Recipe by Clare Mcelhatton.
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Pumpkin puree adds a rich sweetness to ordinary porridge- and counts as one of your 5-a-Day. This recipe uses Queensland Blue Squash but any pumpkin/squash will work.
80g porridge oats
200g pumpkin/squash puree
200g milk/milk alternative
1tsp Cinnamon & ¼ tsp nutmeg powder (optional)
Brown sugar, honey or other sweetener
A handful of Raisins (optional)
Butter or vegan alternative
The quantities will depend on how much squash is being used, the thickness of the skin and the moisture content. Generally, for 100g of puree, use 200g of pumpkin. Make more than you require and it will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days and in the freezer for a month. Add to pasta, soups, stews and curries. The cooking water, especially if spiced, can be used as a stock for ramen, soup or risotto.
Cut the squash into large chunks. Scoop out the seeds and flesh. Make sure it is washed well and all traces of soil are washed off
If making a stock too, add the flesh & seeds- if not these can be composted
Place in a large pan and cover with cold water
Add spices if desired: black peppercorns, star anise, cloves & cinnamon sticks will work well
Bring to the boil and simmer until all the pumpkin has softened
Drain (keeping the water) and allow to cool
Once cool, use a spoon to scrape all the flesh from the skin
Using a hand blender or food processor, blend the flesh into a smooth puree. Add a little water as necessary
In a small saucepan, add the oats and heat through until they begin to brown and toast (keep stirring)
Add a tablespoon of butter and melt into the oats. Keep heating and stirring until the oats smell toasted (think flapjacks). A little sugar, or the raisins, can be added at this point
Add a splash of milk to cool the oats, stir in, then add the pumpkin puree.
Add the spices (if using)
Stir and cook for 1 minute or a low heat (to prevent the puree from sticking)
Slowly add the milk, whilst stirring, until the preferred consistency of porridge is reached. This will take around 3-4 minutes.
Once the oats have cooked, taste, and add sugar and any additional spices to taste- and serve.