I wanted to give you all a healthy recipe to start off Halloween, since I think we can all agree that it is a holiday that is (most likely) going to spiral down into an excess of sugar, chocolate and other treats by the time the night is over. The more I thought about it, though, the more I realized that we need the healthy recipe after Halloween is over, to balance out our sugar intake a little and get our eating habits back on track – as well as to put something else in our stomachs to take the edge off the sugar buzz. Something like a plate full of these Buckwheat Pumpkin Butter Pancakes.
Oh, who am I kidding? I drenched mine in maple syrup before digging in and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
Syrup aside, the pancakes themselves are pretty healthy and hearty. The batter uses both all purpose flour and buckwheat flour. Buckwheat flour is made from ground buckwheat and has a nutty, but slightly bitter, earthy flavor. Don’t let that description put you off of using it, however. It blends amazingly well with lots of flavors (soba noodles, anyone?) and, as far as baking goes, is a great addition to lots of spiced up cookies and cakes for the depth of flavor it adds. On top of that, it is very high in protein and fiber. Unlike all purpose flour, buckwheat flour is gluten free, so its inclusion here creates a very tender and fluffy pancake without having to add a lot of fat to the recipe.
Perhaps more unusual than the buckwheat flour is the fact that I opted for pumpkin butter, instead of plain mashed pumpkin. The pumpkin butter is made with cooked, pureed pumpkin and has spices and sweeteners already added to it. This makes it almost like a jam, and is a great way to get lots of flavor in addition to the flavor of pumpkin into the pancakes. That said, I never shy away from adding a little more spice, and added in some of my pumpkin pie spice mix anyway. The cranberries were a last minute add-in, but definitely added a lot of interest to the pancakes, with a sweet-tart taste that brightened up the plate. I’d opt for raisins, mini chocolate chips or dried cherries if you’re looking for an alternative mix-in.
Buckwheat Pumpkin Butter Pancakes with Dried Cranberries
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup pumpkin butter (not mashed pumpkin)
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cranberries
In a large bowl, mix together all purpose flour, buckwheat flour, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin butter, eggs, buttermilk, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract. Pour wet ingredients into flour mixture and stir until just combined. Batter should be a little bit lumpy. Stir in cranberries.
Heat a lightly greased skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. When a drop of water sizzles on the surface, drop generous spoonfuls of batter (I used a 1/4 cup scoop, partially filled) onto the skillet, making 4-inch pancakes. Cook for about 3 minutes, until golden brown, then flip and cook the other side for an additional minute or two, until golden.
Serve immediately, with maple syrup or more pumpkin butter
Serves 4-6, depending on appetites.