Thanksgiving is one of the loveliest holidays, at least in my opinion. Families gather, a gourmet dinner is prepared and best of all time is spent with loved ones. We can all admit that life can get a little crazy. Better yet, it can get tremendously crazy for us college students with exams, papers, research, community service, what have you. Thanksgiving is a tool that we use to reconnect with our values, all the while making beautiful memories with the most special people on the planet.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Kengle

As I was flipping through various food blogs in search of a new recipe, I came across a Sweet Potato Pie Oatmeal dish. It sounded too good to be true. Yet, as I read on, the sheer genius of the recipe came to be: a breakfast dish that has strong roots with a traditional Thanksgiving dish. Healthy, sweet and reminiscent of Thanksgiving, the only problem was that I have spent nineteen years on this planet without having known that this oatmeal existed. As far as I am concerned, that is a lot of time and eating to make up! My stomach fell a little bit in love with the images of the dish, leading to my decision to embark on a culinary adventure and make this oatmeal.

Unfortunately, since I live in a residence hall, I do not have the means to recreate this divine oatmeal. The original recipe calls for stove-top oats and a broiler, both of which I lack.  But, with faith and a pinch of confidence, I set off on a challenge to adapt the recipe to a microwave-only-awesome-college recipe. Was I successful? Yes! This means that you can do it too, so wipe that incredulous look off your face and smile. You are about to make and eat something wonderful!

While I had no oven to use in order to broil the oatmeal for that crunchy topping, I found ways to add a little crunch and wholesome goodness to a breakfast that is sure to start anyone’s day off right. I mean, come on, it’s a breakfast food that tastes like sweet potato pie!! In addition to the amazing taste, this breakfast is packed full of nutrition. The sweet potato jump starts your immune system with a healthy dose of vitamin C and antioxidants, while the banana feeds your muscles with a powerful serving of potassium (great for runners like me!), and the oatmeal is a great serving of grains. There is little added sugar since the banana serves as a sweetener that is echoed by the flavors from the pumpkin pie spices. Adding nuts bumps up the serving of protein, ensuring that you will be full and stay full.

As an added bonus, this breakfast is quick and cheap. The sweet potato was .50 cents! The oatmeal was around $2 (for ten packages) the banana was taken from the dining hall (our campus allows each student to take one item from the dining hall, be sure to check with yours before you take something!), and the spices were left over from my well known pumpkin bread that I make every Thanksgiving. I made over thirty loaves this past Thanksgiving for everyone on my floor, but I digress.

Original recipe:

Ready for some fun?


1 small sweet potato

1 small banana

2 packages instant oatmeal

Pumpkin Pie spice (or cinammon, nutmeg, etc)

Water or milk (to cook oatmeal)

Granola (optional topping)

Walnuts (optional topping)


Cut sweet potato in half. Poke holes in the potato with a fork, ensuring that all surfaces have a means to vent. Cook potato in the microwave for 4min-4.5min (depends on the size of the potato and strength of microwave).

Cut the cooked potato in half length wise, allow to cool slightly (just enough so that you can touch it without burning yourself, needless to say I found this out the hard way). Chop up half of the small banana, mash in a small bowl with a fork. Scrape the sweet potato into the bowl with the banana and mix/mash well.

Add two packages of the instant oatmeal to a bowl along with milk or water. Cook as directed. I cooked mine for about 2 minutes.

Stir oatmeal into the sweet potato, banana mixture. Stir in seasoning (pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, or whatever you have on hand).

Chop up remaining banana and garnish the top of your lovely oatmeal. Sprinkle a little more spice on top. Feel free to add granola, raisins, or nuts for extra goodness.

Voila! A healthy, decadent breakfast!

I scarfed down half of the oatmeal right away! I also saved some for the next day because this dish is the kind that you want to eat more than once, trust me on this one. By the way, this oatmeal tastes wonderful the next day cold, especially when you add a little crunch to it!

Bon Appétit!

Rachel Kengle is a sophomore at the University of South Florida, majoring in Psychology. She loves to be busy and is an avid yoga student, likes to run for fun, the president of a few student organizations and a member of NSCS. However, she is most known for her culinary flair as she is a very talented baker and cook. She cooks and bakes healthful and frugal dishes that energize your body and are reasonably priced. She loves experiencing new things whether it is a new fitness class, a new book, or a new language. Taking part in this blogging experience will only whet her appetite to lead a healthy lifestyle while inspiring others to do the same.