Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A New Leftover Re-Invention

After last weeks wonderful black bean and pumpkin enchiladas, I had a lone cup of pumpkin puree sitting in the fridge waiting to be used. Part of me wanted to make muffins with it, but part of me was holding out for something more unique- and maybe savory.

Well, I did end up with something different, but not in the savory sense. While visiting with the fine folks at the CLBB the other day, I saw a thread about squash pancakes. Squash pancakes? I love pancakes... but squash? I was intrigued, clicked, and found my lunch.

Full credit for the recipe goes to the minimalist himself, Mark Bittman, and I believe that this recipe comes from his latest tome, How To Cook Everything Vegetarian (which I really have to purchase sometime!) If you're familiar at all with Bittman recipes, they offer a basic idea, and then several variations. This one was in that fashion, so the recipe ends up being what you make of it. Here are the notes from the CLBB.

The formula is simple.


1 cup vegetable puree
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
a sprinkle of salt

Beat in 1 egg, then add liquid of choice to get a proper consistency. I used low fat milk, but other suggestions are ricotta and sour cream.

For other quantities, just add the same quantities of everything. Got 2 cups? Add 2 cups flour, 2 tsp. baking soda, 2 eggs, etc.

Cook the usual way.

I also added 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon to my batter. At the very last minute, I diced up half a pear and threw that in as well. I cooked these up just like regular pancakes- waiting for the tell-tale bubbles before flipping, and then serving up with butter and syrup. They were excellent, and they really were the bright shade of orange you see in the photo above! They had a very nice moist and dense texture, while still lightening up a bit from the baking powder. They were also quite healthy as far as pancakes go, what with the antioxidant loaded pumpkin and pears making an appearance. I used pumpkin puree because that's what I have, but I'm already eyeing this recipe up for the next time I have butternut squash lying around needing to be used. I suspect you could up the ante on nutrition by using wheat or white whole wheat flour. And because you can use whatever liquid you'd like, soy milk, almond milk or rice milk would be excellent here as well.

Since these pancakes lean towards the side of healthy, I thought they'd be a perfect addition to the weekly ARF/5-A-Day round-up over at Sweetnicks. It's been awhile since I participated, and I really need to remember to do so more often. It's a great way to remember to eat more healthy, and pay attention to those foods that really do our bodies good. Be sure to head on over to Sweetnick's later on for this week's complete round up.


Karen said...

Hi there! I found your website through Cooking Light. I've been reading about pumpkin for a while now. I'm intrigued about it's superfood status, but so far I've been stumped on how to prepare it (with the exception of pumpkin pie). I'm really excited to try this recipe. I'm also into healthy eating and I'm cooking up a storm on my blog. Check it out when you have a moment.


Potomac, MD

Erika W. said...

Thanks for dropping by Karen! It took me a very, very long time to get the courage to explore pumpkin as a savory ingredient. I've just always eaten squash and pumpkin as a sweet food- in dessert or cooked with sugar and sweet spices. I finally got over it just a few weeks back, and I've almost become obsessed. I really like what the pumpkin is adding to my cooking, and since it's something I have in the freezer anyway, I can feel even better about using it!

JEP said...

Very creative & deliciously/healthy, too! Pancakes for a winter supper sounds like a good plan for me!

Ricki said...

Well, I've been debating whether or not to buy Bittman's cookbook, and your post has convinced me! These look terrific. I love the idea that pretty much any veg puree can stand in for the pumpkin. What a great way to use up leftovers. I can see endless possibilities. . . thanks!

Erika W. said...

Pancakes for supper is always a great plan in my book!

Ricki, there are endless possibilities aren't there? I can easily see adding a cauliflower puree and some curry powder for a savory Indian pancake, or with the squash adding onions and sage. I wonder how a pancake made with beets would fare? That would be an interesting one!

I think I'm going to have to buy this book too. It's definitely on my short list.

Cakespy said...

My eyes widened when I saw this recipe!! It sounds perfect, and not too unhealthy (yet still satisfying!). Nice!

Erika W. said...

Cakespy, these also held well overnight in the fridge to be reheated in the microwave. Tasted just as good the next day.