Pumpkin Steel Cut Oatmeal With Walnuts and Dried Cherries

Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats
Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN
Total Time 45 min
Prep 5 min, Cook 40 min
Yield 2, 1.25 cup portions (323 cals)

Both winter squash (including pumpkin) and dried cherries are rich in carotenoids, which the body converts to vitamin A, a nutrient important for immune function and maintaining healthy cells. Pumpkin also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, yellow pigmented carotenoids that help protect eye health by filtering high-energy ultraviolet rays that can damage our eye lens and retina.

Combining these nutrient-dense ingredients with steel cut oatmeal turns your breakfast into a seriously good-for-you meal. Eating soluble fiber-rich oatmeal for breakfast may help lower cholesterol and have a protective effect on the heart, too.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons dried cherries

Preparation

  1. Place the oats in a medium saucepan and heat over medium high, stirring frequently, until the oats start to lightly toast, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add the water and milk and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
  3. Reduce heat to a low simmer, cover the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in the pumpkin puree, spices, and 1 tablespoon maple syrup and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes.
  1. Turn off the heat and scoop into 2 bowls.
  2. Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet until they smell fragrant and are just starting to brown, about 3 minutes.
  3. Divide the toasted walnuts, dried cherries and remaining tablespoon of maple syrup between the two bowls.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

For a summertime fix, take away the pumpkin puree and add extra milk in its place. Taking out the pumpkin, which is a starchy vegetable, will reduce the carbohydrate content slightly (1/2 cup of milk contains 6 grams of carbohydrate versus 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, which contains 10 grams of carbohydrate) and boost the protein in the recipe.

For an antioxidant punch, top with fresh, seasonal berries or sliced stone fruit such as peaches, plums, or nectarines. 

Cooking and Serving Tips

Instead of using canned pumpkin puree, try making your own puree using a pumpkin or winter squash. Heat the oven to 425F, cut the squash into quarters using a sharp knife.

Scoop out the seeds and save for another use.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the squash quarters on top. Rub each quarter with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon olive oil. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the squash is fork tender. Take out of the oven and let cool. Peel off the outer flesh and puree the soft insides with a blender or immersion blender.

 

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