Wednesday, November 14, 2012

In Which Frugal Sister Enjoys a Hearty Breakfast

Even California has seasons. It might not mean snow tires and numb fingers, but we too put away the shorts and turn up the heater.

My daughter was looking for a high nutrition, low calorie morning meal before she heads off on her run. In addition to the calories and vitamins, it had to be warm and (for me) budget conscious. We have been eating oatmeal for breakfast about every other day. You can mix some great stuff with oatmeal. Blueberries are terrific, but, since they aren't really in season right now, it's a budget issue. Raisin and Cinnamon is the big winner for me. We chop up frozen fruit (bought in restaurant size bulk at the discount food store), leave it on the counter at night and in the morning add it to the morning pot. I've calculated that this meal runs about $2. The stove top does double duty because it warms the kitchen.

Right now, pumpkin is my favorite ingredient. I found Libby's canned pumpkin on sale and gobbled (!) up 3 of them. I make pumpkin bread for holiday gifting. Maybe I should have grabbed the case!

Pumpkin is high in Vitamin A and nearly matches the fiber content of bran cereal. It's nearly fat free and very low carbohydrates. Stuff is amazing. Seek out ways to put it on your table. I'm not really crazy about eating it as a soup (tastes sort of like a raw pumpkin pie heated to room temp), but baked and spiced? Absolutely.

D.'s Pancake Delight
(adjust for taste)
1 1/4 C. flour
2 Tbl. sugar
1 egg
1/2- 1 C. pumpkin puree
1 tsp. pumpkin spice  (Cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg)
2Tbl. butter  (this is a taste issue. make it 1 Tbl. oil if you must!)
salt... or salt like replacement.

The usual mixing method: liquid first, follow with spices and sugar and then flour. Add water if it looks more like play dough than batter.

(Directions for making a pancake? If you've never made one, I want to spare you the agony of raw/burnt/into the trash experiments. 
This is a pancake recipe for a cook who knows that heat needs to be adjusted in order to get crisp, but not burnt.  Just try the pancake mixes first and then come back here and we'll talk).

Wait until the pancake is in the pan before you add the fruit or raisins. Peaches are incredibly tasty with this recipe. Ditto choc late chips.... but then again, it's always about chocolate, isn't it, sweetie?

Sometimes, because of the more bulky nature of the pumpkin, you might have to put it in the oven to thoroughly cook. Not a problem this time of year! The smell of Cinnamon and pumpkin wafting through the house on a cold morning? Not a problem at all.

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