Shane can be found at ShaneHalbach.com, blogging about the zombie apocalypse, bacon, and his adorable kids (not necessarily in that order).
My daughter Evie likes pancakes. A lot. It's not really Sunday at our house if you're not in your PJs at noon eating pancakes while batter slowly drips off your daughter (and the stove, and the walls...). I can't say I blame her, they're fun to make, they're delicious, and they're really not that bad for you.
(This is assuming you don't put chocolate chips inside and then slather them with whipped cream and who knows what else - I mean, you can do that, I'm not judging. I won't even call the health police on you. However, if she was going to be eating pancakes that often, I figured we should at least try.)
So why are they "pioneer" pancakes? Well, anyone who has kids knows that the first component to a successful meal, especially one they don't want to eat, is marketing. (Yes, we had to sell our daughter on the idea of pancakes. Kids are funny that way. I'm sure she wouldn't believe it now either.) One of the main components of the recipe is substituting molasses for sugar, since molasses is a mineral-dense sweetener, particularly for calcium and iron. My daughter and I were reading the Little House on the Prairie books, and they mentioned eating molasses as a topping for pancakes. Voilà, marketing slogan established!
Evie, helping me make pancakes: "Are we going to put that in now? The other thing?"
Me: "What thing?"
Evie: "The icky sticky goo?"
Well, apparently I can't add molasses to anything without singing, "Molasses, molasses, icky sticky goo! Molasses, molasses, it'll always stick to you!" A song that fun was not going to go unnoticed.
As far as I'm concerned, there aren't a lot of things that can't be improved with the addition of pumpkin (and there's not a lot of other ways to sneak vegetables unnoticed into breakfast). And I throw some walnuts in there too for good measure ("Brain Food"...it looks like your brain and it's good for it too! There should be a requirement that all ad execs have to have prior experience as a parent.) Use whole wheat flour and you're in business!
We usually make a triple batch and freeze them on cookie sheets, before putting them in big freezer bags. Then we can reheat one or two at a time for a quick breakfast during the week. Because, hey, if you could get away with eating pumpkin pioneer pancakes for breakfast every morning, you would too!
Pioneer Pumpkin Pancakes
Feeds 3 hungry people (12 - 14 medium-sized pancakes)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp black strap molasses
1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup walnuts
1) Beat egg in a large mixing bowl.
2) Beat in buttermilk, baking soda, baking powder, molasses, canola oil, pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice.
3) Beat in whole wheat flour. I just hand mix it (but then again Evie doesn't mind if it is a little lumpy). You might notice that the batter is pretty dark thanks to the whole wheat flour and the molasses.
4) Add water to thin batter if necessary.
5) Heat skillet. You could hypothetically do this at the same time as mixing the batter, unless you also have to manage a 3 year old.
6) Oil the skillet. I usually do this about every other batch of pancakes or so.
7) Use a large spoon to make whatever size pancakes you want.
8) Sprinkle a handful of walnuts on each pancake. You could mix it into the batter, but I like to put it into the pancakes manually so the walnuts are evenly spread. I find that if you mix them into the batter, you end up with the last few pancakes being walnut city.
9) Flip the pancakes when bubbles rise to the top and the edges look a little crispy.
NOTE: All of the following calculations come from Kris (the proprietor of CHG), instead of Shane (author of the guest post). Please e-mail her/me if there are any issues. Thanks!
Approximate Calories, Fat, Fiber, Protein, and Price Per Serving
382 calories, 15.4 g fat, 8.1 g fiber, 14.6 g protein, $0.99
1 egg: 54 calories, 3.7 g fat, 0 g fiber, 4.7 g protein, $0.33
1 1/4 cups buttermilk: 172 calories, 6.1 g fat, 0 g fiber, 12.6 g protein, $0.62
1/2 tsp baking soda: negligible calories, fat, fiber, and protein, $0.01
1 tsp baking powder: 2 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.01
1 tbsp black strap molasses: 47 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.13
1 tbsp canola oil: 124 calories, 14 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein, $0.08
1/2 cup pumpkin: 42 calories, 0.4 g fat, 3.6 g fiber, 1.3 g protein, $0.33
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice: 6 calories, 0.2 g fat, 0.3 g fiber, 0.1 g protein, $0.70
1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour: 509 calories, 2.8 g fat, 18.3 g fiber, 20.5 g protein, $0.27
1/4 cup walnuts: 191 calories, 19.1 g fat, 2 g fiber, 4.5 g protein, $0.50
TOTAL: 1147 calories, 46.3 g fat, 24.2 g fiber, 43.7 g protein, $2.98
PER SERVING (TOTAL/3): 382 calories, 15.4 g fat, 8.1 g fiber, 14.6 g protein, $0.99