Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal

When Mason first started solid foods I read the book Super Baby Food. This is probably the world's most intimidating baby food book, but it was recommended to me by my pediatrician (who I LOVE). So I read it... not cover to cover because it's seriously bigger than a Bible and far less significant, but I read kind of a lot of it.

Of all the things this book said - and it said lots of things - the concept that I liked the most was the way the author suggested doing oatmeal. Basically, her idea is that you jam as much stuff into oatmeal as possible. She calls is "super porridge," and it's the foundation of the baby's diet from 6months - 1 yr. This make-oatmeal-and-fill-it-with-fruits-and-vegetables concept sounded really doable to me. Plus, my friend Anna had told me that she did something similar with her son. He was alive and well, so I figured it was at least worth trying.

Now, I haven't talked a lot about my baby food/baby feeding thoughts on this blog, but the gist of it is this: I don't like making extra stuff for Mason. I do when I need to, but I like to give him what we're eating as much as possible. Obviously, things like salad are not going to work at this juncture, and not just because he only has 4 teeth. Therefore, I didn't really want to make any of the suggested weird oatmeal concoctions (e.g. Nutritional yeast, avocado, banana, spinach puree oatmeal) because a) that sounds disgusting and b) I was also eating the oatmeal. I could try and turn my laziness into some sort of pretentious feeding philosophy, but basically if I'm making something I'm going to eat it.

Enter Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal. I've made it a little more fun in the last 8 months, and Mason LOVES it. In fact, there was a period of time when he didn't like plain oatmeal, but only ate oatmeal with pumpkin in it. He didn't have all the "spice" until probably 10 months, but I'm telling you canned pumpkin in oatmeal is where it's at.

We took a little pumpkin oatmeal hiatus over the summer, and Mason jumped on board the daddy breakfast train with Kiah and had eggs. But now it's fall. Organic canned pumpkin is back at Trader Joe's. We stocked up and this morning was our first pumpkin oatmeal of the season.

Pumpkin Spiced Oatmeal


2 cups old fashioned oats 
1/2 can organic pumpkin 
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 apple
1 pint blueberries
handful walnuts
maple syrup or agave or honey to taste

Make 2 cups of oatmeal the "creamier way" - this means that you put the oats, water, and a pinch of salt all into the pot at the same time; bring to a boil then simmer.
Once the oatmeal is simmering add 1/2 can of organic pumpkin (I freeze the remainder in an ice cube tray).
Stir in nutmeg, cinnamon and some of your sweetener. Usually I use agave, but this morning we were out, so I used maple syrup. I usually start with a tsp of both nutmeg and cinnamon and then add in a little more to taste at the end. Same with sweetener.
When the oatmeal has simmered for 3-5 min, spoon into a bowl and top with chopped apples, blueberries, walnuts and a drizzle of syrup/agave/honey.*

*Mason doesn't like fruit inside of his oatmeal, so I set him up in his high chair with chopped apples, blueberries and walnuts while I'm making the oatmeal. This makes my process a little easier, and he stays happy.



Ashlee Gadd said...

Definitely bookmarking this. We are starting solid foods when Ev hits 6 months and I am completely clueless on what to make! If you decide to share more baby food/baby feeding tips in the future, know that at least one reader is super interested in that!! ;)

Britty Wesely said...

Ditto! That sounds yummy. Also... Ashlee Gadd just commented on your blog. You should be thrilled because she doesn't do that (so she says). :)

[Anna] said...

@Ashlee - For sure! I do have other, less intimidating books that I really liked... maybe it's time for a little book review :)

@Britty - I KNOW! I was super thrilled and also super impressed because not only did Ashlee post, but she didn't ramble ;) Y'all make my day!

Lesley Miller said...

Thank you for this! After 6 months of refusing any oatmeal I offered, Anna took interest in Jonathan's oatmeal this week and has been gobbling up a bowl every morning! We've been doing crock pot steel cut apple oatmeal, and I have a recipe for banana coconut milk oatmeal too. I'm adding this to our list.

maxi said...

Sorry I have a question that might sound weird: I am from Germany and here we say nutmeg is poisoning when you use more than a sprinkle and kids should not eat it at all.So I was a little irritated that you put nutmeg in baby food.Is it a typical spice in the US to use?I am wondering if it is a myth that it is "dangerous" because I really like the taste for example in mashed potatos.Thank you and greetings from Europe ;)

[Anna] said...

@Maxi -
Thank you for your comment. I have actually never heard the poisonous nutmeg story, but I did a little research and from what I can tell only large amounts of raw nutmeg can have dangerous side affects. Actually, it seems like some people do use high amounts as a hallucinogen (crazy!). In this recipe the nutmeg is cooked and also still in a small quantity, especially since it's spread out over multiple servings. I'm no expert, but I'm not too worried about it. Enjoy :)