Healthy Pumpkin Gingerbread Pancakes
Healthy Gingerbread Pancakes- made with pumpkin puree, whole grain oats, and molasses. Each pancake packs 5 grams of protein! Gluten-free, dairy-free and oil-free.
If you happen to have leftover pumpkin puree lying around from Thanksgiving then you are definitely going to want to make these healthy gingerbread pancakes!
They are so easy to whip up and made with wholesome ingredients that will leave you feeling like a million bucks. The pumpkin puree provides moisture but I wouldn’t say that they taste like pumpkin pancakes. Spices like cinnamon and ginger, plus the subtle sweetness of molasses makes for a flavor that’s more reminiscent of gingerbread.
Healthy Pumpkin Gingerbread Pancake Ingredients
- Pumpkin Puree– As I said above, we’re not using pumpkin to make the pancakes taste like pumpkin. It is simply to provide moisture and nutrition without overpowering the gingerbread flavor. Substitutes could include banana, sweet potato puree, or even applesauce. However, I find pumpkin gives the best texture and is the most mild in flavor.
- Eggs- This recipe calls for 2 eggs so it isn’t vegan but I do have a few vegan pancake alternatives listed below. I don’t recommend substituting the eggs as they are the main fat source which helps prevent the pancakes from sticking to the pan. (you will likely need a little bit of butter or oil for the pan as well, depending on how non-stick your pan is.)
- Non-Dairy Milk– Any kind of plant milk will work here. I tend to go for soy milk as it provides the most protein and iron.
- Apple Cider Vinegar– Not only does using apple cider vinegar aid in digestion of the pancakes but the acids react with the baking soda to create air bubbles for fluffier pancakes.
- Molasses– Molasses not only gives the unique color and flavor of gingerbread but it also provides moisture and is a great source of iron. I know it isn’t always stocked in everyone’s pantry but tis the season to have it on hand! ;)
- Vanilla Extract– Technically an optional ingredient but I love the hint of vanilla here.
- Rolled Oatmeal– Classic rolled oats work perfectly here but you can also use thick oats or quick oats. Make sure you are sourcing certified gluten-free oats if you are concerned with allergies. Alternatively, you can use equal amounts oat flour and prepare the batter in a large bowl.
- Ground Cinnamon and Ginger- Typically I would also include spices such as clove and nutmeg to really round out the flavor but cinnamon and ginger are enough to keep things simple.
- Salt and Baking Soda- Just a bit of salt balances the sweeter spices while baking soda reacts with the vinegar for nice fluffy pancakes. Of course they will not be as fluffy as white flour pancakes (because oats are much more dense) but they will not be as dense as they would be without it!
How to Make Healthy Pumpkin Gingerbread Pancakes
- Combine ingredients in a blender with the wet ingredients closest to the blade (for easy blending). If you’re using a NutriBullet (or similar blender), you will need to blend everything first then add the vinegar last and stir by hand. This prevents excess pressure from building up inside of the blender which can be dangerous.
- Blend until smooth.
- Cook the batter on a lightly greased pan. Flip and cook opposite side.
- Serve warm with pure maple syrup and enjoy!
- What if I don’t have a high speed blender? Technically you can use any kind of blender to make these, however, if you want the batter to be nice and smooth then I recommend using a high speed blender like a Vitamix or a NutriBullet.When I make these in the NutriBullet I add the dry ingredients first then layer the wet on top, excluding the vinegar. You want the wet ingredients to be closest to the blade for optimal blending. After everything is blended smooth, I stir in the vinegar by hand. Otherwise it can create too much pressure in the blender which makes it very difficult and somewhat dangerous to open.If you don’t a blender at all, you can make them using oat flour by stirring together wet ingredients in a bowl then adding dry ingredients and stirring until a batter forms.
- Can these be made without eggs? While I haven’t tested this recipe without eggs, I do have a few similar vegan alternatives such as Vegan Buckwheat Gingerbread Pancakes or Vegan Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancakes which you can modify by using ginger and molasses.
- Can they be frozen? Yes! Allow the pancakes to cool completely on a cooling rack then transfer to a sealed container and freeze for up to 3 months. They can be defrosted and reheated or you can pop them right in the toaster from frozen.
Tips for Best Results
- Make sure to have your pan preheated before blending the batter. The batter will thicken the longer it sits so its best to have the pan ready to cook the batter as soon as it is blended.
- The pan should be warmed to medium-low heat. If you have the heat too high the pancakes will burn.
- Different brands of pumpkin puree can vary. My go-to brand for pumpkin puree is Farmers Market Brand but it tends to be slightly watery compared to more common brands like Libby’s. If you find the batter is super thick immediately after blending then it’s likely you will need to add a few tablespoons of water or milk the next time you make them.
- Note: I find it’s best to add liquid before blending as adding it after (once the leavening has started to react) can make it seem like you need more liquid than you really do. This results in an undercooked texture. That’s why I say to wait until next time you make them and add more liquid. If your batter is thick after blending, just scoop it out and cook it as is.
Still Craving Gingerbread? Make these next!
- Vegan Pumpkin Gingerbread
- Vegan Gluten-free Gingerbread Men
- Healthy Flourless Gingerbread Muffins
- Buckwheat Gingerbread Waffles
- Healthy Vegan Gingerbread Loaf
Healthy Pumpkin Gingerbread Pancakes
- Warm a large skillet over medium heat while you prepare the batter. You want the pan to sizzle when drops of water hit it, but not be so hot that it is smoking.
- In a high speed blender, combine ingredients with wet ingredients closest to the blade. Blend until smooth.
- Lightly grease the pan then pour about ¼ cup batter for each pancake. Cook for several minutes. Once they are firm along the edges, use a spatula to flip and cook the opposite side for a few minutes more. Repeat until all of the batter is gone from the blender. You will likely need to use a silicone spatula to scrape out the last of the batter onto the pan.
- Serve pancakes warm with pure maple syrup and enjoy! Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for several months.