Pumpkin gingerbread baked oatmeal that’s easy to make, gluten free and vegan. Plus, it’s Christmas-y!
It’s not too early. Is it? No. Definitely not.
Generally, I try to avoid getting into the Christmas mood until December 1. But after weeks of hearing Christmas music when I go shopping, being tempted by holiday-themed candy, and reading about the Starbucks’ red cup ‘controversy’, I’ve given up on trying to wait two more weeks.
The last straw was realizing I was accidentally singing ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ to myself the other day.
So here’s my first Christmas-themed recipe for 2015: gingerbread baked oatmeal. Actually, it’s really pumpkin gingerbread baked oatmeal. Which reflects my current state of mind – half of me misses the great month of Pumpktober, while the other half is totally ready for the silly season.
Gingerbread is one of those foods that people can be pretty darn fussy about. Crunchy or soft cookies? Highly spiced or subtly spiced? Pepper or no pepper?
With that in mind, let me explain what this gingerbread oatmeal is like, so nobody’s surprised if it isn’t what they were expecting. There’s a reasonable amount of spice in the oatmeal, but it’s not overly spicy. I like using a 1:1 ratio of ginger and cinnamon, with a smaller amount of cloves. That’s it – no pepper or other spices.
If you prefer gingerbread that has more ginger than cinnamon, or more cloves – or anything else – then adjust the spices accordingly.
Blackstrap molasses, vanilla extract and maple syrup add flavor and sweetness. If you don’t have any blackstrap molasses, leave them out and replace the maple syrup with brown sugar. But don’t leave out the vanilla extract!
As for texture, this is pretty much like eating a little oatmeal cake. So we’ll have to save the crunchy v soft gingerbread debate for another day. (By the way, I’m all for soft cookies).
Oh, and I nearly forgot one of the most exciting things about this breakfast: the chocolate-y variation!
If you look at the notes under the recipe, you’ll see my suggesting for turning this into Chocolate Stuffed Gingerbread Baked Oatmeal. It’s a ridiculously simple variation, since it’s the same basic baked oatmeal with chocolate chips hidden in the middle.
But let me tell you, it’s awfully exciting to dig into your mini breakfast cake and find there’s melted chocolate in the middle. I used dark chocolate, but milk or even white chocolate will be A-OK. Alternatively, replace the chocolate chips with a spoonful of chocolate nut butter (or Nutella).
Well, I certainly hope I haven’t spooked anyone by talking about Christmas already.
‘Cos ready or not, here comes Santa Claus.
Yes, that thing exists!
Pumpkin O’s – a dry cereal similar to Cheerios, but pumpkin-y – do, in fact, exist.
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon blackstrap molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 - 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ⅔ cup almond milk
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease two ramekins.
- In a bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, blackstrap molasses, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Stir in the almond milk.
- Add the rolled oats, baking powder and salt, and mix until well combined. Divide the oatmeal batter between the prepared ramekins.
- Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the tops are dry and a little firm. If removing the baked oatmeals from the ramekins, allow them to cool for 5 minutes first. Enjoy!
Once you’ve made the oatmeal batter (at Step 3), divide half the batter between the prepared ramekins. Place 1 - 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips in the center of each ramekin. Divide the remaining oatmeal batter between the ramekins, making sure the chocolate chips are completely covered. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes, and eat immediately!
If you don't have blackstrap molasses, leave them out and replace the maple syrup with brown sugar.