Pumpkin Pancakes! Pumpkin. Plus pancakes. Seriously, does breakfast really get much better? In my last post, I talked about the origins of pumpkin. But what about pancakes?
Pancakes have existed is various forms for thousands of years as a flat cake cooked over a fire. There is even an ancient Roman recipe! Cultures all over the world have variations, such as the German pfannkuchen, the French crepe, the Ethiopian injera bread, the Latin American arepa, the Norwegian lefsa, and the Jewish potato latke.
Pancakes have had a presence in the United States since the nation’s inception. For example, during the Revolution, then General George Washington enjoyed hoecakes, flat corn cakes served with honey, with breakfast every morning. Confederate soldiers in the Civil War enjoyed johnnycakes. In 1899, Chris L. Rutt and Charles G. Underwood made history by inventing pancake mix, the first ready-mixed commercial food to be produced. The mix was eventually renamed Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix. For a fascinatingly critical look at the history of Aunt Jemima, I strongly recommend checking out Maurice Manring’s Slave in a Box.
Frozen pancakes became popular in the 1940s as newly working American women no longer had as much time to cook meals. Today, pancakes have become gourmet meals in their own right. Red velvet, chocolate chip, mixed berry, bananas foster, low-fat, whole grain, gluten-free, silver dollar, Mickey Mouse, or oversized, pancakes come in all shapes and forms.
For further reading:
Albala, Ken. Pancake: A Global Perspective. Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 2008.
CBS’s “History of Breakfast in America” with Chris Kimball. New York, January 28, 2008. Accessed March 23, 2011. <http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/01/28/earlyshow/living/recipes/main3758216.shtml>
Cummings, Richard Osborn. The American and His Food: A History of Food Habits in the United States. Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 1941.
Manring, Maurice. Slave in a Box: The Strange Career of Aunt Jemima. Virginia: The University of Virginia Press, 1998.
A great pancake glossery: http://www.thenibble.com/REVIEWS/MAIN/cereals/pancake-glossary.asp
Sam’s Pumpkin Pancakes
These are always a favorite among my friends…I have actually shown up at people’s houses on Sunday mornings just to make them. They also make a great science experiment because the baking soda and vinegar react to create a perfectly fluffy texture. Best served with real maple syrup or warm cinnamon syrup.
1 ½ cups milk
1 cup pumpkin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon allspice
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, mix milk, pumpkin, egg, oil, an vinegar. Combine dry ingredients in another bowl. Gradually add to pumpkin mixture, leave slightly lumpy. Heat pan or griddle on medium low heat. For small pancakes, make about 2-3 inches in diameter. Or you can do what I do and make gigantic pan-sized pancakes as the name suggests.
Low Fat Pumpkin Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Pancake
This recipe is for those who want a healthier, more substancial breakfast without sacrificing taste.
½ cup pumpkin
½ cup oats
¼ cup water or milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
Handful of chocolate chips (I like dark, use mini if possible to reduce chance of burning)
Optional spices: I add a dash here and there when I feel like it…ginger, nutmeg, cloves, allspice
Directions: Beat egg in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and stir until mixed. Heat a 9inch non-stick pan on low-medium heat. Add the batter to the pan and spread out it across entire surface…pancake will rise while cooking. Watch carefully because cooks really fast…like 1-2 minutes maximum per side. Serve with fresh fruit and/or maple syrup.