Featured Ingredient: Steel-Cut Oats
Oh man, it has been eons since I posted a recipe here. I know that I had a solid following of fellow muffin tin maniacs, so my apologies. Life and work just got in the way. But I’m going to try and post recipes a little more frequently going forward.
And what better way to re-launch Muffin Tin Mania than with these subzero oatmeal pumpkin cups. A recent study found that kickstarting a day with oats leads to prolonged feelings of fullness, which can quell any morning vending machine temptation, compared to eating the same number of calories from boxed cereal. And hearty steel-cuts oats are even more hunger-squashing (and tasty!) than a bowl of mushy rolled oats. But the problem with the steel-cut variety is their prolonged cooking time which can make them a no-option on harried weekday mornings. Well, prepare a big batch of pumpkin infused oats, freeze the bounty in a trusty muffin pan and boom….you have delicious oats that only require a quick thaw and heat.
I found that three frozen oat cups were enough to serve both Tabi and I, so 1 or 2 of them is likely what most people would find an adequate single serving depending on one’s morning appetite. I took the extra step of toasting the oats before simmering as this heightens their flavor. But it’s an optional step. Each bowl can be garnished as you like with items such as berries, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, or additional nuts.
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Pucks
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or coconut oil
1 1/2 cups steel-cut oats
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup milk of choice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups pure pumpkin puree
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Heat oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the oats and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, around 3 minutes.
In a large saucepan, combine the water and milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Place oats in pan, return to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer gently covered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the salt. Continue to simmer, uncovered, for 12 - 15 minutes, or until creamy and most of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and stir in pumpkin, banana, maple syrup, walnuts, vanilla and spices. Let cool for several minutes.
Divide mixture among 12 standard sized silicon or lightly greased metal muffin cups and place in freezer until frozen solid. If you have more mixture than you can fit in the muffin cups, either use what is leftover for your next breakfast or once the oat pumpkin cups are frozen freeze the remainder of the mixture.
Remove oatmeal cups from muffin pan and store in a zip-top bag until ready to use.
To thaw and warm, either place the desired number of oatmeal cups in a saucepan with a few splashes of water and heat over medium until warm and creamy. Or place in a microwave safe bowl with a bit of water, cover with paper towel and heat on HIGH for about 2 minutes.