Warming Pumpkin Spice Porridge
To manage stress (and your blood sugar levels), a filling, satisfying, balanced breakfast is key. It can determine how your blood sugar and energy levels are sustained throughout your day. It sometimes seems difficult to integrate a good breakfast into your daily routine and it can appear time-consuming. When really, making delicious food and taking care of yourself is a lot about being smart with your time and finding compromises that work for you. Even if you do not prepare a whole dish, you can prepare components of it to save time. (This also allows for more flexibility in what you’re actually making.) The following breakfast idea is made out of a handful of components that can all be ready and prepared before you get started which makes it an easily made breakfast that does not require more than 10 minutes in the kitchen in the morning.
As the days go colder, I enjoy balancing my energy levels with a warming breakfast. And one of my current favorites is this: A Warming Pumpkin Spice Porridge
I use varying ingredients depending on what’s in season, what I have at home, and what I feel like eating, but the general amounts stay the same. While reading through the recipe, you will find options for replacements, because it is a dish you can creatively tailor to you preferences (and to your cabinet). I also included tips for making pumpkin sauce, sweet potato puree, apple sauce and the pumpkin spice mix. Scroll all the way to the bottom of this blog for that!
100ml cashew mylk or any milk of your choice; add more depending on your preference
1/3 cup of oats or any other cereal flakes of your choice (I also like buckwheat. The only combination that I wouldn’t recommend is millet flakes - their flavor is a bit overpowering.
1/3 - 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree (alternatively sweet potato puree serves as a replacement. You will need to add water or more milk to adjust the consistency of the porridge, because sweet potatoes are a lot thicker and stickier than pumpkin)
1/3 - 1/2 cup apple sauce (or any other fruit sauce / puree of your choice. Seasonal fruits like quince, plums, or pears all taste great)
1 pinch of sea salt or Himalayan salt
1/2-1 teaspoon of pumpkin spice mix (alternatively you can only add a bit of cinnamon or vanilla, depending on what you have)
Optional: 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or coconut blossom sugar, raw cane sugar, or raw honey)
Topping ideas: maple syrup or raw honey, nut or seed butter, fresh fruit, fried banana, fruit compote, coconut flakes/shreds, seeds or nuts of your choice (raw or toasted), flax seeds, hemp seeds, bee pollen,….. whatever you have at home and love eating!
Give milk, oats, pumpkin puree, apple sauce, salt, and pumpkin spice into a small saucepan.
Bring the mix to boil and reduce the heat to low to let it simmer. Stir constantly as it thickens to avoid it from sticking to the pan or burning. It only takes a few minutes until the porridge is cooked. Add more milk if you feel that it is too thick for you.
Once you take the porridge from the stove, you can stir in some maple syrup, raw honey, raw cane sugar or coconut blossom sugar. Don’t boil the sweetener of your choice, as it may reduce the beneficial vitamins and minerals found in these whole food sweeteners.
You can top the porridge with anything you like. I like to combine toasted seeds or nuts, nut or seed butter (in this case I used pumpkin seed butter) with fruit compote, flax seeds, psyllium husk, bee pollen, or even shortly fried banana.
Instead of buying processed pumpkin sauce, apple sauce or a pumpkin spice mix, you can simply make them at home. I usually prepare them while I am already in the kitchen.
To make pumpkin puree
You’ll need a medium sized hokkaido pumpkin. Simply wash it (you can eat its skin, so no need to remove it) and transfer it to a baking sheet on a baking tray. It can stay in the oven for about 30-40 minutes at 200-225 degrees (Celsius). Basically, make sure that it’s properly cooked. You should be able to poke into it with a fork easily, without any resistance. Once it’s cooled down, you can cut it into pieces, remove the seeds and blend it with an immersion blender. If you use a normal blender, you may have to add a bit of water to make it blend. Store it in a mason jar in your fridge for 2-3 days.
To make sweet potato puree
Get a big sweet potato or two middle-sized ones. Wash them and cut them into cubes. You can add 1 tsp. coconut oil, if you like. As with the pumpkin, simply bake them on a baking sheet + tray in the oven. They will need 20-25 minutes at 200 degrees (Celsius) depending on your oven and the size of the cubes. Once cool, blend with an immersion blender, add a bit of water to adjust consistency, if you want. This can be stored in a jar the fridge for 2-3 days.
To make apple sauce
Wash 2-3 (or more) apples thoroughly. Apples are among those fruits that have the highest pesticide residue, if you buy produce of commercial farming. I usually buy organic apples. If your apples are not organic, remove the skin. If they are organic, don’t. Remove the seeds and cut the apples into small cubes. Steam them in a pan with a bit of water (I more or less go for 1 cm of water at the bottom of the pan) at a low heat for about 15-20 minutes. The apples should be very soft when they’re done, but not fall apart. You can also add cinnamon or vanilla and sweeten it to your taste with a sweetener of your choice. I like mine “naked” without any sugars added. Apples usually unfold their sweetness once they’re cooked. Without any sugars added, you can leave the apple sauce in the fridge for 2-3 days. These instructions also apply to other fruit sauces or purees, although quinces usually need more time to cook.
To make your own pumpkin spice mix
Mix 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger (or a bit more), 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice and 1/2 teaspoon (or less) of ground cloves together. If you want to make more, double or triple the amounts and store it in a jar.