Pumpkin+oats=HEAVEN

So today started with a fail. A running fail. I woke up set to do an easy 3 miler before breakfast, but it was tipping down with rain! Absolutely pouring. I looked up the weather forecast, and it said that it would stop raining by 10am. Well it didn’t. BUT on the upside, I did have just about the best breakfast ever. Yep, as you probably guessed by the title, I had pumpkin oatmeal! Open-mouthed smile

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I know, it doesn’t look very appetising, but trust me- it tasted so good and kept me full for hours afterwards (rare for me!).

Basic Pumpkin Oatmeal (serves 1 hungry person!)

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1.5 cups milk (or 1 cup milk+ .5 cup water)
  • 0.5 cups canned pumpkin
  • 0.25 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 0.25 teaspoon cinnamon (I actually used about 1.5 teaspoon- I love cinnamon!)
  • Agave nectar/sugar to sweeten if desired
  • Any other add-inns! (I added 1 tbsp raisins)

Microwave milk/water and oats for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the microwave and stir in the canned pumpkin and spices. Heat again for 40-60 seconds, then sweeten and put in add-ins if desired. Then enjoy Smile

I then went out to lunch with my family in London. We ate at a cheap family pub called ‘The Fox on the Hill’. I always have doubts about eating out, because I often struggle with the menu. Finding good, filling healthy vegetarian meals that appeal is something I find quite difficult at many places, but surprisingly, not here!

Fox on the Hill

For my starter, I had organic tomato and basil soup, which was delicious, and Thai Noodles with a side of veggies for my main (forgot to photograph before diving in-sorry!), which didn’t disappoint either- the veggies were especially yummy!

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I was too full to even consider the desserts, but by the time we got back home, I had just about made room for some dark chocolate! In fact, quite a bit of  chocolate… Smile with tongue out

And typically, by lunchtime, the weather had brightened up considerably! The sun was shining for once! I hope it is for my postponed run tomorrow morning too! This was the view from where we were sitting at lunch:

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Of course I also had time to scrawl a quick Operation Beautiful note on a Post-It note (I carry them everywhere with me now!) to leave on the mirror in the restaurant toilets:

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When I got back, I looked at the pile of work on my desk that had to be done, and then I thought about what I really wanted to do. Responsibility or pleasure? Well of course, I went for the latter- baking time! As promised yesterday, I have a recipe to share! And of course, going back to the post title, guess what it mainly consisted of? If you guessed pumpkin and oats, then you are a genius Smile

Oaty Pumpkin Squares (vegan friendly)

Take a yummy pumpkin pie filling, and sandwich it in an oaty, crumble mixture, and you end up with a delicious, healthier treat that is quick and easy to make! Makes about 24 squares.

Preheat oven to 375F/190C/ (or 170C if you have a fan-assisted oven like me) and add 200g (1.5 cups) porridge oats, 150g (1.25 cups) flour in a bowl. (I used half wholemeal flour and half regular).DSC02807

Add 110g (3/4 cup) soft light brown sugar, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda), 85g (3/4 cup) softened butter. (I used half sugar, half natural sweetener and vegan butter substitute.

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Mix it all in! I would recommend you make sure your butter is really soft, because I had some trouble mixing it in to begin with! Then press 2/3rds of this mixture into your baking tin and bake for 10 minutes.DSC02814

Meanwhile, put into a bowl 350ml (2 cups) pumpkin puree, 100ml (2/3 cup) milk, 50g (1/3 cup) soft brown sugar, 1 egg, 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp ground ginger, ¼ tsp ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp ground cloves. (I used unsweetened soya milk, 1.5 tsp cinnamon and half sugar half sweetener).  Yes it doesn’t look pretty at first:DSC02818

But then when you beat it all together, it looks (marginally) less disgusting.DSC02819

When it’s ready, remove base from oven, and pour over the mixture. (Sorry for the terrible pictures by the way- I was seriously struggling with the lighting in my kitchen at this point!)DSC02822

Then top with the remaining crumble mixture.

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Put back in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until set. Then cut into squares/bars, cool, and enjoy!

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If you are like me, enjoy 3 of them! You can store the rest in a airtight container in the fridge, until the next time hunger strikes, or your sweet tooth rages. Then you’ll know exactly where to head… Open-mouthed smileDSC02833

Oh yes, and don’t forget the *best* part of any baking/cooking adventure…DSC02825

…the clearing up!

Question: Do you have problems with the menu when eating out? How do you get around this?

Have a great evening everyone! Open-mouthed smile

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4 Responses

  1. Those pumpkin squares look AMAZING!

    • Thanks! But when I got home this evening, I found that my brother had eaten THE ENTIRE REST OF THE BATCH! All 22 squares! I wasn’t happy, but was also slightly in awe! Well at least it gives me an excuse to whip up something else tomorrow 🙂

  2. Hey- I just found your blog- seems like we have very similar interests haha! Those pumpkin squares look so good!
    The main problem I have when eating out is places putting V next to dishes that are not vegetarian (eg ones that have parmeasan or other non veggie cheeses etc). Grrr. But normally when I ask for stuff to come without the cheese or something then they are fine. Now I am braver I actually ask!

  3. Thanks! Yep, I just checked out your blog, and it seems like we do! 🙂
    Haha funny you should mention that! See today’s post for more info…!

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