| By Jamie Stolarz |
It’s time to bring out the canned pumpkin and celebrate the Thanksgiving season.
Pumpkin goes beyond pumpkin pie. From a dietitian’s standpoint, it’s a vegetable that adds vitamin A and fiber to your diet:
- Vitamin A is an antioxidant vitamin that helps fight free radicals in the body; these free radicals, if left unchecked, can cause cellular damage over time.
- Fiber is wonderful because it is a natural way to help keep you full and help keep cholesterol levels in check.
Consider pumpkin your new best friend this month and all year round. Try adding it to oatmeal, smoothies and whole-grain pancake mix.
Love pancakes? Love pumpkin? Here’s a favorite pumpkin pancake recipe of mine.
Perfect Pumpkin Pancakes with Cinnamon-Sugar Clementine Rings
Yield: 6 pancakes (2 pancakes each for 3 people)
- 6 clementines
- 3 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp plus 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
- 1 cup just-add-water, whole-grain pancake mix
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin
- 2 Tbsp milled chia seeds
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 3 tsp margarine
- Peel clementines and discard peels. Slice fruit into rings. Place in a rimmed dish and top with brown sugar and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Gently flip and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate.
- In a medium bowl, use a fork to combine pancake mix, water, pumpkin, 1 tsp cinnamon, and chia seeds.
- Heat a large skillet on medium.
- Coat pan with cooking spray and pour half of pancake batter onto pan to make 3 large pancakes. Cook until bubbles stop forming and bottom of pancakes are golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Flip to cook other side and cook until golden brown, about 1 minute. Place on a serving plate. Repeat once more using remaining batter.
- Plate pancakes. Spread buttery spread on each pancake. Top with clementine rings. Enjoy!
Serving suggestion: Serve with fat-free milk or unsweetened, fortified soy milk; both are good sources of protein, rich in calcium and vitamin D. Pancake mixes vary but usually have a low to moderate amount of protein. Adding a glass of milk or soy milk will give a little protein boost to your morning. Protein helps keep muscles strong and helps keep you satiated, so you won’t be as tempted to overeat later.
Jamie Stolarz, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE, is a registered dietitian, a lifelong cook and a frequent gym-goer. She’s also a proud dog mom and is currently planning her wedding.