Rise 'n Shine

Some people go their entire lives thinking of pumpkin as something reserved for pie. And while that's a wonderful application, pumpkins are perfect for so much more. Since those who have relegated it to the pie world aren't likely to begin a more varied relationship with it by roasting one in an oven, scooping out its flesh and running it through a food processor, I thought it might be nice to introduce you to some of my favorite fast breakfasts that feature canned pureed pumpkin. This month, I'm offering you one that's extra simple.

During the busiest mornings of the week and especially when it's chilly (which is about nine months out of the year in Wisconsin!), I like to make quick oatmeal for breakfast. Now I know there are food snobs out there that are rolling their eyes as they are reading these words (or maybe not ... this isn't really a column that would appeal to most food snobs!), but very few of us have the time or the energy to pull out a saucepan and spend a half an hour or more making steel cut oatmeal from scratch. Sometimes I'll make that easier by using my slow cooker, but that's a different column.

This month, I'm talking about the quick and dirty heaven sent product that is quick oats. Whether you like them simple with a little milk and maybe a touch of brown sugar or you enjoy them brimming with everything from dried fruit to chocolate chips, quick oats can warm you on a cold day, fuel you easier until the lunch hour and cater to your special tastes ... all in less than five minutes! This month's recipe combines quick oats with seasonal ingredients like pumpkin, pecans and crystallized ginger. It's a wonderful way to start your day and a nice way to bring on the Thanksgiving spirit without spending too much time in the kitchen! Enjoy!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at .

Pumpkin-Ginger Oatmeal

  • 1/2 c. quick oats
  • 3/4 c. skim milk
  • 1/4 c. pumpkin puree
  • Dash salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 c. chopped pecans -- optional
  • 1 T. chopped crystallized ginger

Combine all ingredients except ginger in a medium-sized bowl. Microwave the mixture on HIGH for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Stir gently and sprinkle the chopped crystallized ginger over the top. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 1 serving
  • Preparation Time: 3 minutes