In the classic fairy tale of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” somebody ate all of Baby Bear’s porridge because, well, it was just right.
A breakfast staple of Scotland, porridge is a mush, usually made from cereal grains and served hot without the addition of sweeteners. If porridge sounds like an odd way to start the day, consider it not all that different from Southern-style grits, Italian polenta or even Chinese congee.
The Star’s Pumpkin Pie Porridge brings interest to a typically bland oatmeal base by adding pumpkin pie spice.
Shakers of Pumpkin Pie Spice are sold in the spice section of most supermarkets. But if you don’t have any on hand, add 2 healthy dashes of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves. Pumpkin puree and applesauce add additional flavor and elevate the nutritional punch.
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Garnish with a bit of brown sugar and toasted nuts.
Cooking tips: If a thinner consistency is desired, stir in additional warm milk, about 2 to 4 tablespoons.
If a less sweet version is desired, omit brown sugar.
If time allows, toasting pecans or walnuts intensifies their flavor. To toast the nuts, spread out the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 7 minutes or until lightly toasted. You can toast a cup or two of nuts and freeze extras for other uses. It is convenient to have toasted nuts on hand.
Recipe can easily be doubled to serve 4.
Pumpkin Pie Porridge
Makes 2 servings (each serving approximately 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup skim or 1-percent milk
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup cinnamon applesauce
4 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted if desired
In a small saucepan, over medium high heat, bring milk to a boil; reduce to a simmer and stir in oats and pumpkin pie spice. Continue to stir and cook over low heat 4 minutes. Add pumpkin and applesauce and blend well. Cook an additional 30 to 60 seconds.
Divide between serving bowls. Sprinkle each bowl with 2 teaspoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon nuts.
Per serving: 308 calories (23 percent from fat), 8 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), 2 milligrams cholesterol, 48 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams protein, 54 milligrams sodium, 6 grams dietary fiber.
Recipe developed exclusively for The Star by Kansas City-based professional home economists Kathy Moore and Roxanne Wyss.