raisins, dried cranberries, apple butter, chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, additional maple syrup or honey
Place 3 cups water in a medium pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat on the stovetop.
Add the oats, vanilla extract, and spices. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the oats are soft and the water is absorbed. Stir more towards the end of cooking to prevent the oats from sticking to the pot.
Turn off heat and stir in the pumpkin and any optional stir-ins. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes.
Serve topped with milk and any optional toppings.
Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-5 days and reheat as needed. Or turn into Overnight Oats (see below).
Stir occasionally during cooking to ensure that the oats don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
Aim to keep the heat at a low simmer with small bubbles—rather than a rolling boil.
You can sweeten with applesauce or apple butter for younger toddlers and babies if desired.
Dairy-free: Top with nondairy milk.
Gluten-free: Use gluten-free rolled oats.
To make Pumpkin Overnight Oats: Stir equal parts cooled leftover oatmeal and plain or vanilla Greek yogurt together. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
To make Pumpkin Instant Oatmeal: Use 2 cups water and cook for about 5 minutes or until water is absorbed and oats are soft.
To make Pumpkin Steel Cut Oats: Use 6 cups water and cook for about 30 minutes or until water is absorbed and oats are soft. Stir more towards the end of cooking to ensure the oats don't stick to the bottom of the pot.
To make Pumpkin Baby Oatmeal:Prepare baby oatmeal according to package directions and stir in a little pumpkin puree. Sprinkle with cinnamon. (Just make enough for one serving at a time as most baby oatmeals are not meant to be served from leftovers.)
To make one serving in the microwave:Prepare according to oatmeal package directions and stir in pumpkin and spices once oatmeal is cooked. Top with optional ingredients and serve with milk. This is a great way to make one serving at a time if using rolled oats or instant oatmeal. (It's not a great option for steel cut oats—they are better on the stovetop.)