Goodness gracious. Only 14 more days left of school for the semester and then I can officially say I survived 1/4th of dental hygiene school. I am so damn proud of myself and the progress I have made and all of the new skills I have acquired. Jumping into something I pretty much knew completely nothing about and (surprisingly) excelling as well as I have been. It's a good sign. Waking up at 6:30 most mornings, full days at school Monday thru Friday, has been a bit of an adjustment. Granted, it could always be worse, but it ain't easy. (This is also a nice reminder.) But really though, time has flowwwwwn by. Unbelievable.
That being said, Thursday mornings are the only weekday morning that I can "sleep in". My body's internal alarm clock doesn't really understand that concept, but at least I try. Usually I end up going for a long run, hitting the books, grabbing something quick to eat, then heading off to class to take radiographs in the afternoon. But today I decided I wanted to change that up a bit.
I got up. I did some yoga (my back and legs are thanking me--thank you, yoga). Meditated. Then meditated upon what to make for breakfast. Pumpkin. Ok. Oatmeal. Not again! Hmm, how could I make it even tastier than normal? I KNOW! BAKED pumpkin oatmeal!
I think I might explode.
I actually recall seeing several recipes in the past for pumpkin baked oatmeal and always thought, who has a darn hour to wait around for that thing to bake? When I'm hungry for breakfast, I'm hungry, dangit! I didn't think I could be able to handle it. But today I made myself.
It wasn't so bad.
It was worth the wait.
Warm. Comforting. Gingery. Pumpkin-y. Raisin-y. Nutty. Delicious. Healthy. Goodness. Pretty much just like pumpkin bread pudding. And there are caramelized bananas on the bottom as a nice surprise, too. Is it breakfast, dessert, or a breakfast dessert? I'll let you decide.
And now I can save myself some time in the morning by not having to make a pot of my usual pumpkin oatmeal! Awesome.
(I just now had my second serving of the day as a dessert warmed up with a few bites of The Penny Ice Creamery's brown butter spiced pecan, winter squash, and brown butter sage ice cream. They are wonderful compliments to any Fall-related dessert, let me tell ya. I kind of died and went to heaven.)
(Oh yes, and I do in fact take pictures of my breakfasts on my front porch in my pajamas for the entire neighborhood to see. I hope they find it as entertaining as I do.)
Ginger Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal
Makes approximately 4-6 servings
Adapted from here
canola oil cooking spray
1 Tbsp ghee
2 large yellowish-green bananas
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup dried fruit (I used half raisins, half chopped dates, and a little chopped crystallized ginger)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp chai spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp pure maple syrup
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat an 8-inch square or round baking dish with cooking spray.
Melt the ghee in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced bananas and cook for about 2 minutes, gently flipping to evenly brown both sides. Add cinnamon and maple syrup and let the mixture boil/thicken for about 30 seconds. Spoon the bananas into the bottom of the dish in an even layer. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the oats, dried fruit, nuts, brown sugar, baking powder, and spices. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the milk, pumpkin puree, egg, grated ginger, and maple syrup.
Stir the oat mixture into the milk/pumpkin mixture. Pour over the bananas in the dish.
Bake for 15 minutes at 375, then turn up the oven to 400 and bake for another 15 minutes until the top is slightly crisp and browned. Optionally, if you dare trying, you could bake the entire thing at 400 for probably about 25 minutes and be okay, I just wanted to make sure the center would set and not be gooey/raw. It's up to you.
Allow to cool a few minutes before serving. Tip! Great alongside a dollop of vanilla or plain yogurt.