Hi Vegetarian Carnivores! Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. And one of the reasons for that is all the yummy and seasonal dishes that come out. A lot of people rave about the summer, but I’ve found so much more scope for earthy and warm dishes in the fall. I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast since the beginning of time, and decided to up my game for the fall this year. So I put together and tested out this delicious vegan breakfast oatmeal, that is sure to warm you up even on the coldest mornings.
Why you will love this oatmeal
I carefully curated this recipe with flavor and texture in mind. No one wants to eat just mushy oats alone. That sounds terrible. I have created a combination of ingredients that are sure to be a party in your mouth with each bite. We’ve got the steel cut oats, of course, which lend the signataure “slightly mushy but still structurally sound” texture, contrasted by the caramelized pecans, which give a delightful crunch, contrasted by the “different kind of crunch” of the green apple. Toss a few pumpkin seeds in for a bit more oomph!
For the flavors, you cannot forget the pure maple syrup for the familiar fall sweetness, contrasted by the warm kick from the ground cinnamon. The pecans are caramelized in brown sugar, so be sure to keep an eye out for the warmth that comes from there as well.
Our star ingredients
- Organic steel cut oats- I highly recommend using steel cut oats instead of rolled oats or instant oatmeal. Not only is it far more nutritious with the majority of the fiber intact compared to other forms of oats, but the structural integrity of steel cut oats is absolutely unbeatable. It is too easy to turn other forms of oatmeal into a mushy goo. This will be your best friend.
- Maple syrup- For me, maple syrup is a must-have for oatmeal, regardless of the season. For this recipe, you can use your judgement and pour as much as you like! I used extra maple syrup- probably a few tablespoons, because why not 😉 I mean, just peep that action shot if you have any doubts about my obsession with maple syrup.
- Granny Smith apples- It doesn’t get more fall themed than a tart Granny Smith apple. With all the sweetness and warmth in the dish, a slightly sour bite is definitely welcome. You can use any kind of apple you want, but I do crave tart flavors, especially when a dish is so predominantly sweet, so these apples are a necessity for me.
- Pecans- Pile on the crunch! Lightly toasted and brown sugar caramelized pecans intersperse little crunchy bits throughout your oatmeal, and break any monotony of soft oatmeal. These also add some healthy fats to your oats, and help make it a more nutritious meal.
- Cinnamon- It’s not fall until you throw cinnamon onto your oats. Since we’ve already addressed sweet, tart, and toasted above, we will use cinnamon to add that final fall warmth kick. I highly recommend you do use cinnamon, if not anything else I listed above!
- Pumpkin seeds- These are totally optional. That being said, they are high in protein, magnesium, zinc, and other essential nutrients, despite their humble size. Apart from that, they are simply delicious. But if you don’t have it, your oats will still taste super delicious anyway.
How to make vegan fall oats
The trickiest thing when it comes to oats is to cook it just enough but not make it mushy. This is why I like using steel cut oats- it is quite difficult to overcook it. Trust me- I have tried various settings on my Instant Pot, and the chances of overcooking your oats are really low. You’re far more likely to undercook them and end up with a hard chewy consistency.
Here’s how I make mine. I take 1 cup of oats to 3 cups of water and do a pot-in-pot setup in my Instant Pot. Make sure there is water at the base of the Instant Pot and to use the trivet to balance the pot inside. I then do Manual-> 8 min-> high pressure-> sealing. When it is done I tend to let it slow release to prevent creating a mess of oatmeal inside. It is a pain to clean up. If you want to quick release, make sure to put a steel plate cover over the oatmeal before setting it to cook.
I do not presoak my oats. I have been receiving a lot of questions about that. Simply stated, I have never felt the need to presoak my oats or soak them overnight before cooking. Because I use steel cut and not instant or rolled oat for my breakfast oatmeal, I cook them from completely dry and it comes out wonderfully.
While your oats are cooking, take your pecans and over a low flame toast them with the brown sugar until they are fragrant and just slightly browner than before. Don’t take your eye off the pecans. They can and will burn quickly. Take the pecans off the heat immediately when done.
At this point it is just a matter of assembling your oatmeal bowl. Sprinkle all your ingredients on top of a bowl of cooked oats and voila!
Ingredients (2 servings)
- 1 cup organic steel cut oats, dry
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp dark brown sugar
- 1/2 Granny Smith apple, chopped
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, optional
- Maple syrup, to taste
- Set up Instant Pot with trivet and pour 1 cup water.
- Combine dry oats with water and place container on trivet inside Instant Pot. Set to Manual mode for 8 minutes on high pressure.
- While oats are cooking, toast pecans with brown sugar for 2-3 mintutes on medium low heat until sugar has dissolved and coated the pecans. Take off heat to prevent burning.
- Assemble oatmeal bowl with caramelized pecans, cinnamon, pumpkin seeds, and as much maple syrup as your heart desires 😉