Baby, it’s cold outside! Cold weather means no more green smoothies for awhile, at least not in the mornings. I was inspired recently by some of the cooked breakfast recipes and try making a breakfast stew instead.
I had a bag of cranberries leftover from Thanksgiving that I used in my recipe, but you could substitute frozen wild blueberries instead. I love that this stew still allows me to get in a serving of vegetables in the morning, but the best part is how the sweetness of the butternut squash and the fruit melds together with the veggies into a gently sweet, filling, and warming meal.
When I was planning what to put into this stew, I gathered up a bunch of options, not all of which I used. You can certainly make adjustments to the recipe based on what’s hiding at the back of your fridge or pantry; these types of stews are great for using up ingredients like I did:
The recipe starts with the butternut squash. I am
lazy efficient and buy it cubed, but you could also buy a whole medium squash, peel, and chop it yourself. My recipe uses 1 1/2 cups, or about half of the flesh of a medium squash. I added the squash to the pot, along with the cranberries and one chopped persimmon and one chopped apple:
Chopped apricots and zucchini:
I also added raisins, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie spice, and some uncooked quinoa for more staying power. Then, the essential ingredient – the green stuff:
I ended up using about six cups of kale total, but I suggest adding as much as you can possibly fit into the pot. As you probably know, the greens shrink down into nothing once they are cooked. The final step was to add some liquid. I poured about three cups of unsweetened almond milk on top, put on the lid, and let the slow-cooker do its job:
I let the pot cook on low overnight, and this is what I woke up to (cinnamon-y, delicious smell not accessible to you, sorry about that!):
I wondered how the quinoa would turn out, and it cooked thoroughly, all the while absorbing the almond milk and creating a thick texture to the stew. I topped my serving with fresh pomegranate arils:
This stew makes a LARGE amount, 8-10 servings, so I ended up freezing about half of it to serve later. On of of my re-heating iterations, I served it with flax meal, pom arils, and cacao nibs which I highly recommend (this version with some cocoa or carob powder might, just might, be appealing to kids, but don’t quote me on that!):
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 ½ cups butternut squash, cubed (about half of a medium whole squash)
- 1 medium zucchini (about 2 cups chopped)
- 1 apple
- 1 fuyu persimmon
- 8 ounces cranberries (you can substitute 12 ounces frozen wild blueberries)
- ⅓ cup chopped walnuts
- ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup chopped dried apricots
- ¼ cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 5-ounce packages or about half of a 1-pound bag of Earthbound organic baby kale (about 6 cups)
- 3 cups unsweetened almond milk
- cacao nibs, shredded coconut, or pomegranate arils, for topping (optional)
- Place the cubed butternut squash in a 6-quart slow-cooker.
- Chop the zucchini, persimmon, and apple into bite-sized pieces and add to the pot.
- Add the cranberries or blueberries, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds to the pot.
- Add the pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, raisins, chopped apricots, uncooked quinoa, and baby kale to the pot and stir to combine. Pour the almond milk over the contents.
- Place the lid on the slow-cooker and cook for 12 hours on low heat or 6 hours on high heat.
- Serve hot with a splash of almond milk, non-dairy yogurt, and topped with cacao nibs or fresh pomegranate arils, if desired. Freeze any leftovers.
- Note: if you prefer to cook this recipe on the stovetop, I would recommend bringing all of the ingredients to a boil, and simmering for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the butternut squash is tender.
Jeez, after my Pumpkin Breakfast Brownies and Sweet Potato Pudding, I’m getting good at this veggies for breakfast thing, eh? Enjoy!!!
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