There’s just something about the word “fall” that rhymes with the word “pumpkin”. Oh, how I long for the time of year when I can break out my pumpkin scented candles, buy dozens upon dozens of pumpkin puree cans, and I can begin decorating my house in autumn colors or orange and yellow. Fall also renews my baking spirit and I eagerly plan out what new tasty treats I’ll be whipping up on a weekly basis.
And yes – as you can probably infer – my waistline tends to expand as the fall season begins. I know, it’s no longer swimsuit season. So who really cares if you have an extra cookie here or there? It’s fall and it’s starting to cool off, so you’re not wearing such revealing clothing. You’re not going to the beach or going to a bunch of outdoor events. Oh no, you’re starting to stay indoors, watch the new fall lineup on television, and cheering on your football team each weekend. Yes, fall is the time of year when we all become just a bit more complacent and settle into a more relaxed routine.
This year, I want my fall routine to be different. And boy, will it ever be different (more on that later). I just wanted to prove to myself and my family that it is possible to enjoy some delicious foods while still maintaining healthy habits! Remember – I don’t do DIETS. Most people don’t do well with them, and I don’t feel we should punish ourselves! Instead, making a few LIFESTYLE adjustments here and there has a much more positive effect on one’s life.
Take for example the all-american breakfast entree – pancakes. Pancakes can come in so many different shapes and sizes. You have your traditional versions: whole wheat, buttermilk, blueberry, or chocolate chip. Then you have your healthified versions: gluten-free, paleo, 3-ingreidents or less, grain-free, or sugarless. Then there’s always the fancy versions: pumpkin, red velvet, cinnamon roll, or cake batter. Some recipes are made from scratch, while others are made using a pre-made mix. As you can imagine, the homemade versions are usually better for you than a processed box mix like Bisquick. But please don’t be fooled – a homemade recipe can be just as unhealthy as if you went to a diner and ordered it with bacon grease as a side!
But we love pancakes and why on earth would we want to part with them? Well, most diets would tell you that you can’t have these soft, deletable discs. There are just too many carbs in the white flour mix or there’s too much sugar in the syrup and on low-carb diets, these are big no-no’s! But when you make a life style change to your eating plan, you realize that you can still have your pancakes and eat them too! It’s all about balance and it can be achieved in 3 simple steps. One: swap out a few not-so-great ingredients for healthier versions. Two: make them in smaller serving sizes and eat a smaller portion. Three: don’t douse or drown them in butter and syrup!
Now, as I was saying, fall is my favorite time of year. And since canned pumpkin has FINALLY returned to my local Aldi, I took advantage and stocked up for the month of October. Yes – you heard me right – I have enough to last me through Halloween. That’s about 10, 15 oz. cans. I will be re-stocking in November and December! Now what did I plan to do with all of this pumpkin? Well, I have been craving pancakes recently, so I decided to set out on a mission. The mission: to find the best “healthy” pumpkin pancake recipe.
I did a simple Pinterest search and found at least 20 different recipes that all looked delectable. I wound up settling on the below 3 recipes. You’ll notice that they are all healthier versions, but they each have a different niche market that they cover. I wanted to try new options with some new ingredients that I wouldn’t have thought to use. I’m also very interested in learning about other eating routines, so I decided to try a Paleo recipe as well! If you have specific dietary restrictions, you can always find a version that will work best for you! My biggest thing is watching my carb intake, so I wanted recipes that focus more on the veggies (pumpkin) and healthy fats (coconut oil). Below you will find the step-by-step instructions to make the 3 versions I made and test out for yourself which one is the favorite!
Grain-Free Pumpkin Pancakes
2 eggs, large
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 T maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup almond meal (I made my own)
1 T coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- In a bowl, whisk together the eggs. Add in pumpkin puree and maple syrup; mix well.
- Next, add in the remaining dry ingredients; mix again until everything is combined.
- Heat a greased skillet over medium heat.
- Using an ice cream scoop, spoon about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the pan.
- Cook the first side for about 3 minutes, or until cooked through enough to flip. Let the other side cook for 2-3 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
- Seve with maple syrup and enjoy!!
Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal Blender Pancakes
1 cup rolled oats
8 oz (1/2 can) pure pumpkin
1 large egg
2 T pure maple syrup
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and puree until batter is smooth.
- Heat a non-stick skillet (coated with oil or cooking spray) over medium heat. Using an ice cream scoop, drop about 1/4 cup of the batter onto the hot skillet.
- Cook each pancake about 2-3 minutes per side, until pancakes start to brown just a little on each side and are cooked all the way through.
- Remove pancakes to a plate and keep warm in the microwave/oven while you cook the remaining batter into pancakes.
- Serve with additional maple syrup.
Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes
2 T coconut flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
2 T pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 T coconut oil, melted, (add more for more moisture)
1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 T coconut milk, (optional, if your batter is still too thick for your preference)
- In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: coconut flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: eggs, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and pumpkin puree.
- Slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mix. Stir until the ingredients are well combined.
- Heat a pan or skillet with coconut oil or organic butter over medium-low heat. Use an ice cream scoop to portion batter onto the pan. Note: these will not bubble like regular pancakes, so be sure to check them after a few minutes! Flip them over and cooke until golden brown.
- Serve with pure maple syrup or enjoy them in all of their pumpkin glory!
Now, go get baking to discover which on is your favorite!!! Be sure to leave a comment below letting me know what pancake recipe you liked best!