Pumpkin-flavored items show up everywhere this time of year – from coffee to chips. In truth, many of these items don’t contain pumpkin at all but, rather, pumpkin pie spice which is a spice mix containing cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. It’s a shame because pumpkin is super healthy with a comforting, earthy flavor and tends to be available only this time of year.
To capitalize on the availability of pumpkin at the holidays, I created my own, authentic pumpkin food item in the form of a breakfast treat. I adapted my Pumpkin Pancakes from an original healthy pancake recipe I submitted to Cooking Light Magazine, which was selected as the featured Reader Recipe in November 2004. My pumpkin version is low in sugar, high in fiber and contains heart-healthy walnuts. If you don’t like or can’t get pureed pumpkin, you can substitute fully cooked, peeled and thoroughly mashed sweet potato instead. Both orange-hued vegetables contain lots of antioxidants that promote eye health and reduce inflammation.
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cream of wheat or rolled oats
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- dash of ground cloves (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 tblsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup pureed pumpkin or sweet potato
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
In large bowl, mix dry ingredients (whole wheat flour through cloves) until thoroughly blended. Set aside. In separate medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients (milk through vanilla). Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Stir in chopped walnuts. Ladle batter onto preheated nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Flip when air bubbles form along perimeter of pancake. Pancake is done when second side is golden brown. Serve warm with real maple syrup. Makes approximately 14 pancakes.
If you’ve got pureed pumpkin sitting in your fridge leftover from Thanksgiving pie or if, like me, you always buy an extra can, surprise your family with a pump(kin)ed up pancake that’s sure to please.