I don’t like oatmeal, even if it is smothered in brown sugar. I was raised on the white bread equivalent, Cream of Wheat, and prefer it’s taste and texture. However, I have found that steel-cut oatmeal is tasty. Alyssa and I are big fans of the new Food Network star, Aarti Sequeira, and her show Aarti Party. Recently she made oatmeal with Indian spices and pumpkin puree. It sounded good enough for even me to try. I had a little leftover pumpkin puree, so I down-sized all of the other ingredients accordingly and made about three servings. Here is Aarti’s recipe:

1 14 ounce can unseasoned pumpkin puree
2 Cups water
2 Cups unsweetened almond milk or milk or water
2 Tablespoons golden or regular raisins
1/4 Teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 Teaspoon pumpkin pie spice OR 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 Cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
Honey or maple sugar, for serving
Heavy cream, for serving
Combine pumpkin puree, water, milk, raisins, salt and spices in a large saucepan. Cook over high heat until it comes to a boil.
Add the oatmeal. Turn the heat down and cook according to package directions, about 15 minutes.
Toast the pepitas in a small cast iron skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant and a gentle golden brown for about 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the toasted pepitas on top and serve the cooked oatmeal with honey or sugar and cream, if desired.
Due to what was in my kitchen, I had to make a few adjustments. Lacking almond milk, I added some almond extract to non-fat milk for flavor. The pepitas I had on hand were already toasted, so I just re-heated them a bit in a small non-stick pan. I didn’t add any sugar and used non-fat milk instead of cream.
It was tasty, but I wasn’t sold. It was still oatmeal. If I had used almond milk it would have probably been tastier and sugar might have helped too. Also, I’m not sure I got the spices correct when I downsized. They could have jumped out a bit more.
Dan thought the oatmeal was delicious. He didn’t even add any sugar. Guess we’ll have to try it again and maybe I’ll get used to oatmeal.
Happy Cooking!