Saturday, July 9, 2011

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Sa-weet Mornin'!

"There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast."  Found that quote this morning, and thought it was appropriate for this post. Cat or human, I like to start my morning with a great breakfast. It's the first thing you eat after an 8 hour fast, so why should it be either nothing, or nothing special? This is why I always start my day off with a mug of green tea, and a filling plate of goodness.

While it is about 90% humidity on this Summer morning, my incessant obsession with the autumn months has come full swing for this meal. I had half a sweet potato left over from dinner last night, and the rest was history... Really, it came to me before going to bed. Call me obsessed, but I always plan my breakfast before my head hits the pillow. Left over dinner = A+ breakfast. And so the Sweet 'Tater Pie Oatmeal was born. If you've never had Sweet Potato Pie, it's pretty much Pumpkin Pie with (drumroll please!)...Sweet Potatoes! So if you're a fan, and pumpkin pie filling is not abundant in your grocery store, I suggest trying!
Anyway, here is my recipe for a sweet and satisfying oatmeal for those autumn obsessed like myself.

Sweet 'Tater Pie Oatmeal
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup water
1/2 sweet potato (about 1/2 a cup mashed)
2 Tablespoons Soy (or your choice) milk
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 heaping teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
pinch allspice
pinch ground clove
chopped nuts (optional)
maple syrup (optional)

Measuring Cups
Measuring Spoons
Serving Bowl
Small mixing bowl

First off, if you know how to make oatmeal from rolled oats, this is the first step. Most containers come with directions as well, but if not, simply combine oats and water in a bowl and microwave for about 3 minutes. I use a wide mouthed bowl since the oatmeal tends to overflow if you don't. If you prefer stovetop preparation, bring water to a boil, add oats, and reduce to simmer for about 5 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
While the oatmeal was cooking, I chopped up some almonds to sprinkle on the top of my oatmeal. Fee free to use any nut you have available, or none. I just like the extra crunch it gives the oatmeal, and mimics a crunchy pie crust. (ok, a little bit of a stretch, but delicious none- the- less.) 

I still had some time left on the oatmeal, so I combined my sweet potato, milk, and spices in a mixing bowl and mashed with a fork until it was all combined. I included vanilla in the recipe, but neglected to include it in my actual preparation, but I know it would be a delicious addition, so add your vanilla here as well. 
When the oats were done, I simply combined them with the sweet potato mixture until all were happily mingled. Then I topped it off with my chopped nuts, a little more cinnamon and soy milk, and a drizzle of maple syrup. 
Let me just say the smell of this oatmeal will make you think that Halloween is next week, and Apple season is in full swing. It's the dead of Summer, but I would make this again in a heartbeat. I would say the maple syrup makes this dish, adding just the right amount of sweetness. If you would like, a sprinkle of brown sugar would also make this oatmeal even more like the autumn pie. It's really like eating pie filling (which is my favorite part!). Anyway, this was a delicious way to start off this humid morning, and has inspired my to try using oats when it comes to making pumpkin pie this Fall. That post will have to wait, but enjoy this as much as I did, and you won't even miss the pie!

What's your favorite way to start the morning? I routinely sip on green tea while I check my email.

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