Banana Pumpkin Pancakes

I originally found this recipe in Cooking Light Magazine but it was just for banana pancakes. I kicked it up a few notches and made it mine! They are not your normal run of the mill pancakes, they’re a bit more on the rich and custard side but so good, and filling! Loaded with protein also, and when you add the pumpkin more fiber! Easy to make and super easy to eat! I’m not normally a breakfast person but these pancakes are a hit. You can add other items or topper to them but we just added butter and syrup. I also of course forgot to take pics so these are generic pancakes. Similar to the size of what I made. This recipe made about 10 pancakes.

pancakes

Ingredients:

3 medium ripe bananas (we had so many bananas in the freezer that had just gotten too ripe and they worked perfect in this recipe. Just make sure they’re thawed out before using)

6 tablespoons whole-wheat flour

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup canned pumpkin

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

½-¾ cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1.  Mash the bananas with a fork until smooth. Add the pumpkin, flour, pumpkin pie spice and eggs, whisk well.
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, or an electric skillet. I used a rectangular electric skillet so I could make more at once.
  3. Spoon/pour batter onto hot skillet into medium size pancakes. Cook 2 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges are cooked.
  4. Carefully flip the pancakes and cook another 1-2 minutes until done. They will be a little thicker than normal pancakes and this is fine. They’re kinda like french toast pancakes.
  5. Serve hot with your favorite topping!

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

Today’s recipe I have Rachael Ray to thank for. I saw this recipe on her show just the other day and had to try it. I did change it a little bit from her recipe but not too drastic. If you want to check her original recipe go to her show site at Rachael Ray Show.

Just a warning also, this makes a huge amount of mac and cheese so make sure you have many hungry people to eat it! I’m sending leftovers with my husband to his office! I made this as a side dish to my Spicy Garlic Barbecued Ribs. It was a friend’s birthday and he loves the ribs so I had to make something else to go with it. I really wanted to make my Best Garlic Smashed Cauliflower, Ever! But alas he doesn’t really like cauliflower and I didn’t think I should try and trick him on his birthday.

This recipe came out really good. I had a huge serving and was stuffed! The fiber from the pumpkin and whole wheat pasta really fills you up! The house smelled so good while it was cooking also! I was trying to convince myself it really was fall outside so I needed “fall smells”. Florida Fall doesn’t really start till December so I had to improvise. I will also be eating this several more times for lunch this week! Oh well, I will have to suffer through!

"Before"

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound whole wheat or whole grain short-cut pasta. (I used rotelli)

4 tablespoons butter

3 slightly rounded tablespoons soy flour (Rachael uses regular flour)

1 cup amber beer

2 tablespoons agave nectar (Rachael uses honey or maple syrup)

2 cups half-and-half (Rachael uses whole milk)

½ teaspoon allspice (you can also use ground cloves)

1 teaspoon ground mustard

½-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (my husband says I should use Sirracha)

Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

salt and pepper to taste (I found it needed more salt)

1 can (14-15 ounce) pumpkin purée or 2 cups fresh pureed pumpkin (NOT PUMPKIN PIE MIX)

2½ cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese

Paprika for sprinkling on top

"After"

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt it and cook pasta to al dente. Drain and reserve. Preheat oven to broil.

  2. Melt the butter in a medium size saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute.

  3. Raise the heat a little and add the beer. Reduce until almost evaporated.

  4. Whisk in the agave nectar and half-and-half. Season with the allspice, mustard, cayenne and a little bit of freshly grated nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Thicken to coat a wooden spoon, just a couple more minutes. Taste to see if you need to adjust the seasonings.

  6. Whisk in the pumpkin and stir in about 2 cups of the grated cheese with a wooden spoon until melted.

  7. Add the sauce to the pasta in a large bowl. It’s easier to mix in a big bowl.

  8. Add to a casserole dish or individual ramekins. (I used a casserole dish). Dust with a little paprika.

  9. Broil to brown and bubbly! Serve!

Serves 4-6

Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese

I found the original version of this recipe on the blog Budget Bytes. Beth has a great site and everyone should check it out. I made this recipe to bring to a pig roast this weekend and it was a huge hit! Everyone was raving about it. I served it with cinnamon raisin bagel chips. The only thing that went wrong is that I forgot to take a picture! I can’t believe it. When I remembered about the picture the cream cheese was all gone. I will be making it again this week once I get more cream cheese so I will remember to take a picture then!** Promise! I got several requests for the recipe also so it was a definite huge hit! Thanks Beth! I also doubled the recipe and used light cream cheese and the Splenda brown sugar blend. I also used my own pumpkin pie spice rather than a store-bought one. This way I know exactly what is in it.

Pumpkin Pie Cream Cheese Ingredients

** New photos added!!

INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces light cream cheese

½ cup canned pumpkin

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

DIRECTIONS:

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or using a hand mixer. Make sure all the cream cheese is blended well! Chill and serve!


Pumpkin Carrot Bars

Yes I am still in Fall mode. Trying to pretend it’s cooler outside and that the leaves are changing here. But then I look outside and see nothing but green palm trees, green leaves on the maple trees, green everywhere! Ok, so the leaves really don’t change here. They do fall on some trees but they aren’t pretty about it. Oh well, the sacrifice for living in the Sunshine State. Maybe they change in northern Florida? And right now the temperature is still 79 degrees. It’s 7pm! But I did buy a couple little pumpkins at Walmart yesterday! I will use them for pies or something later in the year. They actually last a long time after the fall! I’ve had pumpkins that lasted till April!

Well I found this recipe and changed it a bit to make it a little less fattening. I substituted Splenda and Splenda Brown Sugar Blend for the sugars and I use light cream cheese in place of regular. As always, feel free to use the real stuff if you want. I was also very happy to hear that the pumpkin shortage is officially over as well. Last year I had stocked up on the canned pumpkin when I found it. It was like gold! But the crop was good this year and we can all breathe easily now! Whew!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups flour or whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup granulated Splenda (sucralose)

1/3 cup light butter/margarine, softened

½ cup Splenda Brown Sugar Blend

2 eggs

2 large egg whites

1 can (15 ounce) pumpkin

1 cup carrot, finely shredded

Cream Cheese Topping/Icing:

4 ounces light cream cheese, softened

¼ cup Splenda

1 tablespoon fat-free half-and-half (or whatever milk product you want)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350º.  Grease a 15 x 10 jelly roll pan. (or similar pan)

2. In a small bowl combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and baking soda.

3. In a larger bowl, beat together sugar (1 cup), butter and brown sugar until crumbly. Add eggs, egg whites, canned pumpkin and carrots. Beat until well blended. Add flour mixture and mix until well blended. Spread into greased pan.

4. Mix together cream cheese, sugar (¼ cup) and milk until thoroughly blended.

5. Drop teaspoonfuls of topping over pumpkin batter and swirl mixture with a butter knife.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan completely on wire rack before cutting into squares.

Makes 48 squares.

Pumpkin Mousse

I know what you’re thinking. Pumpkin in June? Yes, pumpkin in June! It’s not just for the fall anymore! Now the big issue right now is if you can find canned pumpkin. NOT pumpkin pie filling, they are two totally different animals. For the most part I have only seen Libby’s pumpkin in a can. Small 15 ounce cans or the larger cans. During the holidays pumpkin became scarce because of the poor crop they had. The stores that did carry it started to ration it. It was crazy. I kept stocking up because I had heard from my food guru, The Hungry Girl© (www.hungry-girl.com), that the pumpkin would be hard to find. So I stocked up. And yes there is more to pumpkin than pumpkin pie! Really there is! Pumpkin is low in calories, low in fat, has no trans fat, saturated fat or cholesterol. A ½ cup serving of 100% pure pumpkin equals 1 vegetable serving! It is naturally sodium free and an excellent means of getting your fiber! Pumpkin is also very high in Vitamin A with 80% as Beta-Carotene (an antioxidant) and it is naturally gluten-free! It is also a low carb veggie! So give this low-calorie dessert a spin and your body will thank you for it! I actually got this recipe from my former Weight Watchers® leader years ago. She was full of pumpkin recipes! Remember you can switch out the fat-free stuff for full fat stuff if you want. I won’t tell!

INGREDIENTS:

2 packages sugar-free instant vanilla pudding

2 cups fat-free milk

½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 can 100% pumpkin (15 oz) – NOT PUMPKIN PIE MIX

8 ounce tub fat-free cool whip

DIRECTIONS:

1. Make the pudding according to the directions with the 2 cups milk. Fold in other ingredients.

2. Refrigerate and serve when set! Enjoy!

Dollop a little whipped topping on top and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice if you wish!

A 1 cup serving has 1½ Weight Watchers® points.(If made as is)

Tuscan Style Pumpkin-White Bean Soup

This is a favorite soup in our house. It is hearty and rich and full of fiber. It is enough for a meal in itself. It is also a great soup if you are watching your weight. The fiber will help big time. Pumpkin is so versatile and most people just think of pumpkin pie when cooking with it. I use garbanzo beans in my recipe but you can also use white cannellini beans or any other white bean. I also use one of those hand-held immersers (or boat motors as we call them) to mix/blend the ingredients rather than a blender. It’s easier for me. But feel free to use a blender. The richness and creaminess of this soup comes from the beans. There is no milk or cream added which makes it so much healthier for you! So make a pot and enjoy!

Tuscan Style Pumpkin-White Bean Soup

INGREDIENTS:

olive oil cooking spray or just enough olive oil to coat bottom of large pot

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

15 oz. canned pumpkin

3 ½ cups fat-free chicken broth

15½ oz. can garbanzo beans (or whatever size can is closest), rinsed and drained

¼ teaspoon ground oregano

1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/8 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1. Coat a large soup pot with cooking spray and set over medium-low heat. Add onion, cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.

2. Stir in pumpkin, broth, beans and oregano; simmer for 8 minutes.

3. With an immerser* blend soup until smooth.  Be careful as it may splatter. You can leave a few of the beans whole if you like also. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Serve with ladle and top with 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese.

Serves 6 (1 cup servings)

*If you wish to use a blender transfer soup in batches being careful not to overfill the blender. Return to pot and reheat.

**Coming next Monday: Layered Salad!