I claim pumpkin to be my favorite food. Usually at this point in the year, I would be completely pumpkin-minded, trying to think of a way to fit the orange goop into every meal. Pumpkin oatmeal with pumpkin granola sprinkled on top for breakfast, chicken salad sandwich on pumpkin bread with pumpkin yogurt on the side for lunch, pumpkin & black bean enchiladas with pumpkin soup for dinner, washed down with a pumpkin beer, and pumpkin pie for dessert. It may turn me orange, but that would be a great day.
However, the Libby’s pumpkin shortage in the past year has really put a damper on my pumpkin loving ability. A whole year without the ability to enjoy or create recipes with pumpkin eventually made me forget about my favorite squash, and my go-to fruit addition became bananas in sweet applications, and butternut squash in all others. As soon as I saw other bloggers start to add pumpkin back to their oats, I looked everywhere for a couple cans of my own. And found nothing. Finally, on September 21 (it was a really important day), I found a stock of the precious cans at Trader Joe’s. There was just one problem…
Organic pumpkin. Blech. How is that a problem, you ask? I would guess that you’ve never tried organic pumpkin before if you are asking that question. For one thing, it’s brown. For another, it’s watery. Finally, its consistency is much more grainy/mealy than the smooth and creamy orange stuff from a Libby’s can. I have no idea why this vast difference exists; my only guess is that Libby’s has a superior method of processing and canning their pumpkin that is either proprietary information, or too expensive for smaller (organic) producers to use. Regardless, there is an obvious difference and in this instance, the cheaper, non-organic product is a much better buy.
Organic aside, bad pumpkin is better than no pumpkin, so I bought three cans that I hoped would hold me over until I could find some Libby’s. I made a batch of pumpkin oatmeal and quickly realized that if I wanted to enjoy these first tastes of pumpkin this season, I would need to use these cans in things that would disguise the texture.
Enter: Pumpkin Pancakes
I first made pancakes without a boxed mix during my senior year of college. The thought of plain pancakes makes my stomach turn a bit (I need strong flavor in the morning) so I added a mashed banana and some chocolate chips to the batter. They were a hit. And so much better than a box. And with pronounceable ingredients.
Last weekend we had a house guest and I wanted to make a nice breakfast. I had about half a can of organic pumpkin leftover from my oatmeal, and thought my pancakes would be a great vessel for getting rid of the less-than-ideal-textured pumpkin.
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 – 3/4 cup pumpkin
1 cup all purpose flour (or 1/2 cup AP flour + 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (this is an estimate. I just poured it in until it looked/smelled spiced)
Beat egg with a whisk. Slowly add milk and melted butter. Mix in pumpkin. Stir in dry ingredients until incorporated – do not overmix! Cook on a non-stick griddle 1-2 minutes/side. Enjoy hot with plenty of real maple syrup.
Yield 10-15 pancakes, depending on what size you make them. They usually provide a delicious breakfast for 3-4 people.
(Pumpkin can be used as an egg-replacer in this recipe, which along with non-dairy milk and Earth Balance would veganize the recipe. I’ve made these with and without eggs, and haven’t really noticed a difference. I like to add them though – more protein!)
It’s a feeling thing. You’ll get the hang of it. Don’t worry if you experience the first pancake phenomenon.
Hot & yummy pancakes! Don’t skimp on the maple syrup. Or Brett’s favorite – Biscoff spread.
It’s so simple, and with ingredients you already have. You’ll never want to waste your money on boxed pancake mix again!
This was actually the second batch I made – this one just to freeze for future use. Just take them out of the freezer on a busy morning and pop them in the toaster. You’ll also never buy frozen waffles/pancakes again!