Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Feeding the Runner: Fall and Oats

In the bible of running, Once a Runner, Quentin Cassidy lives by the mantra, "If the furnace is hot enough, anything will burn." As much fun as that philosophy may be, it's not the approach most runners take these days. With that in mind, here's the newest installment of my occasional posts on healthy recipes for runners (and other people too). Bon appetit!

As I posted yesterday, Sandy (or Frankenstorm) has necessitated a lot of indoor time in front of the TV enriching my brain. It turns out, however, that there's only so much reality television self-enrichment one can handle in a day so I turned to cooking for a little distraction.

Normally I'm a cold breakfast kind of guy. I like cold cereal, iced coffee, granola and yogurt mainly because these things are quick to prepare. It turns out, though, that not only does being trapped inside due to a hurrican mean that hot breakfast sounds good, it also means you have all the time in the world to sit in front of the stove.

Since last year's visit from that unwelcome guest Irene, I've had a few canisters of steelcut oats sitting around (though I'm not sure why that's what I decided to buy when I heard a hurricane was coming through). Yesterday, I got a little creative and decided to mix some fall flavors into those oats and the result was surprisingly delicious.

While steelcut oats take a while to make, they make great letfovers and are extremely filling. You might be able to make something similar with rolled oats, but don't steelcut oats sound a lot more badass?

Anyway, I recommend this recipe even if you aren't faced with a natural disaster anytime soon.

Pumpkin Spice Steelcut Oatmeal
Adapted from my really bored self

4 cups boiling water
1 cup steel cut oats
4 tbsp pumpkin butter*
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
3 or more tbsp of maple syrup
1/4 dried fruit

Bring four cups of water to a boil and stir in your steel cut oats. Add in your pumpkin pie spice and dried fruit. I like to add the dried fruit early (I used a mix of cranberries and raisins) so that they soak of liquid too.

Once the mixture begins to thicken, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking to the pot, for roughly 25 minutes. Kind of like risotto, you can add extra liquid as needed and the oats will continue to slurp it up.

Finally, add the pumpkin butter and maple syrup to taste (obviously you can add more than I did if you want it sweeter), keeping on the stove for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Spoon into a bowl and serve with milk, cream, more syrup or any other toppings you feel like. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for several days, though you will likely need to add more liquid when reheating.

*You can use puréed pumpkin, but the flavor won't be as strong and you'll need to add extra maple syrup for sweetness. You can also make your own pumpkin butter if you're really ambitious; I wasn't.


  1. Mmmm, yummy! Making this tonight for dessert! (Also, cold breakfast guy? Really? Hot breakfasts are where it's at!)

  2. Yesss. More things need to be added to oatmeal. I'm more a "cheddar and shrimp" gal myself - but I like this sweet pumpkin deal...