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Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

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I told you that I would have at least one pumpkin recipe – here it is!

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I really do enjoy pumpkin! For as long as she made it, and I could eat it, I always loved my Grandmother’s Pumpkin Pie. It was nothing more than a store bought, gluten containing, crust and the pie directions on the back of the can of pumpkin puree, but it was pumpkin and it was good!

In my imagination I’ve had thoughts of making all sorts of pumpkin-pie-like desserts this fall, but the only thing that has come to fruition are these Pumpkin Pie Pancakes. See, dessert is not exactly a required meal of the day, so making a pie often seems less fun than, say, getting a full 8 hours of sleep. Breakfast, on the other hand, is totally needed before I go spend my day wrangling children and musical instruments. Putting pumpkin in my breakfast has been an easy way to enjoy the fall flavor without spending extra time baking something special.

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These pancakes are soft and melt-in-your-mouth, just like regular pumpkin pie. They are grain free, thanks to coconut flour, and easily dairy free if you use almond milk (which I do). I tried a few different sweeteners in these pancakes and maple syrup was the clear winner. It compliments the pumpkin perfectly! Of course, if you want to avoid refined sugar use 100% pure maple syrup (which is what I keep on hand and used each time I’ve made these pancakes).

I feel super cliche just mentioning this, but obviously I put pumpkin pie spice in these pancakes. As this awesome article from the Kitchn brings up, pumpkin and pumpkin spice are two different things. Us Americans have somehow been convinced to think that pumpkin tastes like pumpkin pie spices. It doesn’t.

I’m the I-do-what-I-want type of person and avoid cultural trends I don’t like or agree with. I don’t have a legit pair of skinny jeans or a personal facebook account. Proof enough right there. Pumpkin spice is not a trend I’m into. I’ve had zero pumpkin spice lattes, zero pumpkin spice oreos, and whatever other pumpkin spice this or thats are out there. I just like pumpkin pie. So, please, don’t think I’m trying to be all cool and trendy here, and come up with the greatest pumpkin spice recipe this year and be all Pinterest famous. No. I just like pumpkin pie, but don’t have time to make a pie, so I made pancakes instead.

Now that that is out of the way . . .

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With maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice I think these pancakes are perfectly flavored on their own – no syrup or toppings needed! This recipe serves 1 because I have a spouse that doesn’t like pumpkin. Bummer, I have to eat the whole batch of pancakes myself! Although I haven’t actually tried doubling (tripling, quadrupling, etc) the recipe I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t work.

One important thing to note before you start making these pancakes – most of my pancake recipe cook kinda like normal pancakes but for whatever reason these don’t. Cook them on a lower temperature for longer. It works best for me when my burner is on medium low. By the time the pancakes are finally cooked through the fresh pie-like smell will probably be driving you crazy, in a good way!

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 1/2 c pumpkin puree
  • 1 T coconut flour
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T pure maple syrup
  • 3 T almond milk (or other milk of choice)
Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until combined. The batter will be smooth, and a bit thick.
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Pour about 2 T of batter per pancakes onto the skillet. Use the rounded bottom edge of a spoon to smooth the batter into a cicle.
  3. Cook over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the edges of the pancakes have set an the top of the pancake is opaque, not shiny.
  4. Flip and cook for another minute or two on the second side, until golden brown.
  5. Repeat with remaining batter.

 

 

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Tomato & Asparagus Risotto

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Here’s a risotto recipe that is healthy, not indulgent. It’s creamy and smooth, like any risotto should be, but there’s no cheese or dairy in sight. This makes a great lunch or side dish. It’s naturally vegetarian, gluten free, and dairy free. Perfect use for that spring, framer’s market asparagus!

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Back in college, I had a great tomato risotto recipe. I can remember preparing it on my parents range, along with some chicken. It was just as yummy as the cheese-laden risottos I often made at that time, but so much healthier. I’ve searched far and wide for that recipe and have yet to find it. I finally decided it was time to stop the search and use my cooking skills to come up with my own tomato risotto recipe.

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I’ve tested this recipe a few times, with a few different ingredient variations, and it seems to be foolproof. Add some broth and a tomato-y liquid. Stir. Keep stirring. Add more liquid. It’s simple. For the broth, I’ve used stock from a carton as well as Better Than Buillion + water, with identical results. Homemade stock would be great here, too!

To get the tomato flavor you can use a plain tomato sauce or a pasta sauce. The pasta sauce had tons of flavor from the herbs and spices, but that trade off was a more processed meal with higher calories. When I used plain old tomato sauce I added a bit of Italian seasoning (I used Penzey’s Frozen Pizza Seasoning that I just got a few weeks ago), just for fun.

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Serve with asparagus on top like I did or stir the asparagus spears into the risotto. The crisp asparagus with the smooth risotto do go wonderfully together. Pair with a clean eating protein of choice and you’ll have a well rounded, clean, healthy, meal!

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Tomato & Asparagus Risotto

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 1 c arborio rice
  • 2 c chicken or vegetable stock (read label to verify that it is gluten free)
  • 20 oz tomato sauce or spaghetti/pizza sauce (read label to verify that it is gluten free)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 shallots (may replace with an onion)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, cut into spears
Directions
  1. Finely mince the garlic and shallots.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium to large sized skillet, over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add the garlic and shallots. Cook for about 5, stirring frequently, until both garlic and shallots have softened some.
  3. Add the rice to the skillet, and stir very frequently. Watch for the edges of the rice to turn translucent.
  4. When the majority of the rice has turned translucent on the edges, add about half a cup of the stock. Keep stirring. It will likely absorb into the rice very quickly. When most of the rice is absorbed, stir in another half cup of stock. Keep stirring frequently (if not constantly) while the rice absorbs the stock.
  5. For the rest of the cooking time, alternate between adding tomato sauce and stock each time the liquid the liquid has absorbed, stirring very frequently. The liquid will most likely be absorbing slower than it was at the beginning, but keep adding it!
  6. When you’re on the final liquid addition, it’s time to cook the asparagus. Lay it in a small skillet in a single layer, and fill the skillet with water, just enough to cover the asparagus. Heat to boil, and then reduce to medium heat. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until the asparagus is soft, but still has a bit of a crunch. Test firmness using a fork.
  7. Drain the asparagus in a strainer. Either stir it into the finished risotto or just lay it on top.
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