It’s time for everything pumpkin!
Thanks to a reader who reminded me that I promised this recipe in the fall after I posted the soaked baked oatmeal (apple cinnamon and cherry almond versions) in the spring.
You can use any orange vegetable (squash, sweet potato) for this delicious, nourishing breakfast, but of of course getting a real pie pumpkin is so much fun. Buttercup squash are very sweet and perfect for baking, too.
Update from a reader: Apparently pie pumpkins aren’t even the best for pies! Go figure. Check out this review of various options. I found it kind of fascinating…
If you’ve never used a real pie pumpkin, don’t be afraid.
How to Bake a Pie Pumpkin
1. Wash the outside of the pumpkin.
2. Set the oven to 400F and put the whole pumpkin inside while it preheats (and maybe 5-10 minutes longer). This is necessary to soften the outside. If you don’t do it, you may end up doing something like this, swearing up and down that you’ll never bother with real pumpkins again:
Did I mention pie pumpkins are really, really hard on the outside?
3. Once you are able to cut through it, cut the pumpkin in half.
4. Scoop out the pulp and seeds from the center.
5. Save the seeds for snacking, following directions on how to make pumpkin seeds – you can even hold them in the fridge for a few days until you’re ready to deal with them.
6. Place the two halves facedown on a cookie sheet or baking dish with a little water in the bottom.
7. Bake at 400F (or even 350F if you’ve got dinner in the oven too) for 45-60 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the outside and the flesh inside is very soft.
8. Allow to cool a bit for handling.
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That’s it! Now you have homemade pumpkin puree to use in any recipe. Baking squash follows the same strategy.
You can freeze the pumpkin (or squash) puree pre-measured in 1-cup or 2-cup portions in a zippered bag for ease of use later.
Note: Ingredients often use affiliate links to Amazon and Tropical Traditions, but obviously you should shop for the best price and try to keep your dollars local when you can.
- 2 ½ c. whole rolled oats (not quick or instant)
- ¼ c. whole wheat or buckwheat (GF) flour, freshly ground
- 1 ¾ c. liquid*
- ½ c. (or cut to ¼ c.) coconut oil (or butter, softened or melted)
- 1-2 c. pumpkin (1/2-1 16 oz. can)
- 4 eggs
- ¼-1/2 c. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- 3 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. ginger
- 1 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 tsp. cloves
- 1 c. raisins (or serve on the side)
- Two nights before you want to eat baked oatmeal at breakfast: Mix the oats, flour, and liquid together. If you have a 9×13 glass pan with a lid, I recommend mixing the oats right in there to save a dish. Allow to rest at room temperature, covered, for 24 hours.
- The night before you need the quick breakfast: Beat oil, maple syrup and eggs until glossy (I use my KitchenAid mixer). The cold eggs generally made the coconut oil solidify a bit, but don’t worry about it. Just beat. Incorporate the pumpkin.
- Add the baking powder, salt, and all spices. Beat in the oats mixture, then add raisins (nuts are a nice addition, too), stirring to combine.
- Pour back into that 9×13 glass dish, put a lid on it, and refrigerate overnight. If you don’t have a lid, try one of these methods to avoid using plastic wrap.
- In the morning, put the pan (uncovered) right from the fridge into a cold oven and turn on to 350F. Bake for 30-40 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and the oatmeal is not mushy to the touch.
- Serve warm with milk and extra syrup if you prefer. Store covered, either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. It’s pretty doggone good cold, too…I might be the type of person to buzz by a dish and snitch a bite here and there throughout the day!
- *For the liquid, choose from buttermilk, plain homemade yogurt (or store bought), raw milk, half milk/half yogurt, half water/yogurt, half whey/yogurt – good if you have whey to use up. If you don’t have raw milk, as long you mix it with half yogurt or cultured dairy, it should be fine for the soak overnight, but don’t use 100% pasteurized milk as the only liquid.
- A reader reports that forgetting the baking powder is no problem, and cardamom instead of cloves is wonderful.
- Why add flour? Freshly ground whole wheat, spelt, and buckwheat are added to oats for soaking purposes and phytase only. If you’re not soaking, skip the flour.
- Go bold: If you love pumpkin pie spice, add more cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. I’m doubling the ginger next time I make it! 😉
- How to make it faster: Just soak the oats overnight or for 24 hours (breakfast to breakfast) and mix up all the other ingredients in the morning when you’re going to serve it. The overnight refrigeration is not necessary; it’s only for the morning convenience of having everything done.
- How to make it with fewer dishes: Honestly, I’ve taken to mixing everything up in the 9×13 dish. How lazy is that? But no one has noticed any difference in the end result, so I highly recommend it. Just mix up the oats and liquid, then the next day, push that to one side and whisk the eggs, oil and sweetener on the other half of the pan. Start mixing everything up well at this point (a potato masher or super strong whisk may come in handy to incorporate everything well. Make sure you sprinkle things like salt and baking powder evenly over the whole mixture.
If you’ve used a can of pumpkin for the baked oatmeal, you’ll have about a cup leftover. That can be frozen too, or used in other pumpkin recipes:
- Healthy Pumpkin Muffins (and soaked pumpkin muffins)
- Healthy Pumpkin Cookies
- Grain-free Pumpkin Pancakes (or any orange vegetable)
- Cabbage Pumpkin Soup
- Other tips for using little bits of leftover pumpkin
- I’ve even tossed a bit of pumpkin into these paleo pancakes