Can Oatmeal Make You Better At Math?

This morning, Noemi asked, “can I have oatmeal again, Mommy?” I said of course and pulled out Thursday’s leftovers from the fridge to heat up. But the eagerness on her face seemed beyond what a bowl of oatmeal would warrant.

“Why do you want oatmeal again, baby?” I probed.

She puffed out her chest. “Because I was so speedy in math yesterday. Mrs. P asked what I had for breakfast and I said oatmeal and she said it must have worked and that I should have oatmeal EVERY day.”

“A ha,” I said, stifling a smile.

I can’t guarantee this breakfast will make you better at math, but I can tell you it’s like waking up to a bowl of pumpkin pie. Only this version is full of fiber and nutrients rather than sugar. The recipe here is made with steel cut oats, but I’ve found it works just as well with faster-cooking rolled oats (I’d suggest passing on “quick-cook” oats, though; they get a bit too mushy).

I’d go so far as to call this my all time favorite oatmeal recipe. Although stay tuned; I’ll be expanding my repertoire … something tells me I’ll be cooking quite a lot of oats in the coming months.

Mini Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins

I’m bringing cupcakes to Noemi’s school for her birthday, only I was asked to 1) make them mini and 2) make them healthy enough to sub for an afternoon snack. But, dang it, I still wanted it to say “celebration!” My mind went to an oatmeal pumpkin cupcake-cum-muffin and, since I didn’t have time to figure it out, I set about Googling. And I found this on Une-Deux Senses.

mini pumpkin muffinsLet me count the ways I love this muffin:

1) It uses only whole wheat flour and oatmeal. I can’t tell you how hard it is to find a baked recipe that a) uses only whole wheat flour and b) doesn’t feel like a brick.

2) It uses pumpkin puree (which I looovve) in the cake, streusel topping and glaze.

3) It has a streusel topping and glaze — at first I was skeptical about the streusel, but in the end it added a nice textural counterpoint … without nuts.

4) These (I made them as mini muffins–it yielded 72) actually turned out moist and lovely, which is an anomaly for me and any baked good.

5) The glaze makes it special enough for Noe’s birthday treat!

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal with Toasted Pecans

This breakfast is downright decadent–like a pumpkin pie in a bowl. Don’t let its sumptuousness rob you of pleasure though, this oatmeal is super-healthy too. It’s loaded with fiber from the pumpkin and whole grain goodness from the oats.

pumpkin-spiced-oatmeal-recipe2 cups cooked steel cut oats
1 cup canned pumpkin (half a 15-ounce can)
1/2 cup low-fat milk
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon allspice)
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and crumbled

Stir together all ingredients except nuts in a medium saucepan over medium heat until heated through.

Spoon into bowls and top with crumbled pecans.

Serves 4