This aromatic, sweet, and creamy kabocha squash maple oatmeal is a nutritious, gluten free, and vegetarian breakfast that is perfect for chilly autumn mornings.
I recently realized a new goal in my life this week. You know how on Instagram there is that hashtag #squadgoals? I have #squashgoals.
On Monday, I came home from the grocery store and unpacked not one, not two, but four squashes…to add to the three we already had eagerly awaiting use. I’m like a squirrel stashing acorns for the winter, only I’m hoarding acorn squash. I am trying to incorporate squash into as many meals as possible; just wait for the butternut squash pizza that’s coming next Friday.
Ryan and I dream right now of living in the mountains. It would really only be about 60-90 minutes from where we currently live, so it is not as if we’d be totally removed from civilization. Just far enough to pull a bit of a Thoreau and escape from the crowdedness of modern city life.
We’d still need to got to REI, of course, so we can’t be too far from civilization.
In this vision of life in the Cascades, we imagine having our own garden and growing plenty of squashes. Ever since I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle (which I’m itching to re-read—does anyone else love re-reading books almost as much as reading new ones?), I have eagerly anticipated the day when we have enough land to garden. Squashes thrive in Washington state—all of the ones on my table are from either Washington or Oregon. It is an honest-to-goodness life goal of mine to have a garden and grow my own produce, including squashes.
I also decided that I would overcome my fear of goats and have some goats for the sake of making goat cheese, and so Charlie can have some friends. (If you wonder about my abnormal fear of goats, imagine being 4 years old and chased by goats with those creepy, sideways-slit eyes in a pen at a petting zoo. They nibble at your clothes and greedily climb on you, almost knocking you over, and traumatizing you for life.)
For now, however, since we’re not growing our own squash in the mountains, I’m content with greedily purchasing it every single time I step into the grocery store. Which, when you’re fueling your body for a marathon, is frequently.
I never tried kabocha squash until this year, actually, in part because I never found it in our little grocery stores of Valparaiso, Indiana. Here, in the suburbs of Seattle, varieties of squashes abound in the produces aisles of even Fred Meyer (the PNW Kroger): butternut, acorn, sugar pumpkin, spaghetti, kabocha, delicata, carnival, and a few hybrids such as stripetti squash.
I knew moving out here was the right choice.
We first tried kabocha squash similar to how we enjoy most of our squash this time of year: roasted. It was quite good roasted, but the sweeter flavor, even more caramel in flavor than pumpkin, suggested to me that this would work best in a sweet dish.
So, I pureed up the remaining kabocha. When in doubt, throw it in the food processor, right? Since I’m cutting back on sugar to lean down to racing weight (I write as I’m baking a pumpkin pie for Ryan’s birthday), I didn’t want to bake with this puree. Instead, I wanted to use it to add an extra nutritional boost to an already healthy meal. Enter: my beloved morning bowl of oatmeal.
This kabocha squash maple oatmeal is a creamy, autumnal, delicately sweet, and aromatic breakfast. Not only does is kabocha squash maple oatmeal absolutely delectable in taste, it’s plentiful in nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, fiber, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Plus, it’s topped with pecans, which are a rich source of healthy fats and iron!
As I mentioned last week, too much calcium can inhibit the absorption of iron, so I made these oats with water. Thanks to the creamy squash puree and an egg whisked in for protein, you won’t miss the milk!
- 1 cup water (or milk of choice)
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup kabocha squash puree*
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 10-15 pecans
- Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan over the stove.
- Add the oats to the water, reduce to a simmer (medium-low heat), and cook for 5-7 minutes until the water is absorbed.
- Crack the egg into the oats and whisk constantly for one minute, so that it is thoroughly combined with the oats and cooks through (you should not see any noticeable bits of egg).
- Whisk in the kabocha puree and cook for an additional 30-60 seconds.
- Stir the pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, salt, and maple syrup. Remove from heat, serve in a bowl, and top with the pecans.
- 1. Chop the squash in half, remove the seeds, and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-40 minutes, until tender. Let cool for 45-60 minutes and then use a spoon to remove the flesh. Puree the flesh in a food processor for 2-3 minutes, until smooth.
- 2. Chop the squash in half, remove the seeds, and carefully use a sharp knife to remove the skin and cut into small cubes. Add a small amount of water to a pot, add the squash, cover, and cook on low on the stove for 20-25 minutes, until the squash is tender. Puree in a food processor until smooth.
For more squashy goodness, check out the Eat to Run: 50+ Recipes to Fuel Your Fitness without Breaking the Bank e-cookbook!
Questions of the Day:
Do you garden or want to have one someday?
What foods are you obsessed with right now?
What are your weekend plans?