Pumpkin breakfast treat

Let’s use pumpkins for a healthy breakfast this time.

Pumpkins are wonderful! First, the flavor is quintessential fall. But more importantly it is chock-full of vitamin A, which is good for your eyes. These gorgeous gourds also offer the ability to supply ingredients for multiple cooking or craft adventures!

Let’s start with breakfast using a baked pumpkin oatmeal recipe courtesy of CookingWithMyKid.com. Be warned, the prep time is limited but cooking will take 40 minutes to an hour.

It all starts with two cantaloupe-sized pumpkins called sugar pumpkins. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Then, carefully cut the top off your pumpkin and clean the inside out. Keep the seeds in a bowl. These will come in handy for other possible tasks!

In a large bowl combine 1 tablespoon of melted butter or canola oil, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 2 cups of old fashioned oats and 1 egg. Stir well and divide evenly between the two pumpkins. Sprinkle the tops lightly with brown sugar. Place both pumpkins on a cookie sheet and bake for 40 minutes to one hour or until the pumpkins are soft enough to scoop and the oatmeal is cooked.

Once finished, you can add a bit or milk or a splash more sugar to get the desired taste. This should be enough to serve four. When serving, be sure to scrape some of the baked pumpkin deliciousness in with the spiced oatmeal.

After enjoying a fall-filled breakfast, you have pumpkin seeds to play with. Pumpkin seeds are edible but can also be used for crafting. Regardless of your chosen activity, you’ll need to clean the seeds first. This is easy but messy!

With clean hands, slowly separate seeds from pumpkin innards. (By the way, this is way easier while the insides are still wet. Maybe it’s better to do this while breakfast cooks!) Clean the seeds in cold water. Sometimes I half fill a bowl with cool water so the seeds soak as I separate.

If you’re going to bake them, place the seeds in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet. Stir the seeds around to coat. Then sprinkle salt and bake at 325 degrees until toasted, about 25 minutes. Check after 10. Or try making a bunch of different kinds.

Do you like cayenne pepper? Add a little in one corner. Sprinkle some lemon garlic on another. What flavors does your family like? Try different spices. If you don’t like it, you’ve got something new to try also baking.

The seeds can also be used for crafting. Start by preparing the seeds. If you want colorful seeds you can use markers, paint or colored nail polish. Alternatively, you can dye seeds by boiling them for about five minutes in a mixture of water and 1 teaspoon of food coloring. Do not remove seeds until the color is a little darker than you want. Then rinse the seeds in cold water and let them air dry.

Colorful seeds can be used to decorate picture frames or a mirror. Alternatively, you can string a bunch together using a needle and thread to make a necklace or bracelet.

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