Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pumpkin Chia Overnight Oats & Homemade Pumpkin Creamer

Sure, it's not even October. Yes, it likely won't even feel like fall here in South Florida until well into December. But the minute I start seeing Halloween decorations (read: soon after the 4th of July) I start dreaming of two things. Well, three, really. Halloween Costumes, Halloween Decorations, and Pumpkins. 

Too early to commit to a costume, too many decorations already taking up residence in totes in our garage, and too soon for picking out perfect carving pumpkins, I reach for a couple cans of pumpkin while grocery shopping.

I will then revisit my loooooooong list of pumpkin recipe ideas, then promptly do what I love most, put it in my oatmeal. (See?! I knew we'd make it back to this place. Welcome back to The Oatmeal Diaries!)

I was really excited last night because staring at this can of pumpkin, I suddenly knew the perfect ingredient to make that Chia Pudding I've just discovered heartier and even more delicious. I'd nix the banana and use pumpkin! And since I have been slacking on the oats of late, Why not combine one of my favorite things, overnight oats?!

And thus my lovely breakfast was born.

Pumpkin Chia Overnight Oats
This recipe is pretty quick to throw together before bed, requires no effort the day of, save dishing into a bowl and heating that morning. You have to like really firm oats for this. This is definitely a breakfast you must chew. I like mine like that, not gummy and soft. If the softer variety is more your speed, maybe make your oats first in a large batch, cut out the heating the night before, and then stir some oats into your pumpkin chia mixture each morning before heating. I top mine with a few raw walnuts and a tsp of more pure maple syrup.

Not one to leave well enough alone, I used a couple tablespoons of the pumpkin to also create a pumpkin pie flavored creamer to add to my cold-brewed coffee in the morning. Hazelnut, Pumpkin, & Vanilla. These are my favorite flavors for my morning glass, in that order. Next time I get my hands on hazelnuts, I hope to create a creamer with them as well. 

For now, the sky is purple, the thunder is rolling in, and early morning summertime storms are in the forecast outside, but it sure feels like Fall right here where I'm sitting!

Pumpkin Chia Overnight Oats
makes 2 servings for breakfast, 4-6 as a brunch side

1/2 c. steel cut oats
1 c. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 1/3 c. almond milk (I use unsweetened, but I like it only barely sweet. your taste buds may differ)
4 T chia seeds
1 tsp. vanilla 
2 T pure maple syrup (plus more for drizzling on top, optional)
1/2 - 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg (I use a microplaner and whole nutmeg and highly recommend)
pinch of sea salt
 walnuts or pecans* (optional)

Combine oats, milk, and pumpkin in a med to large bowl, stir to combine, and cover (I use a pyrex bowl with a lid). Microwave for two minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients except the optional nuts, cover, and leave on counter until the next morning. The morning of, divide into new bowl if you're only having one serving or leave in that bowl if you are sharing and microwave for one minute. Stir and serve, topping with optional nuts and more maple syrup. 

*If I were making a bowl of this as a brunch side, I would heat the nuts in a dry skillet on low heat until hot, then drizzle with additional maple syrup and stir to coat them, then add a pinch of salt. Hot, candied nuts for topping!

Homemade Pumpkin Creamer
Anything cute mason jars do, Vegenaise can do, also!
I could not stop singing that, It was way past my bedtime.
makes about one cup

1/2 c. vanilla soy milk
1/2 c. French Vanilla Silk Soy Creamer
2 -3 T canned pumpkin 
(not pumpkin pie filling)
1 T pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg
pinch ground ginger
2 whole cloves

Comine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat on low heat, stirring often. Allow mixture to start to steam, but do not bring it to a boil. Once it is all steamy and smells like a little pot of pumpkin pie, remove from heat. Strain mixture into container that you have a lid for (or into one of many Vegenaise jars that always seem to loose their lids, does that happen to anyone else?) through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. (A clean nylon can work this step, too. I keep those on hand for making my own hair gel). Allow to cool, cover, and refrigerate. I use a tablespoon per cup of coffee for a subtle but delicious creamer for my cold brew coffee. 

You could certainly use other non-dairy milks and creamers, and surely ones that are not vanilla flavored. I would follow the directions as is and add 1 tsp. vanilla once you've removed from heat. If you're using non-dairy creamer that is low in sugar, I would skip the milk and use straight creamer. I had Vanilla Soy Milk and FV Silk Creamer on hand. Wanting not to overload on the sugar (I only like a touch of sweetness in my coffee), I opted to use both to avoid it being too sweet with the added maple syrup because I really like the hint of maple favor.

Once this creamer sits in your refrigerator, it may separate a bit, but nothing a little shake or stir of the creamer can't fix!

Top O' The Pumpkin Morning To Ya!


Lindsay @ KitchenOperas said...

I'm not a huge breakfast person, but I'd REALLLLLLLY love these overnight oats! Thanks for the breakfast inspiration!

Don't Get Mad, Get Vegan! said...

Thanks, Lindsay! I was never big on breakfast until becoming vegan. Then it became a fun challenge each morning. Now I am all about breakfast!