Baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal
This Baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal tastes indulgent enough to be dessert but is actually an easy, healthy breakfast everyone will love. This time of year we rotate between this, Pumpkin Pie Chia Seed Pudding, and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread.
It’s fall, ya’ll! (I’ve always wanted to say “ya’ll.”) And with that comes everything pumpkin. I know, I know, you’re probably sick of pumpkin by now but you know what? I’m going to embrace it, because I love it. And, it’s a fall thing, and it’s fall, so I figure I’ll just go with the season and the flavors of the season that I enjoy eating.
Pumpkin isn’t just for pies and lattes, either, you know. It makes a yummy ingredient in breakfast foods as well — like muffins, breads, and oatmeals. Oatmeal is so easy to make for breakfast, and easy to make ahead. Whether you try overnight oats, prep your oatmeal for baking, or just enjoy microwaving it, it really doesn’t matter. It’s so hard to mess up, and so tasty I can’t help but want to come up with new spins on the same, old, same old nearly weekly (or so it seems).
Enter: Baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal. On fall days, not only do I love pumpkin but I also love warm meals. Sure, microwaving is easy but baking is better. Especially when you’re baking oatmeal and the top gets a little hard and crispy and you kind of feel like you’re eating dessert for breakfast. Oh, and the smell from the baking oatmeal and the pumpkin pie spices fills up your whole house? That makes for a good morning.
What Makes Baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Healthy?
Even though I said it’s going to feel like you’re eating dessert for breakfast — this baked oatmeal still has a lot of nutrition in it. Yeah, I added a little, teeny, tiny bit of sweetness in the dish by way of brown sugar and chocolate chips, but just a couple teaspoons. You can easily eliminate these items and it will still taste great!
- Oatmeal is a healthy, inexpensive grain that’s enjoyed by all ages and in all sorts of foods. It is gluten-free, and contains tons of fiber, antioxidants, protein, vitamins B1 and B5, manganese, copper, iron, and a host of other vitamins and minerals.
- Nonfat milk contains all the same nutrients (calcium, protein, potassium, riboflavin, vitamins D, and B) as full-fat milk, but just with less fat. If you are worried about your saturated fat intake, then nonfat or skim milk is a good dairy choice for a lot of recipes.
- Pumpkin puree is full of lots of fiber and important vitamins and minerals, such as iron, beta-carotene, and vitamins E, C, and A. You can add it to a lot of dishes for an extra nutrient boost without altering the flavor of your foods too much as well. (Think soups, chilis, and breads.)
- Spices add flavor without adding calories or sugar. Plus, what’s a fall food containing pumpkin without pumpkin pie spice?
Ideas for Customizing Baked Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal
There are so many ways to customize oatmeal! Customizing a recipe might be my favorite thing about developing recipes. For oatmeal, I feel like there is almost an infinitesimal amount of ways to make it your own. But these are my favorite:
- If you don’t embrace pumpkin, that’s okay. How about swapping in some apples, bananas, pears, or berries? (With or without the pie spice.)
- Leave out the brown sugar, chocolate chips, or both to eliminate some extra sugar content.
- Add a dash of honey or real maple syrup instead of brown sugar or chocolate chips.
- Microwave this oatmeal if you don’t care about a crispy top and are in a hurry.
- Make this into “overnight oats” but allowing all the ingredients to sit overnight except for the chocolate chips.
- Use steel-cut oats for a more chewy texture (but you’ll need to cook it longer if you don’t want it to be too chewy.
- How about adding in some raisins or craisins before baking for some added sweetness and texture?
- Add in grated carrots and you’ll feel like you’re having carrot cake for breakfast.
What’s the Difference Between Old Fashioned and Steel-Cut Oats?
Although old fashioned and steel-cut oats are roughly the same nutritionally, they are made differently, and thus cook differently. Old fashioned oats are oats that have been rolled and steamed from the oat groat (like a wheat stalk, but with oats), whereas steel-cut oats are oat groats that have been cut up several times without being smashed or steamed.
So you can imagine, then, that old fashioned (or rolled) oats cook up much faster than their steel-cut counterpart. (Two to three minutes versus 20-30 minutes.) Steel-cut oats are also chewier in texture and tend to maintain that texture even after cooking, while rolled oats can kind of come together as a unit more often (this is why they make such good cooking companions).
This recipe originally was posted in 2011 with the photo below. It has been updated with tips, ideas, and new photos.
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