When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Oatmeal raisin bumpkins (gluten, dairy, and egg-free)

I noticed on the walk to school the past couple of mornings that the leaves on some of the maple trees in our neighbourhood are already starting to change colour.  Despite the fact that it is still close to 30 degrees outside in the afternoons, something feels different in September, and when I'm in the kitchen these days, I find my thoughts already turning to fall foods like apples and pumpkins and cinnamon.  Mmmmm.

Now that the boys are back in school, I've been spending some time trying to come up with new ideas for healthy snacks for them to take in their lunch bags every day.  While they don't ever seem to get tired of  eating the same old things, I get bored of packing the same old things, so I've been experimenting with some different combinations of ingredients.  Yesterday's concoction was these oatmeal raisin "bumpkins", a variation of the banana oat bundles that I make often, with the flavours of pureed pumpkin, fragrant spices and raisins.  (I know the name of them sounds funny, but after a family brainstorming session last night that produced even funnier ideas such as "pumpkin lumps" (Noah's favourite), "bumpkin" seemed like the best and most appropriate choice!) These snacks are similar in flavour and texture to a muffin, but shaped like a cookie; they are not too sweet and are a great, nutritious choice for a food to take on the go.

Oatmeal Raisin Bumpkins

1 1/2 cups rolled oats (use certified pure oats for gluten-free cookies)
1 1/2 cups ground oats  (I use a Magic Bullet or food processor to grind them)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp grapeseed oil
1/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 F.  In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, ground oats, sea salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and baking powder.  In a medium sized bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla, and grapeseed oil. 
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Fold in raisins.
Drop mixture by the tablespoonful into mounds on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Cool and serve.

Oatmeal raisin bumpkins may not be the prettiest of baked goods, but don't let their appearance fool you -- these rustic, hearty snacks are really tasty, and their simplicity makes it possible to whip up a batch in very little time.  I hope you enjoy the pumpkin lumps!  ;)

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