Unfortunately, the cleaning, cooking, and pureeing process can be laborious and messy (all those stringy insides and slippery seeds - and then you have to wait hours for the rinds to cook in the oven!) so I usually try to have a bit of fun with our pumpkins first. Since traditional carving makes the inner flesh unusable, I usually stick to relief carving - and cut into the pumpkins only a few days before I intend to cook them.
I didn't have time to get too creative this year (in fact, I have yet to carve the pie pumpkin), but I did have time to create a bit of a "punkin" (get it?). I guess this is the kind of pumpkin you get when an food-loving English major and a Math major get married:
All cheesy puns aside, this large pumpkin gave me a couple pounds of puree - much more than I could fit in our freezer, so I had to act quickly. I took a half cup of freshly cooled puree, mixed it with some vanilla soy milk and oatmeal, and created these overnight oats. They make a hearty breakfast, and with the hint of sweet from the soy milk, they're almost dessert-like.
Pumpkin Overnight Oats
1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1/2 cup soy milk or almond milk (vanilla recommended!)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1-2 Tablespoons flax or chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger)
1/2 Tablespoon maple syrup or brown sugar
Optional toppings:1 Tablespoon coconut
1 Tablespoon raisins
Toasted pumpkin seeds
In a small bowl, stir oats, milk, and pumpkin puree until well blended. Stir in any desired add-ins (you're by no mess limited to the choices listed here - the options are limitless!). Cover and place in refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight. Before serving, top with coconut, raisins or nuts. Enjoy your velvety smooth oatmeal breakfast cold!
A few notes: I've seen similar dishes all over the blogosphere, but this is my first time trying overnight oats and I have to say, I'm hooked! I loved the pumpkin variety and had some fun playing with mix-ins - deciding on cinnamon, a sprinkling of coconut, some flax seeds, and freshly toasted pumpkin seeds. Because I used vanilla soy milk, I didn't feel the need to add any sweetener, but you may want to add some brown sugar or maple syrup if your milk is unflavored or unsweetened.
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