Everyone loves fall and one of my favorite things about this season is the food. It’s the time of year for cozy stews and soups, cheesy baked pastas and the time pumpkin spice up your life (a-la Spice Girls). There’s nothing I love more than tending to a braise or a stew for hours on the weekend, the flavors are impeccable and it is just so satisfying. While I do think people have gone a little pumpkin spice crazy, I’m a believer that there is a time and place for pumpkin.
This recipe I’m sharing today has been a favorite of mine forever and is one of the first ways I started using pumpkin in my cooking that I actually enjoyed.
Before we jump into the recipe, here are a few tips for cooking with pumpkin:
1. Water content
Keep in mind that pumpkin puree has a lot of water in it, so be careful with adding pumpkin to any recipe. For example, if you decide to throw some pumpkin in with your brownies, you’ll find that because of the extra liquid that is evaporating from the batter you’ll end up with light and airy brownies instead of dense and fudgy.
2. Think outside the box
Did you know that pumpkin is technically a fruit? While it’s delicious in baked goods, you can also use it in savory preparations. Think of how you would use a butternut or acorn squash, why not sub in the pumpkin for acorn squash in this soup?
3. Make your own puree
While it’s easy to pick up a can of pumpkin puree at the store, you can’t beat the flavor of making your own at home. Opt for the smaller sugar pumpkin as they are easier to handle, are sweeter, and have more flavor than larger varieties. To make your own puree, quarter the pumpkin and remove all seeds and roast for about an hour at 400F. Scoop out the flesh and whirl in a food processor and you’re ready to go.
Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup white flour
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3 tbsp melted butter + extra butter for frying
1. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.
2. In a medium bowl whisk wet ingredients.
3. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well. Whisk until combined, it’s ok if there are a few lumps.
4. In a non-stick pan, melt butter over medium heat. Ladle the batter into the pan, 1/4 cup at a time. You can use the bottom of the ladle to spread the batter if necessary. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until you see bubbles form in the center of the pancake. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until fully cooked.