Sundays are special. On Sundays, you can reset and take a breather before the week begins, as well as set yourself up right by preparing for the week ahead. Making lists and a schedule of tasks and goals help create small wins and keep me feeling productive.
Sunday is also a Flow day, perfect for practicing my craft and getting into that blissful meditative state. I make the basics, like baked sweet potatoes, a cup of cooked lentils, rice, quinoa or beans, a few days in advance. This allows me to easily throw together some 15-20 minute dinners with fresh ingredients to save precious time and mental energy during the weekdays. This also ensures that when I get hungry, I still make healthy choices. A little planning and preparation goes a long way on your healthy journey.
Before all that, I prioritise a blissfully slow morning, perhaps with a green smoothie, a perfect cup of tea and these Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes.
Hemp seeds offer healthy fats and protein, while Inca berries or Peruvian ground cherries (not really a berry at all but a nightshade and tomatillo relative!) are similar to gooseberries, offering a huge antioxidant benefit and an acidic kick when used as a topping.
If you have time or remember, soak the inca berries in advance in hot water for 15 minutes or overnight. They plump beautifully for bursts of flavor. Plenty of other dried fruits do the trick, like figs or mango. Avoid fruit with added sugar.
Serves 2 heartily or 3 sufficiently
Active Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
3/4 cup (180g) whole spelt meal
2/3 cup (84g) steel-cut oats, preferably soaked overnight
3/4 cup (220g) roasted pumpkin or pumpkin purée (can make ahead* and freeze)
1 generous Tbsp (14g) of melted coconut oil, ghee, vegetable oil or butter
1 large egg or 1 Tbsp flax seeds ground or whole, mixed with 3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp (14ml) mild vinegar (I use coconut or raw apple cider)
1/4 cup (60ml) plant-based mylk of choice (I use unsweetened almond)
1 tsp (4g) baking powder
1 pinch sea salt
1 fat pinch each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground coriander (You can substitute cardamom for nutmeg, or try a dash of cayenne pepper for a twist)
6 drops stevia, or a glog of maple syrup, or 1 heaping spoon coconut sugar
3 Tbsp (42g) coconut oil, vegetable oil or ghee for cooking
Optional: zest of ½ an orange, kumquat or even lime, washed well and dried
*Make ahead: This recipe requires canned pumpkin puree or roasted pumpkin.
For extra digestibility, soak oats overnight and rinse clean in the morning before adding to the batter.
1/2 crisp, sour apple like Santana or Pink Lady
1 Tbsp (14g) of hulled hemp seeds
1 small handful dried physalis peruana (a.k.a. Inca berries or Peruvian ground cherry)
Maple syrup or honey as desired
Optional: a squeeze of kumquat, mandarin or orange on top
Make ahead: If you soak your oats, soak your dried Inca berries, cranberries, figs or mango as well for that nibble of nature’s candy as a topping.
Process pumpkin, stevia, almond milk and oil in the blender or with a hand mixer. If you soaked the oats, add them to the blender and mix. Incorporate the soaked flax seeds or egg and beat slightly. To make your pancakes fluffier, add a splash of vinegar—this acts like buttermilk does in traditional pancakes. ).
If dry, process your oats separately and quickly in the blender for 30-60 seconds maximum, for batter with a finer consistency. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl: flour, , baking powder,spices and oats, if dry.
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together gently and let sit for a moment. In the meantime, slice the apples and squeeze some lemon over them so they don’t brown. Set the Inca berries in a bowl with warm water to plump and rehydrate them. Pop the apple slices into the oven under the broiler on medium high with some coconut oil or ghee, sea salt and cinnamon to broil for a few minutes if desired.
TO COOK Heat a wide frying pan skillet or pan heat evenly and well before adding the oil of your choice. Ladle or pour batter for 3 pancakes at a time. These pancakes are dense and hearty, so small rounds are best. You can add more almond milk to thin the batter for thinner or lighter pancakes, if desired.
Don’t fret over a burned look: the pumpkin and spices make it a bit darker when cooking and you do want to cook these through.
TO FINISH Top with the plumped berries, hemp seeds, roasted or fresh apples, maple syrup and a pinch of coarse salt. Bonus if you added a little kumquat juice, I love these little guys! Such a lovely and unique citrus flavour available for such a short time of the year here in Amsterdam.