Single-handedly. The phrase has all new (or at least long-forgotten) meaning. Having a newborn means lots less time to type, write, bake, cook…shampoo. Essentially, we all become professional single-handers: mastering the art of most household chores with the use of only one hand while the other is holding babe. Twins? You’re pretty much screwed;) (Kidding-sort of…plus I am a twin, I’ve heard the stories.)
For this post, I’m focusing on two recipes that are seasonally appropriate, kid and momma friendly and packed with something that all nursing moms need a lot of: oats! I’m also typing one-handed. Not bad, eh?
We named our beautiful new son Teague Pippin Steele. We thought he was a girl, so there’s that…but I will admit wholeheartedly that I was not disappointed at all that he turned out to be a boy! Four boys of my very own…plus one stepson? Heaven! I always knew I was meant for this.
Plus, now I only have one daughter (my stepdaughter) which is great because I don’t have to feel pulled in too many directions for shopping trips, girl time, etc.
Since we were set on our girl’s name, we took the whole almost 3 days at the hospital to decide on our newest son’s name. We talked about it. A lot. We knew we wanted something significant and special to us and him. We wanted his name to have meaning, and eventually we got to the place where we thought, what better than a name that represents both our family and where he comes from as well? So, we went with a name that is inspired by where we live:
Teague is inspired by Chincoteague, one of our favorite family places and Pippin after the local apple, the Albemarle Pippin, which was farmed by Thomas Jefferson and is now grown locally at area orchards. Pippins remind us of the fall, which is (obviously) when he was born. It’s also got a nice ring to it, and his brothers are already calling him “Pipp” for short. We are happy, and we hope he is, too!
To celebrate him, I decided to bake a Pippin Crisp made with local, crunchy and tangy Pippin apples from Henley’s Orchard. Colin and I were on a drive and couldn’t resist stopping at this very local, humble and historic operation. We got way more Pippin apples than we needed, but one bite of this crisp and we knew it was worth it!
Using Pippin, Granny Smith, JonaGold or Rome apples, core and slice (but don’t peel) 3 apples total.
Scatter evenly in a pie dish, or use individual small, mismatched dishes like I did.
Next, combine in a bowl using fingers: 1 cup rolled oats, 6 tbsp. unsalted butter @ room temp, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup vanilla sugar (or regular granulated sugar), a pinch of salt and 1 tsp cinnamon plus 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg.*
Pat mixture out evenly onto apples and bake at 375 degrees F for 30-45 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown.
*Add whole, raw pecans to the top of the crisp before baking if desired.
Oatmeal Maple Pumpkin Bars/Nursing Bars
So of course, being that I’m nursing again, I’m thinking a lot (and carefully) about what foods I’m putting into my body and how I can get the biggest nutritional punch for each meal and snack. The other morning, in the chaos that is getting multiple kids out the door for school (barely after sunrise it seems these days) I made oatmeal that no one ended up eating. Why does it always take longer than I think to make, anyway? You’d think I’d know better by now…but anyway… I was left with about 3 cups of cooked organic oats on my hands and an idea sprang to mind: Nursing Bars that could reflect the season. Pumpkin, spices, maple syrup, and pumpkin seeds. I threw this recipe together and while I’m working toward perfecting it, I thought I’d share what I’ve created so far.
Gabe, for the record, devoured about 8 of these so I know I’m on the right track. And for all of you nursing mommas out there, these are so comforting, a little custardy + oaty, and overall really nice to snack on. They also take no time to make!
Recipe Version 1
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine 3 cups cooked oats with 1 can pumpkin puree (1 1/2 cups), 3 eggs, 1/2 cup heavy cream, milk, or yogurt, 2 Tbsp maple syrup, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp each garam masala (or allspice), nutmeg, mace, salt & cardamom.
Prepare a sheet pan with parchment that has been sprayed with oil.
Pour mixture onto sheet pan and spread evenly. Bake for 45 minutes.
Remove from oven, cool, slice into bars and serve. Keep in an airtight container.
Recipe Version 2
When I made this in my oxytocin-induced stupor, I realized later that I left out some key ingredients. Ah, life with baby. The above recipe turned out ok, but for my standards, I knew I wanted to give it another go. Here’s a slightly different version that I think you will absolutely love if you’re looking for a chewier, more decadent bar. It’s richer, sweeter, thicker and oatier. I used raw oats instead of already cooked oats. I also added brown sugar and veggie oil + pecans in place of pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips because you only live once.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine 3 cups uncooked oats, 2 Tbsp maple syrup, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 Tbsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, pinch of salt, 1 can pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup whole milk plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup veggie oil and 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into a well-oiled + parchment lined baking dish (this is different that the above recipe!).
Sprinkle with whole, raw pecans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The top should be browned, cracked and crusty. The cracked top allows the moisture to escape so that paired with the raw oats creates a crunchier, less soggy bar. Incidentally, the Version 1 recipe would be better suited to new eaters, since it is mushier. Just leave out the pumpkin seeds.