I don’t know about you but sometimes, I get stuck in a rut when it comes to my weekly meals. Lack of time, braincells and sheer willpower can leave me feeling blah about our meals. We either eat the same things over and over or resort to take-out which is fine sometimes but isn’t so hot for our bodies. Breakfast is even tougher because time is limited. As much as I love to cook, I too have my weeks of frustration when I can’t bare to look at another bowl of oatmeal or hard-boiled egg. My mornings like most working parents are INSANE! I barely have enough time to make a slice of toast in the morning let alone a stack of pancakes. Like most of us, I used to save my elaborate breakfasts for the weekend. However my baby is turning into a little boy with likes and dislikes and he too gets bored with the same ‘ol, same ‘ol. He has been turning up his nose at his usual breakfasts and to be honest I am sick of ’em too!
This week, I decided to do the unthinkable and find a way to give my boy the pancake breakfast he craves on a MONDAY AM! Embracing the season and taking inspiration from our yummy weekend comfort-food breakfasts; I made an extra batch of my Pumpkin Pie Silver Dollar Pancakes on Sunday and froze them. This way, they are always ready to be popped into the microwave for a quick, breakfast, lunch, dinner or even snack. In fact, they have now become one of Griffin’s favorite dinners alongside some yogurt and fruit. Which is great for me because some nights, after getting off of the subway, coming home to a very hungry little boy who wants his food STAT, is enough to make a mama lose her mind. Having these little beauties in my freezer at the ready takes my anxiety level down a notch. Plus, little sized pancakes are perfect for little hands so these make great toddler food. And since these pancakes are made with whole-wheat flour and pumpkin, they pack an extra nutritional punch! Best of all, no mama guilt because even-though this is “fast food”, I know what I am feeding him is yummy and good for him.
Note: You can use fresh Pumpkin for this recipe but canned pumpkin is actually super healthy for you and a great pantry staple, especially as a quick snack for your little ones who are still on purees Trader Joe’s carries an excellent Canned Organic Pumpkin Puree that we love.
Pumpkin Pie Silver Dollar Pancakes with Warm Buttery Cinnamon Maple Syrup
Makes about 16 mini pancakes
3/4 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c white flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsps pumpkin pie spice
3/4c pumpkin puree, sweet potato puree or butternut squash puree
2 large eggs
1/4 c unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing pan
2 tbsps sugar 1 c milk (buttermilk is also great!)
1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice until combined. In another large bowl combine pumpkin puree, beaten eggs, butter, sugar and milk. Whisk until well combined.
2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. No need to over mix, the batter will still appear a little lumpy. The batter will be thick but if it seems too thick, add a little more milk.
3. Preheat a large non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat and grease with about 1 tbsp butter or cooking spray.
4. Using a measuring spoon, pour 2 tbsps of batter onto the griddle. Pancakes are ready to turn when the edges get less shiny. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on the first side, then flip. The second side will cook a little faster so keep an eye on it. These pancakes won’t show bubbles like regular pancakes do.
Allow pancakes to cool completely before freezing. I like to wrap my pancakes in groups of two. I first wrap two pancakes side by side in a piece of wax paper, then I wrap that in a piece of aluminum foil. I pop the foil packages of pancakes into a large Ziplock freezer bag, label and store. This way I can pop out a package of two pancakes anytime I need them.
Pancakes can be frozen fora month but mine never last that long.
Place pancakes on a microwavable plate and sprinkle with a tiny bit of water. You can also cover the pancakes with a damp paper towel. Cook for 20 seconds or until pancakes are warm to the touch. Always, always check the temperature before handing to a young child.
Warm Buttery Cinnamon Maple Syrup
1 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Bring syrup, butter and cinnamon to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cool untill just warm and not too hot to the touch. Serve immediately.