almond milk can be easily swapped out for whatever milk you want to use (you can use water, but I think oatmeal tastes bland that way). I actually used Almond Dream Pumpkin Spice almond milk the first time I made this, and it was pretty sweet, but it makes for a nice treat! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

Baked Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal (Serves 4)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Dry:

2.5 c. rolled oats

1 tbsp. pumpkin spice

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tbsp. chia seeds

Wet:

2 c. almond milk

1/2 c. grade B maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 c. pumpkin purée

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 2 qt. casserole dish with oil.
  3. Combine all of the dry ingredients (except the walnuts) in the dish.
  4. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, combine the wet ingredients and stir until the pumpkin is evenly distributed.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dish, and stir until the mixture is combined.
  6. Sprinkle the walnuts on top.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top looks toasty golden brown, and serve warm.

P.S. Please excuse my sub-par photography. I came up with this recipe on a rainy day, and I couldn't find much natural light. You can expect a higher standard in the future!