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Pumpkin all year round

Remember when I said I was going to be kind to myself on this 28 day sugar cleanse? You may call it cheating (and ok, maybe it is a little), but I’ve been allowing myself a teaspoon of sugar in my oatmeal every morning. Well, today I ran out of my cooked-in-a-big-batch-and-reheated-during-the-week oatmeal, so I decided I was going to have my pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes instead of making a single serving of steel cut oatmeal.

It is a work day, after all. I don’t have the luxury of time on these mornings.

Since I would have had a teaspoon of sugar in my oatmeal, I figure having a teaspoon of maple syrup (the real kind!) and a sprinkle of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips wouldn’t be so bad, especially since I was also going to have 1/2 a serving of vegetable (the pumpkin, of course :)) and a serving of fruit with breakfast. So I still win in the healthy eating department, you feel me?

Chocolate chip pumpkin pancakes

So what if Thanksgiving was months ago? You can still have pumpkin!

This recipe was inspired by the out-of-this-world Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Celebration Cake from Whole Foods. If you’ve never had it and you’re a pumpkin lover like me, I highly suggest taking a trip to your nearest Whole Foods and getting yourself a piece or two. Or ten. It’s ok, I won’t judge.

The cake is no doubt loaded with sugar (it is the second or third ingredient listed, after all), so while I absolutely love to eat it, I try not to eat it too often, since, well… as I’ve established by now, I’m trying to bring down my sugar intake. But what to do when I need my fix? I came up with my very own solution: recreate the flavors in a pancake.

This is my go-to pancake. I have it once a week, every week. Yes, all year round. I hoard pumpkin during the “high season” and when I run out, I search far and wide for replenishments. Thank God Whole Foods sells pumpkin all year!

Jen’s Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes (makes 4 pancakes)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup oat flour (I’ve found oat flour to produce really tender pancakes, but feel free to substitute your favorite flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (plus more for sprinkling, if you’d like–and I do :))
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (I highly recommend not substituting with another kind of milk–you need the acidic properties of the buttermilk to react with the baking soda to produce that fluffy texture)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tbsp mini chocolate chips (I prefer bittersweet, or semi-sweet if bittersweet isn’t available)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (make sure you buy the plain puree, not the pumpkin pie filling mix)

Instructions:

In a bowl, sift the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice. Add the egg white, vanilla, buttermilk, and chocolate chips. Mix until incorporated (but try not to overmix). Ladle the batter onto a heated, greased griddle and wait for the tiny bubbles on the surface before flipping. Cook on the other side, and you are ready to go!

I mentioned that I love to top my pancakes with peanut butter, berries, and some maple syrup. You choose your own toppings, of course, but I do recommend trying the peanut butter/maple syrup combo. I never would have thought to combine the two, but someone showed me to do that once (during the one and only camping trip I’ve ever taken–the only one I ever plan to take), and I’ve been topping my pancakes with those two things ever since. Yum.

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About writejenwrite

Silicon Valley marketer by day, novelist-in-training by night--running addict, foodie, bookworm, pop culture enthusiast, and aspiring philanthropist in between.

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