My Attempt At Sugar Pumpkin Pancakes
My page will show you step by step how to make Sugar Pumpkin pancakes.
The Power Of Pumpkin
Not Just For Jack O Lanterns Ya Nnow
I love Hypocrittes` saying of "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." I am completely convinced that close to everything we need to be pro-active in living a healthy lifestyle can be found in a garden. Nature has provided us with a myriad of preventative measures, and also with remedies when are feeling a little under the weather. The different varieties of squash are not excluded in this plan of health. From Acorn to Zuchinni, each with its unique promises of health, can be both tasty and nutritional. Today we`ll concentrate on the Sugar Pumpkin. The Sugar Pumpkin is alot like the pumpkins we see in October that are used for carving, but they are smaller, and therefore sweeter. They are a favorite amongst bakers. Pumpkins are loaded with fiber, vitamin A, are low in caloriesa and provide a slew of health benefits.
Pumpkins owe their bright, orange color to the high concentration of carotenoids in them. Carotenoids are what help our bodies keep free radicals at bay, help in preventing premature aging, cardiovascular disease, and other infections. Other reasons that prove them to be helpful to us is their ability to help protect our eyes because of the Lutein and the. These two things protect our eyes from free radical damage and they prevent the formation of cataracts and degeneration of our eye tissue.
The seeds inside of the pumpkin can be roasted and eaten as a snack and also added to entrees or salads. They are high in protein and EFA`s (essential fatty acids). They also help to reduce blood cholesterol levels because the composition of those fatty acids is the same as cholesterol. When we take in phytosterols that mimic the cholesterol our body produces, it produces less, thus lowering our blood cholesterol concentration. The seeds don`t stop there though! The EFA`s in them are an important defense from high blood pressure, arthritis and cancer, to having healthy skin and boosting brain power. There are many, many benefits that EFA`s provide that I haven`t listed here. A Google search will show tons more.
The vitamin A that is in pumpkins and also in their seeds is good for our eyes and it also helps in strengthening our immune system.
We all know that vitamin C is good for us. Our immune systems rely on it, free radicals are demolished by it, and the collagen that makes our skin plump and smooth relies on it. The vitamin C in pumpkins is also helpful in protecting our bodies from certain forms of cancer.
The pulp and seeds are high in magnesium. Magnesium is essential for many intersystem workings as well as building strong bones and teeth.
Potassium and Zinc are found in large amounts within a pumpkin`s flesh. Studies have shown that these two minerals are important in preventing the onset of cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Zinc supports bone density, aids the immune system, and provides reproductive health. Women, are you listening? (Insert smile here)
Weight loss seems to be another promising quality of pumpkin flesh. This is, in part, because it is an excellent source of dietary fiber. The fiber also lowers LDL (what is termed as 'bad cholesterol), regulates blood sugar levels, and is extrememly effective in treating constipation, indigestion, and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Pumpkins truly are a superfood. Remember that next time you see one in a supermarket or while sitting at the table carving your masterpiece for Halloween.
Step By Step
The How-To Part
I belong to a CSA. For those of you that might not know, CSA stands for 'community supported agriculture'. I get local, organic produce delivered to my door once a week. When fall arrived, so did the inclusion of squash in my basket.I`d never even heard of a Sugar Pumpkin before and when it showed up on my list I told myself I`d like to try it. After some investigation it was inferred that I should use it in some sort of yummy treat. I visit a local coffee shop every now and again and they make the best Pumpkin Lattes. Their secret is fresh pumpkin puree. I guess it`s not so secret anymore since Sara, the owner, revealed it to me. Should I try to duplicate it with my Sugar Pumpkin? Nah....I`ll hold on to that little excuse to go for coffee. Pie? Ummmm....not really into sugar and wheat, besides, the only one besides me in my family that likes Pumpkin Pie is my son Tyler. Pumpkin pancakes? Hmmmmm......sounds delightful. Here, my adventure with homemade pumpkin pancakes begins.
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Step One-Not Counting the Buying the Pumpkin Step
Making the Puree
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut the Sugar Pumpkin in quarters and scoop out the seeds and the stringy fibers that go with it. Place the pumpkin pieces in a roasting pan or an equivalent, put about 1 1/2 cups of water in the pan, and throw it in the oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When it`s done, allow to cool for about 20 minutes. The flesh will be real soft and scoopable. Scoop it into a food processor, I used my 'Vitamix' and puree until smooth. Fresh pumpkin is usually wetter than canned pumpkin so you`ll need to reduce the moisture content before baking with it.This can be done a couple of ways. You can put it in cheesecloth over a bowl, cover it and let it sit in the fridge overnight, or you can slather it on a cookie sheet or something and stick it in a 275 degree oven for about 40 minutes stirring once or twice. The moisture will evaporate and the puree will reduce by about half. Make sure you cool it before you use it as a baking ingredient.
Making The Mix
I processed my pumpkin the night before and put it in the fridge to make pancakes the next morning. For the pancake mix here are the ingredients you`ll need:
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 2 Tblsp vegetable oil
- 2 Tblsp vinegar
- 2 cups flour
- 3 Tblsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- chocolate chips (optional)
Mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl including the pumpkin puree. In another bowl mix the dry stuff. Stir the dry into the wet just until mixed. Meanwhile, I hope you`re warming up your griddle to a medium high heat. I cook with cast iron so I lower mine to mediumish. After your batter is mixed and your griddle is hot, pour desired amount of batter onto your griddle. My daughter likes medium sized pancakes so I put about a scant 1/4 cup for each one. Brown on both sides and serve.
My family liked the pancakes but next time I`ll add a bit more pumpkin. My Sugar Pumpkin was on the small side and it didn`t give me a cup of puree by the time it was all processed and the liquid was removed. I also think I`ll try just adding it to my regular dry pancake mix instead of making that from scratch, it`ll reduce my prep time. I`ll keep the spices, as I like that blend. Autumn said she`d love some whipped cream to go on top; maybe I`ll whip some of that up the night before as well.