The Art Of Deception

by Courtney Sirotin on March 30, 2012

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I broke down and ordered that infamous Jessica Seinfeld book, Deceptively Delicious, about sneaking vegetables into your kid’s foods.


I pretty much do this anyway with the things I make Dylan but I’ve been running out of ideas. I read through the book last night and found a handful of recipes I’m going to try. This morning I decided to would start with something easy and familiar: oatmeal. I already make Dylan sweet potato oats, whipped banana oats and strawberries and cream oats so this was just a new idea, which, like I said, is what I needed.

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The secret vegetable ingredient is pumpkin. Pumpkin is a safe pick for these oats because it’s mostly used in sweet treats and baked goods anyway. The next recipe I’m going to try is a potato soup that has cauliflower puree hidden in it. But back to the oats.

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I stuck to Seinfeld’s recipe with the exception of swapping cow’s milk for almond milk and adding a pinch of salt. I was disappointed to see that she left salt out of her ingredients list because anyone who knows oats like I know oats knows that salt is an imperative ingredient. Whether you are making sweet oats or savory oats, please do not forget the salt! They are so bland without it.

First, I ground up my oatmeal.

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Actually, Seinfeld doesn’t do this either but I alway grind my oats when I’m making them for Dylan because it helps them stick to his spoon. I’ve learned that if I grind the oats before cooking he is able to feed himself, but if I don’t the cooked oat flakes get too big and they fall off his spoon on the way to his mouth.

I placed the oats in a saucepan and added all the other ingredients including canned pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and SALT.

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Then I added the almond milk, whisked everything together, and let it cook low and slow, stirring often.

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The ratio of liquid to oats in this recipe was off. As you can see (well, maybe you can’t, it’s hard to tell from a picture), they were too thick:

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I added about 1/4 cup of water and stirred again and they were better; more creamy. I would normally use even more liquid in my oats but I wanted to stick to the recipe as much as possible.

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I served Dylan’s oats in a bowl with a dollop of an almond butter sauce I usually put on his whipped banana oats that I thought would be a good accompaniment to the cinnamony, pumpkiny oats. It’s simply almond butter mixed with a splash of almond milk, drizzle of maple syrup and tiny pinch of salt.

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Then came the test. He took a bite…


…and another…


…and liked it!


He really did. I mean, I think so…

Maybe a little?

Actually, if I’m being completely honest, I thought he was digging it because he kept going back for more but then he stopped going back for more once he’d eaten the almond butter sauce off the top.


Does it count for anything that I found them delicious? I ended up making Dylan bacon (always a trusty backup) and polished off his bowl.

Anyway, I do recommend the recipe! Here’s my version:


  • 1 cup Quaker oats (grind them in a food processor only if you need them to stick to a baby spoon like I do)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened original almond milk
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup water


Place all ingredients into a medium-sized saucepan set over medium heat and whisk them together. Use a spoon and stir them often and almost vigorously as they approach doneness. When all the moisture is absorbed, If they seem too thick or doughy add a little bit more water a little at a time and continue to stir until they reach your desired creaminess. Serve with a dollop of almond butter sauce if you are so inclined. Winking smile

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

RUSS March 30, 2012 at 11:29 pm

Mix the bacon in with the Oatmeal. All goes to the same place anyway. Also try Steel cut oats. Alot of kids like the texture better, it’s much coarser & it DOES stick to the spoon. Also, cut up small pieces of apple and stir in. Love you Doll.


DONNA CUSHING April 1, 2012 at 5:22 am

You are the oatmeal expert! You made me hungry for some . I make mine with water, then add milk and sprinkle on brown sugar . Next time I will try them your way:)


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