BASICally the best

Pumpkin Spice Latte Overnight QuinOats

Fall is in the air, which means that Pumpkin Spice Everything has completely taken over every grocery store, coffee shop, and Yankee Candle location in the Northeast.  Everything from M&Ms to body lotion is now boasting bold cinnamon-nutmeg-clove aromatic combos that would make any pilgrim give thanks.  Much to their benefit, my #WholesomeAutumn Overnight QuinOats caught the wildly contagious PSL virus, like a kindergartner during recess.

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Given the chill now present in the morning air, I wanted to really embrace the cozy warmth of a pumpkin spice latte and infuse it into my humble oats.  I decided to steep my soaked quinoa in a mixture of hot black tea, pumpkin puree, molasses, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Best life-choice ever.

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The black tea adds deep, rich, earthy undertones to the classic pumpkin spice flavor, and the addition of fresh orange zest amps it up one more kick.  To compliment the subtle orange zest flavor, I like to toss in some orange-infused prunes (an on-sale find at my local grocery store, thanks to Sunsweet) — not essential, but, if you can find ’em, try ’em!

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Unlike the Chocolate Pineapple Overnight QuinOats that I posted over the summer, this Pumpkin Spice Latte version features a less toothsome quinoa prep.  Just like in my other post, I soaked the rinsed quinoa overnight in cool water to soften the seeds; however, UNLIKE the summer version, I also microwaved the soaked quinoa in the tea-pumpkin-spice poaching liquid to promote sprouting of the seeds and a chewier texture.

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Topping suggestions:  Greek yogurt (the salted caramel and coffee Dannon Triple Zero Oikos yogurts are personal favs), chopped candied ginger, prunes, peanut butter, cinnamon granola, sweetened coconut flakes, or whatever you like!

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Though I have zero qualms about eating these QuinOats straight from the fridge, I do think that they get an added comforting boost from a quick spin through the microwave prior to eating.  So, pop on your coziest flannel shirt, slide into your slippers, channel your most basic self, and dig into a warm jar of these PSL Overnight QuinOats any fall morning you choose!

PSL Overnight QuinOats

Makes 4 servings
**This recipe requires two overnights to achieve perfection, so plan accordingly!**
1/4 cup white quinoa, rinsed
2 black tea bags (Bigelow Chai Black Tea bags work really well too!)
2 cups near-b0iling water
1/2 cup 100% pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch cloves
Pinch salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Zest of one orange
2 tablespoons molasses
3 medium organic carrots (peel on!), finely grated
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
~2 cups unsweetened almond milk
Toppings of choice (see post for foodswingblog-approved suggestions)
Overnight #1:  Put rinsed quinoa in a clean jar, cover with cold water, screw on lid tightly, and let sit at room temperature overnight.
Overnight #2:  Using a fine mesh sieve, drain and re-rinse the soaked quinoa.  In a 2-cup glass measuring cup, steep the tea bags in the near-boiling water for 5 minutes, squeeze out and discard tea bags.  Meanwhile, divide the quinoa, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, vanilla, orange zest, and molasses between 4 clean glass jars (~16 oz or so each — old peanut butter jars or Ball jars work very nicely).  Pour 1/2 cup of tea into each jar, stir to combine (yes, it will smell phenomenal), and microwave – uncovered – for 2 minutes.  Let jars sit in turned-off-microwave for 5 minutes.
Divide remaining ingredients except for almond milk amongst the four jars, and stir to combine.  Top each jar with enough almond milk to come within 3/4″ of the top of the jar.  Stir again, use a slightly damp paper towel to clean the jar threads, and screw on lids tightly.  Place in refrigerator overnight to let the magic take place.
When consuming, eat your QuinOats straight from the jar or transfer to a bowl, and top as desired.  If you wish to warm up your new favorite fall breakfast, microwave for 1 minute, stir, then microwave for an additional 45 seconds.  Prepare QuinOats on Sunday night, and you will be set for grab-and-grow breakfasts for your busy weekday mornings!

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