by: Kayla Bittner, Living Wellness Medical Center Staff
If you’re a fan of Pinterest or Instagram, or frequent any of the big box stores like Target, you’ve probably noticed the influx of fall-themed treats, decorations, clothing and home decor that has creeped in over the past two weeks. Even though it still feels like we are in the middle of summer here in Arizona, the Fall temperatures have started to spring up across the rest of the country, and the hard-core Fall enthusiasts are in pure bliss.
Fall, to me, brings back memories of starting a new school year, a new soccer season, and a new opportunity to create goals. It also resurrects memories of me playing in the kitchen as a child, when I would spend hours experimenting with new ingredients and flavor combinations that met my family’s dietary restrictions.
Ever since, the kitchen has been my happy place, especially in the Fall. Hand me a can of pumpkin, a few eggs, spices and some pumpkin spice seasoning and I’ll give you something delicious.
Below, you will find one of my favorite recipes to make for a quick snack, sometimes before or after the gym, and sometimes after dinner with a warm cup of ginger tea. It’s gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free and made with real, whole ingredients.
Fresh or canned organic pumpkin is a great carbohydrate to play with. Not only is it more easily digested than other complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes or yucca (ie. low-FODMAP), but it’s also easily accessible year-round thanks to the organic canned pumpkin we have access to at our local grocery stores.
You may be surprised to find that:
- 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin has 382% of your daily vitamin A requirement.
- Pumpkin is loaded with beta-carotene, a provitamin that is converted to vitamin A in the body. It’s known as being essential to eye health, and has been linked with preventing coronary heart disease (2).
- A 1 cup serving has 8g of dietary fiber.
- Pumpkin is packed with zinc, which is great for prostate health.
- It’s packed with essential nutrients such as Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, Vitamin K, Iron and Manganese. (1)
- Pumpkin has more potassium per serving, than a banana.
You might be asking – “well, what about plantains?” Plantains are another great, real-food carbohydrate source for those who are fairly active, trying to heal from adrenal issues, and trying to support their hormones naturally. Plantains..
- Are known to help regulate the digestive system with their prebiotic properties.
- Have less sugar than their near-distant cousin, the banana, and are cooked before eating in either their green (unripe) or yellow/black (ripe) states.
- Have 45% of the DV of vitamin C in a one cup serving (27.2 mg)
- Also have 22% of the DV of vitamin A in a one cup serving (1,668 IU) (3)
Both pumpkin and plantains are members of the produce family that are underrated, yet highly nutritious and great components to add in to provide variety and excitement.
Now, let’s get to the recipe!
5-Ingredient Grain-Free Pumpkin Plantain Pancakes
(Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Corn-Free, Paleo-Friendly)
Inspired by: Living Loving Paleo’s recipe
Photo credit: Pixabay
- 1 large, peeled and chopped, green plantain (yellow will work, but will require adjustments to recipe)
- 1/2 cup canned or fresh pumpkin
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil, plus more for greasing
- 1 large organic egg
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tablespoons filtered water, almond or coconut milk to smooth batter, if needed
Preheat a non stick pan to medium heat. Grease the pan with coconut oil, or non-stick coconut oil spray. Blend the first 4 ingredients thoroughly in a blender, Vitamix or food processor. If your mixer is not high-powered, it may require some blending, stopping to scrap the edges, and repeat blending. Add the spices, vanilla, salt, baking powder and water (if needed). Blend thoroughly until batter is smooth and not lumpy.
Use a mini muffin or ice cream scooper to scoop 1-2 tablespoons of the batter into the non-stick pan to form a pancake. Immediately reduce the heat to low, and add a cover to the pan. Cook for 1 minute and then check the pancake. If it’s ready to flip, flip the pancake and watch carefully until it’s done cooking.
These are great served hot, or stored and heated when ready to consume. Top them with sliced banana and almond/peanut butter, some grass-fed butter and maple syrup, or plain! Also delicious served with nut butter and berries.
Notes: If you make smaller pancakes, they will cook more quickly. Use your best judgement for cooking times.
The first five ingredients are necessary for the recipe, but last four are complementary (not necessary but enhance the recipe. If you’re looking for simplicity and only include the first five, the recipe will work and will turn out delicious. The last four enhance the “Fall” flavors and take it to the next level.
If you need to use a ripe yellow or black plantain, the recipe will still work, it will just be more wet than usual. Do not add the water at the end of the recipe and if possible, add 1-2 tbsp of coconut flour to the batter. This will help keep the recipe together.
Pumpkin is Just One Source of Healthy Fiber, See What Other Fibers You Could Be Benefiting from with Our Free For the Love of Fiber guide!