Pumpkin Pancakes

First of all, I  want to acknowledge the fact that I am writing this post on September 11th. 3,000 people lost their lives, and they will not ever be forgotten.

I don’t mean to make this post depressing, but I didn’t want to be blabbing on about pumpkin spice without acknowledging the date.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Can you believe it? It’s that time of year again! Dreaded by some, embraced by many.

PUMPKIN SEASON.

I have been waiting impatiently for this time to come. Pumpkin is my favorite thing about Autumn. I know it’s not Autumn yet, but seriously, who cares? Right. Nobody cares, except for the pumpkin haters. Sorry haters. (Not sorry.)

I’ve decided to go on a pumpkin kick until the end of October. I need to branch out from my usual pumpkin smoothies and pumpkin oatmeal. I want to explore strange new pumpkin recipes; I will boldly go where no chef has ever gone before! Although I’m sure people have put pumpkin in everything already… I mean, we have pumpkin in our morning coffee! Thank goodness for Starbucks. There is also pumpkin yogurt, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin almonds, pumpkin cereal, and pumpkin chips. God bless America.

About these pancakes… They are amazing. If you are skeptical of putting pumpkin into pancakes, then try it. The pumpkin makes them super moist and rich while the spices make them taste warm and cinnamon-y. They are perfect for a chilly Sunday morning in Autumn.

Pair ’em with a pumpkin latte and you’ll be golden.

_DSC3420.JPG

Sorry about the terrible picture quality, I’m practicing with a new camera.

 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (I never  have pumpkin pie spice, so I use allspice instead)
  • 1- 1/4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter or canola oil
  • 1-1/2 cups milk (preferably whole milk, but I had success using a mixture of skim milk and half and half)

Directions:

  1. Combine the the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Place the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir gently. The batter will be very thick, and it’s OK if a few lumps remain.
  3. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto a greased pan. Cook until golden brown. (My pancakes weren’t bubbling, so I just flipped them after about 2-3 minutes on medium heat.)
  4. Keep cooked pancakes in a 200 degrees Fahrenheit oven until you are ready to eat them.
  5. Top with maple syrup, or whatever your heart desires, and enjoy!

 

_DSC3408.JPG

The pool of syrup at the bottom does NOT look aesthetically pleasing. Forgive my photography skills.

 

Original recipe: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/08/21/pumpkin-chocolate-chip-pancakes/

Advertisements

Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie

Not another darn smoothie recipe… Ew!

No. This smoothie is not ew. This smoothie is a miracle smoothie. Why? Here’s why:

  • It tastes amazing
  • It’s nutritious
  • It’s super filling and will keep you satisfied until lunch
  • It has peanut butter and banana

There is only one thing wrong with this smoothie:

  • It’s ugly

And I’m sure we can all get over the fact that it is slightly horrible looking, right? You could possibly make it look prettier by throwing in some leafy greens. It would become even healthier.. yay! But I don’t know it might look even grosser.

Anyways, the looks are unimportant, but the taste is extremely important. It is sweet, creamy and peanut-buttery, but the texture is a bit different from your normal smoothie due to the oat powder. The oat powder and the peanut butter work together to make the most satiating drink I have ever had. Seriously. It makes for a good pre-run breakfast.

If you like peanut butter and bananas, I highly recommend that you make this as soon as possible. Like right now.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 cup almond milk   ( If unsweetened, you may want to add a tablespoon or so of sweetener)
  • 3/4 cup oats, ground into a fine powder (I used a food processor)
  • A few ice cubes

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  2. Drink it and be amazed.

I don’t have a picture of this smoothie yet, but I will try to get one soon. I took multiple pictures of it and they all disappeared.

For now, just picture a smoothie that is quite ugly indeed.

 

Simple French Toast

I love French toast. It’s crazy simple to make, and yields tasty results. All you need is a few kitchen staples like bread, milk, eggs, sugar, and cinnamon. Perfect for lazy mornings. Or evenings. This is a regular dinner at our house.

Make sure to soak the bread in the egg mixture thoroughly, but don’t let it sit for too long, otherwise it will fall apart. Also, don’t be afraid to add other spices and flavors into this recipe. Sometimes I add nutmeg and replace the milk with eggnog for a special Christmas treat, or put in a few tablespoons of pumpkin and a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice for a taste of Autumn. But I have a feeling many people aren’t thinking about Christmas and Fall. I’m so ready for summer.

It’s still February. Help.

Ingredients:

DSC_0758

Yum. The weird things in the back are vegetarian sausage patties, if you were wondering. 

  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk of choice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6-8 slices bread

Directions:

  1. Whisk everything but the bread in a shallow bowl. Soak a piece of bread in the mixture for about one minute, or until both sides are covered. Place on an oiled pan and cook over medium heat until both sides are golden brown. Keep the cooked toast in  a warm oven at 200 degrees F.
  2. Cover with maple syrup. Or powdered sugar. Or peanut butter. Whatever floats your French toast boat.

Too easy, right? The hardest part is not eating too much.

Good luck.

 

 

 

Free-for-all Granola

Once upon a time, I was eating my 10,000th  bowl of store bought granola and yogurt. I love to read while I munch, so I grabbed the box and read the ingredient list on the back. Much to my surprise, the ingredients weren’t too crazy (keep in mind I was eating an “all natural” brand). It was just oats, sugar, oil, salt, vanilla, and some tasty preservatives. But even that short list didn’t inspire me. The next day I poured my 10,001th bowl of that sugary and overpriced granola. That continued for a very long time…Then I found out an amazing secret.

Making your own granola is very simple, totally not daunting, and so delicious. Not to mention healthy.

You need oats, a thick sweetener (think syrup, honey, or agave), nut butter, and some add-ins like dried fruit, nuts, or chocolate if you’re feeling a sweet craving. Oh, I almost always add vanilla and spices too. Gives the granola a nice flavor.

I call this Free-for-all Granola because you can use pretty much anything that’s lying around in your pantry. This recipe makes a small batch of granola because I only had two cups of oats in the house. It was really tragic. But you could double the recipe, or triple it. Or use almond butter instead of peanut butter. Or use honey instead of syrup. Use your imagination and make a delicious, homemade granola that you will want to eat in one sitting.

DSC_0334

Top this stuff with fruit- so good.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (or any nut butter)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or other sticky sweetener)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Any tasty add-ins you want

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the oats, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, melt the peanut butter in the microwave then add the syrup. Stir well. Add the vanilla.
  2. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oats. Mix until all the oats are covered. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Spread the granola evenly over the baking sheet, taking extra special care to have large clusters. Large clusters are critical.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently. (It burns easily!) Once it is done baking, let it cool on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes. Pour it into an airtight container. Eat it all day, every day.

Granola is the savior of the world. Make it now. Check your pantries. So simple, so good, so easy. That line was so cheesy.

I’m sorry.

Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes

Today is a very, very sad day. A true tragedy for me, my sister, and all the other kids in our area.

Today is the last day of summer vacation.

I woke up this morning, feeling miserable and down in the dumps. When I woke up, I trudged into the kitchen, almost eating a boring breakfast of a bagel and peanut butter. Then I got an idea. A delicious idea. A pancake idea. I hopped on the computer and checked Sally’s Baking Addiction for a tasty (and healthy!) recipe. These whole wheat pancakes are darn good even though I um, forgot to put in the eggShhhh. The ripe banana adds a natural sweetness while the Greek yogurt makes them moist and flavorful. A warm, healthy stack of pancakes will make anyone’s morning (or evening) better. They cured my down in the dumps-ness and fueled my run.

I am going to miss making breakfast in the mornings. Why, why must school start so early? 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour

    DSC_0321

    Peaches and peanut butter on pancakes is actually good.

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk (skim, 1%, 2%, almond, soy, whatever works best for you)
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 1 large banana)
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt (plain, vanilla, nonfat, full-fat, whichever you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: 

  1. Whisk flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a different bowl, combine the egg, milk, banana, brown sugar, yogurt, and vanilla. Stir until very few lumps remain.
  2. Make a well in the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients and stir batter gently. Don’t mix too much, over-mixing will cause grossness.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray, butter, or oil. Make the pancakes any size you like. A common measurement is about 1/4 cup batter per pancake. Let the pancake cook until bubbles start forming at the top. Flip, then let cook for 2-3 minutes more. Keep the made pancakes in a 200 degree oven to prevent cold, sad breakfast.
  4. Once all the pancakes are made, cover them with delicious toppings, then eat them. I used peanut butter, cinnamon, and yogurt. Yum.

You’ll love these sadness curing pancakes. I sure needed them today.

This tasty recipe came from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I should probably change my blog name to A Summary of Sally’s Baking Addiction by Grace. Here’s the original recipe: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/01/02/whole-wheat-banana-pancakes/