Pumpkin Everything

It’s October which means everything is required to taste like pumpkin.  Starbucks offers the perennial favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte, pumpkin scones and pumpkin pie start showing up in restaurants, and my local grocery store puts canned pumpkin on special every week from now until the first week of December.

I am a proponent of cooking from scratch whenever possible, however, the thought of cleaning, cutting, cooking and pureeing pumpkin is more than I want to tackle or have time for.  Canned it is.

I must be susceptible to the pumpkin phenomenon because it just feels like I need to incorporate it into my menu.  I crave it this time of year and since I am especially drawn to breakfast and baked goods these are currently all of the pumpkin variety.  In the last two weeks I have made pumpkin and chocolate chip pancakes, pumpkin waffles, pumpkin and chocolate chip muffins, and for a bake sale at work Pumpkin and Cream Cheese Whoopie Pies.  In my head I justify eating all of these treats because pumpkin is a vegetable, high in fiber, and I’m purchasing an organic version.  And I use whole wheat flour.  That should cancel out the other less healthy ingredients, right?!

Pumpkin just tastes like the holidays.  Roasting seeds from freshly carved jack-o-lanterns and big bites of my Mom’s pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving evoke happy memories and make me feel loved.  No wonder I crave this ingredient.  Here are a few of my favorite recipes:

Pumpkin Pancakes

This recipe came from a Facebook post by The Farm Chicks.  It’s easy, delicious, and K loves them.  Here’s what you need:

1/4 cup pumpkin purée
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup flour  (I recommend whole wheat because it makes them taste heartier.)
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
pinch of nutmeg
chocolate chips (my addition – I don’t go crazy, maybe a half cup)

Whisk pumpkin and egg together until smooth. Add in remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. Fry batches in a cast iron skillet for a tasty fall breakfast treat.  This makes 6 average size pancakes.  I’ve made these several times and last week added the chocolate chips for the first time.  It was like eating dessert.  No wonder I loved them!

Pumpkin Waffles

I was searching for a quick and easy recipe to use up some leftover pumpkin puree I had in the fridge from making the pancakes.  I found what I was looking for at SavoryNothings.com.  These were tasty, slightly crunchy and full of flavor.  I was able to freeze the extras for breakfast later this week.

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée

In a large bowl stir together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, milk, maple syrup and melted butter, then stir in the pumpkin purée.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Bake in your waffle iron as you normally would.  I served these with some carmelized chicken apple sausage on the side.  YUM.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins or Bread

I have never met “Betty Crocker” but I owe “her” a major debt of gratitude.  My Betty Crocker cookbook has never let me down.  Whether trying to determine how to cook a cut of meat or how to make the classics, this is my go-to source for all cooking guidance.  I have been making the Pumpkin Bread recipe for years.  Sometimes I make loaves and other times I bake these in lined muffin tins.  I also add a handful or two of chocolate chips.  Shocker, I know.  You could also add a half cup of nuts or raisins if that’s more your speed.

1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil (Sometimes I substitute an individual serving of applesauce instead to cut down on the fat – the result is still a moist crumb and I can’t tell the difference.)
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour (I use whole wheat – it just tastes better to me.)

2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (I substitute pumpkin pie spice regularly.)
Chocolate chips
If making loaves, move the oven rack to the low position so tops of the pans will be in the center of the oven.  If making muffins, you can keep it in the center position.  Make sure to line your muffin tin with cupcake wrappers.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir together the pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pans/tins.  Bake loaves for 50 to 60 minutes; bake muffins 20 to 25 minutes.  Let them cool for a ten minutes before removing from the pan.  I find these taste best after they have completely cooled and with a cold glass of milk.  
Happy Baking, Friends!

 

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