So, since it’s the day before Thanksgiving, I obviously didn’t make this breakfast bowl with holiday scraps; I’ve been enjoying this yogurt-with-everything-I-can’t-wait-to-eat-on-Thursday combo for the past week. I’m sure that you could make it with leftovers and that it would turn out great, and in fact I think we can all agree that Thanksgiving leftovers are the best and that it’s severely disappointing when there aren’t enough of them. You may swear you don’t want to even want look at food ever again after Thanksgiving dinner, and yet, the next day, you find yourself rooting around in the fridge for that turkey and stuffing and giving the stink eye to your brother who already polished off the last of the gravy. Or maybe you come from one of those families who purposely makes a second turkey and way more mashed potatoes than necessary, just so that you can have plenty extra to enjoy for the rest of the weekend. (If so, your family and my family would get along real well.)
If the meals after Turkey Day make for such good eating, why don’t we make those foods more often? Sure, some special-occasion dishes are super rich and you don’t necessarily want to be chowing down on them on the reg, but let’s stop treating the cranberry like we only want to see it two days out of the year and starting eating it all winter, not just on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Even if we’re not making an all-out casserole, let’s keep adding toasted pecans to our sweet potatoes, because that’s a great combination. Let’s expand beyond apple pie and experiment with apple purée because “purée” sounds wayyyy more appealing than “homemade unsweetened applesauce.” (And also it’s loads better than the store-bought kind. I mean, until I made some on my own, I thought unsweetened applesauce was a bland and useless concoction that only got included in “healthy” baked goods recipes where people where trying to reduce the butter content.)
This is how this breakfast bowl happened: Nuts and yogurt are staples in my house, and I’ve been enjoying fall produce, so I also had oranges, pomegranates, and sweet potatoes on hand. The fresh cranberries and homemade applesauce were left over from making this baked oatmeal (which, by the way, was really good—I cut back on the sugar and syrup, but it’s definitely a keeper). Then I read this sweet-potato-for-breakfast recipe from The Kitchn and got intrigued: the idea of eating a whole sweet potato in the morning didn’t sound particularly appealing, but I could definitely be convinced to add some to my yogurt. I made a lightly sweetened compote with the cranberries, toasted up the nuts, and basically used it all to top the plain yogurt. It’s like Thanksgiving for breakfast, and it would be super simple to throw together with Thanksgiving leftovers. So this year, in addition to that giant turkey and second pan of stuffing, be sure to factor in some extra sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce.
Note: I used this recipe (and a combination of Gala and Granny Smith apples) for the apple purée. For the cranberry compote, I simmered 3 cups of fresh cranberries with 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar and about 1/4 cup water over low heat for about 10 minutes, until the cranberries had broken down some and the sauce had thickened. It is barely sweet compared to a traditional cranberry sauce; add more sugar if you like. Lastly, you can prep everything in advance and just make one bowl at a time, which I was I did. If you do, I recommend reheating the sweet potato in the microwave for 30 seconds or so just before you assemble the bowl.
Thanksgiving-Is-My-Favorite-Holiday Breakfast Bowl: Yogurt with Sweet Potato, Fall Fruits, and Pecans and Walnuts
makes 4 servings
- 1/4 c. raw pecans
- 1/4 c. raw walnuts
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- olive oil
- 1 large pomegranate
- about 1/2 c. apple purée (see note)
- about 1/2 c. cranberry compote (see note)
- 2 c.plain yogurt (I used 2%)
- 1 medium orange, washed well
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Toast the nuts until just fragrant, about 5-6 minutes. After they’ve cooled, chop them finely and set aside.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400°. Line a small pan with aluminum foil. Scrub the sweet potatoes well, rub them with some olive oil, prick them with a fork, and roast until tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. Remove from the oven, let cool, and cut into 1/2″ cubes.
- Remove the seeds (ok, arils, if you must) from the pomegranate. Some people like to do this by cutting it in half and whacking it over a bowl to make the seeds fall out; some people like to do it underwater to reduce mess and help separate the pith from the seeds. I just cut it in quarters and do it by hand.
- For each bowl, top 1/2 cup of yogurt with a quarter of the chopped sweet potatoes, a quarter of the pomegranate seeds, and a two tablespoons each of cranberry compote, apple purée, and toasted nuts. Garnish each bowl with a little bit of finely grated orange zest.