Like Sweet Potato Pie,  with Oats

Like Sweet Potato Pie, with Oats

During the holidays, we often face a unique situation. Because family and friends are gathering, we may very well be expected to provide breakfast. When you are used to shuffling to the kitchen for a bowl of cold cereal, this may feel odd. Should you just offer your guests a bowl of your house bran flakes, or would it feel more festive to actually make something nice?

Unless you are a breakfast devotee, who greets the day by banging those pots and pans, you may not have a bunch of breakfast ideas. Sure, you can run down to the local bake shop for a box of scones, or even take everybody out to a local breakfast spot. But it sure feels warm and cozy to greet your guests with a lovely baked breakfast, like this one.

I am in love with Steel Cut Oats these days, for their toothsome chew and sweet, nutty flavor. It doesn’t hurt that they also fill me up and fuel me for a good long while. Steel-Cut Oats also fulfill my secret agenda of feeding healthy, cholesterol-lowering grains to my loved ones. This dish makes them irresistible.

You see, this baked breakfast is really like eating pie. Creamy, spicy sweet potato pie, that just happens to be dappled with chewy nuggets of oat. Drizzled with maple and garnished with walnuts, it’s positively mouth-watering. It’s also vegan and gluten-free, so everybody can have some. Even Uncle Bud will eat tofu and like it, when you serve this one.

You will be doing ol’ Uncle Bud a big favor, too, by getting him to eat oats. Steel Cut Oats are full of the extra healthy fiber that will sweep as much cholesterol as it can carry out of Bud’s gut. As they travel along, they also release anti-oxidants, and in their time in his digestive tract, good bacteria will feast upon them and multiply. Oat consumption is also shown to build your immune system, reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes, and promote heart health. So while your holiday may be a time of rich foods and decadent eating, your breakfast of steel cut oats can help balance that out.

And we all need balance at the holidays. Especially with Uncle Bud.

Vegan Sweet Potato-Spice Baked Oats

Serves 6

1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
1/2 box mori nu silken tofu
1 cup mashed sweet potato
2 tablespoons arrowroot
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups warm water
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Heat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 2 quart casserole with a lid. In a small saucepan, toast the steel cut oats over medium high heat, swirling the pan until they smell toasty. Take off the heat.
In a food processor, puree the tofu until smooth, scraping down and repeating until every bit is pureed. Add the mashed sweet potato and puree until well mixed. Add the arrowroot, cinnamon,cloves, nutmeg and salt. Add the maple and vanilla and process until mixed, then pour int he water with the machine running. Pour the sweet potato puree into the prepared pan and sprinkle in the oats, swirl in with a small spoon.
Bake for 50-55 minutes. It will be firmly set and bubbling around the edges.