Sweet Potato Oatmeal

I was holding on to this recipe until I felt that true autumn feeling, and it finally happened today. As I drove around my new neighborhood and found a road that looked downright rural, leaves of many colors littered my windshield. It’s pumpkin spice season!

I often use sweet potato instead of pumpkin in baked goods because the potato leftovers are more versatile than the leftover canned pumpkin. Sweet potatoes take more time, though, since you need to microwave and peel them. The taste is similar, so use whichever item you prefer.


  • 1/3 cup oats, gluten-free if desired
  • 2/3 cup almond or soy milk
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • dash of vanilla
  • 1/4 cup mashed sweet potato (if you don’t have any on hand, follow these directions to cook a small potato)
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • sliced almonds (optional)



  1. Combine the oats, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potato and maple syrup and stir. Microwave for 2 more minutes, watching the bowl carefully for overflow. IMG_5598
  3. Stir and serve topped with sliced almonds, as well as more cinnamon and maple syrup to taste.

Serves 1. Active and total time 6 minutes. Adapted from http://www.theoatmealartist.com/maple-sweet-potato-oatmeal/


Carrot Cake Oatmeal Bake


Carrots for breakfast sounded weird to me, but I’ll try anything that is promised to taste like carrot cake. (The unparalleled carrot torte from Konditor Meister is a constant craving of mine.) These oatmeal bars are filling and sneak in a serving of vegetables. Topped with a dollop of vanilla yogurt (instead of a heavy layer of cream cheese frosting), they provide a balanced and tasty breakfast.

I like to make these bars on a Sunday night so I have a quick breakfast ready for the workdays all week. This oatmeal bake would also make a wonderful brunch; serve it with fruit salad. If you mix up the ingredients ahead of time, you can pop the dish in the oven when guests arrive and be free to laze about and enjoy your morning.


  • 2 cups oats, gluten free if desired
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/3 cups grated carrots
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • 3 tbsp chopped pecans
  • 3 tbsp sliced almonds
  • 12 oz nonfat vanilla yogurt


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the rolled oats, baking powder, spices, brown sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl; then add grated carrots and raisins and stir to mix. IMG_5464
  3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, add the milk and vanilla, and mix well.
  4. Put the maple syrup, pecans, and almonds in a small bowl and mix to combine.
  5. Spoon the oat mixture into the baking dish in an even layer, pressing down with a spatula. Then pour the egg mixture over the oats and sprinkle the nut mixture on top. IMG_5465
  6. Bake for 40 minutes, until the oatmeal is set. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, and then run a knife around the edges of the baking dish. Cut 6 bars, and serve each one with a dollop of yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup.


Serves 6. Active time 10 minutes; total time 55 minutes. Adapted from http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/baked-carrot-cake-oatmeal/


Golden Apple Granola (The Leftovers Club)


Homemade granola is such a treat. As soon as I learned how to make apple chips, I wanted to incorporate them into my favorite quinoa granola recipe. I like to serve this sweet concoction over chopped pears and top it with a dollop of vanilla yogurt. It’s a balanced but fancy breakfast.

I sent this granola to Johanna of Notes From a Messy Kitchen for this month’s edition of The Leftovers Club. Great minds think alike; she sent me a scrumptious, walnut-filled carrot cake granola that I will definitely be making soon. If you like to bake and to receive mail, consider joining us next month in The Leftovers Club!



  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten free if desired)
  • 1/4 cup red quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup dried apples, chopped



  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Stir together the oats, quinoa, almonds, brown sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon, and salt until well combined.
  3. In small bowl, combine the applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones and toss to coat.
  4. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, and then remove from the oven and add the raisins. Stir well, breaking up the largest chunks of granola so they cook all the way through. IMG_5480
  5. Bake for 20 additional minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Stir in the dried apples. Cool completely and store the granola in an airtight container.

Makes about 5 cups. Active time 20 min; total time 50 min (plus time to make dried apples). Adapted from https://lowacidyum.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/ginger-granola-with-red-quinoa

Maple-Ginger Popcorn Balls (The Leftovers Club)


This recipe got me excited to tap into my jar of popcorn kernels. Sugary popcorn is the ideal treat for my heartburn-prone stomach: low in fat and full of surprising textures. These popcorn balls are so sweet and unusual.

This was was my first attempt at making popcorn on the stove, and wow—it’s easy! Using this method, I counted only five unpopped kernels, and nothing burned. I suspect that this is the first of many popcorn experiments.

I chose these for The Leftovers Club because they seemed unlikely to spoil. Unfortunately, Shaina of Take a Bite out of Boca reported that they were stale upon arrival in Florida—so be sure to eat them soon after baking. If you like to bake and share goodies (like Shaina’s excellent carrot-zucchini bread), check out the site and consider joining The Leftovers Club.



  • 1 1/2 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped candied ginger
  • 1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds (or toast raw almond slices in a pan over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, shaking frequently, until they turn golden brown)


  1. Place the oil in a large nonstick pot and heat over medium for 3 minutes. Add the popcorn kernels and cover. When the corn begins to pop, shake the pot often to prevent burning. In about 10 to 12 minutes, when the pops become infrequent, remove the pan from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the syrup, honey, water, and salt in a small pan, stirring constantly until it becomes a thin liquid–about 4 minutes. IMG_5407
  3. Combine the ginger and almonds in a large bowl. Add the popcorn, removing any kernels that didn’t pop.
  4. Pour the syrup mixture over the popcorn and stir thoroughly, being sure to get all of the good stuff from the bottom of the bowl. Place the mixture in fridge for 15 minutes to harden slightly. IMG_5408
  5. Wet your hands and form the popcorn mixture into 12 balls, pressing very firmly between your palms to ensure that they won’t fall apart.
  6. Store the balls between parchment paper in an airtight container. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

Makes 12. Active time 30 minutes; total time 45 minutes. Adapted from http://www.ahouseinthehills.com/ahouseinthehills/2013/4/3/mango-popcorn-balls.html

Maple-Butternut Muffins (The Leftovers Club)


These muffins are dense and filling—perfect for breakfast or for a snack on the snowshoe trail. They’re also moist and sweet, and the sugar-walnut topping makes them craveable. The combination of squash, apples, and nutmeg is reminiscent of autumn’s pumpkin mania, but I don’t mind. I can’t wait nine months to cook with these flavors!

You can defrost a package of frozen squash for this recipe. It’s a great addition to oatmeal and sauces, just like canned pumpkin. I had some leftover roasted squash (35 minutes at 425 degrees, coated in cooking spray), so I mashed that with a fork. If you use leftovers, make sure they haven’t been salted.

I sent these muffins to Jennifer of Recipe for Random for this month’s edition of The Leftovers Club. If you’re a blogger who has leftovers and you want to receive baked goods in the mail, sign up and join us! Click below to see what everyone baked this month.



  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp white flour
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • heaping 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash puree
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 a Gala apple, very finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 heaping tbsp walnuts
  • pinch of cinnamon



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
  2. Use an electric mixer to beat the egg, sugar, maple syrup, oil, applesauce, and vanilla on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients in a few batches, mixing on low speed until well combined.
  3. Add the butternut squash puree and oats and mix for 2 minutes. Stir in the walnuts and apples by hand. IMG_4980
  4. Make the crumble topping by pulsing the sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon in a mini-chop until blended.
  5. Pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter into 9 paper-lined muffin cups, and sprinkle with the topping.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 16 to 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.


Makes 9 muffins. Adapted from