Though most people never give it a second thought until Thanksgiving pie-making time rolls around, canned pumpkin is one of the hidden treasures of the vegetable aisle. It’s nutritious (high in fiber and low in fat and carbs), delicious, economical, and incredibly versatile. You can use it to make sweet desserts (cakes, pies, puddings, turnovers, souffles, tarts, etc) as well as savory side-dishes, casseroles, empanadas, soups (hot and chilled), croquettes, and more. You can also use it to make wonderfully moist breads and muffins, too.
Sweet or savory - breakfast, lunch, or dinner - that shamefully neglected can of pumpkin in your cupboard can do it all! How many canned vegetables can claim that kind of versatility?
Try these easy and delicious pancakes for breakfast or Sunday brunch. They’re lightly sweet and are great with just butter, or you can mix in any number of goodies (raisins, chopped walnuts or pecans, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, etc) and/or top them with maple syrup (buy the real stuff; you deserve it!), or peaches, berries, pineapple, or mango - or how about a dollop of real whipped cream or even a scoop of ice cream? Too decadent, you say? Perhaps, but well worth it: a sybaritic breakfast will put a mysterious smile on your face that your co-workers will wonder about all morning . . .
Here’s a photo of the Homestyle Pumpkin Pancakes (made with raisins) below.
1 cup self-rising flour
2 Tbsp brown sugar (or white)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
3/4 cup half & half or milk
1/2 cup solid-pack canned pumpkin (See Cook’s Note)
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
Butter or oil for cooking
Mix together the dry ingredients, then add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Lightly oil or butter a heated skillet or griddle and pour in about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook until the edges are just dry. Turn pancakes and cook until lightly browned. Keep warm in very low oven while making remaining pancakes. Makes 8 -10 pancakes.
There are two types of canned pumpkin: the kind that’s premixed with sugar, etc., to use as pumpkin pie filling, and the kind that’s just pumpkin with no added ingredients (often called Solid Pack.) I recommend buying only the plain pumpkin type, as it allows you the widest range of possibilities.
Please join us tomorrow to read our newest daily food and cooking feature on HuggingtheCoast.Com.
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