It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. My family has endured multiple dentist and doctor appointments, a teen sleepover/surprise birthday party (not for our teen but at our house), and a Homecoming dance (complete with an emergency run back to the store at the last minute to have the security tag removed from the dress). And that’s just the fun stuff! Yesterday, a team of plumbers arrived and began tunneling under our house in order to fix the rusted-out drain pipe leading from the kitchen sink. It’s a three-day process, so the sink will be out of commission at least two more days.
Since I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking (who wants to drain pasta in the bathroom?) I thought I’d share a recipe that I made a couple of years ago for VegNews magazine. Several bloggers were asked to create recipes containing pumpkin. Normally, I would try to use fresh pumpkin, but it was July and even canned pumpkin was almost impossible to find. I knew that the other bloggers would be concocting luscious desserts, but instead of trying to compete, I decided to go the refined sugar-free route and make a breakfast that could also double as a healthy dessert.
This is a much fancier breakfast than I would ever cook on a weekday (and definitely not without a working kitchen sink to clean up all the dishes!) I save it for weekends, for visitors, or for when I have some time to make the components in advance. The oatmeal cakes can be made ahead and frozen, so all you have to do is reheat them for a breakfast that’s about as quick as frozen waffles–without all the white flour and preservatives.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cakes
Sweetened only with dates and maple syrup, these nutty, fruit-topped cakes do double duty as both a decadent breakfast and a healthy dessert. Both the cakes and compote can be made ahead and reheated before serving.
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup chopped dates (about 3 ounces)
- 3/4 cups canned pumpkin
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 1 1/2 cups steel-cut oats
- 1 1/4 cup plain coconut milk (the drinking kind, not canned) or other non-dairy milk
- non-stick spray
- Place the water and dates in a blender and blend until dates are finely chopped. Add the pumpkin, spices, salt, and flaxseed and blend until well-combined.
- Heat a large saucepan and toast the oats, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Carefully add the pumpkin mixture, standing back in case it spatters, and then the coconut milk. Stir well, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes or until thick and chewy.
- Line a 11×7-inch baking dish with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray. Spread the oats in the dish, smoothing the top. Cool on the counter for an hour and then refrigerate until completely chilled, at least an hour. Turn out onto a cutting board and cut into 16 triangles or rectangles.
- Spray a large non-stick frying pan with a light coating of cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add half of the oatmeal cakes and cook on each side until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes per side. Remove to a warm oven and repeat with remaining cakes. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- Place two cakes on each dessert plate. Top with warm Apple-Pecan Compote, below.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s) (plus 2 hours chilling time) | Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
Nutrition (per serving): 173 calories, 31 calories from fat, 3.4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 205.6mg sodium, 135mg potassium, 32.2g carbohydrates, 4.4g fiber, 7.8g sugar, 4g protein
- 4 apples
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- Peel, core, and dice the apples and toss with the lemon juice.
- Heat a large saucepan. Add the pecans and toast them, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook on medium-high heat until apples are tender and much of the water has cooked off, about 15 minutes.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s) | Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8
Nutrition (per serving): 131 calories, 42 calories from fat, 5g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 2.1mg sodium, 129.4mg potassium, 22.8g carbohydrates, 1.5g fiber, 18.8g sugar, <1g protein.