I’m not sure I've ever meet a kid who doesn’t like pancakes.
What’s not to love?!
Soft on the inside, slightly crisp on the outside—and covered in maple syrup, of course.
Pancakes are pretty much a perfect food.
But when the mom in me decided I wanted to make pancakes more nutritious, the chef in me knew I could use veggies.
Not only would these pancakes pack more of a nutritional punch, but I was sure the veggies would actually make them sweeter and more perfectly moist.
As I thought about all of the possible veggies that could to the trick, it didn’t take long to realize that acorn squash was the perfect person for the job.
Acorn squash's inherent sweetness and velvety texture make these pancakes something you will want to eat everyday—and because of their nutrition factor, something you actually should eat everyday.
Now I’ll always tell it to you straight, so know that as-written these pancakes are very moist.
My daughter doesn’t mind at all, but if you have kids that are already into classic pancakes, you may want to use less of the acorn squash puree (look for details in the “notes” section of the recipe).
If you do use a little less puree for a more traditional version, you'll find yourself with the perfect pancake—slightly sweet, warm, and soft yet crisp with a buttery warm yellow color.
And if you go for the more moist "toddler" version, you can truly count your pancake breakfast as a perfectly balanced meal.
Either way, I'd say we're all winners.
Acorn Squash Pancakes
servings: 10 to 12 four- to five-inch pancakes
- 1 large acorn squash (about 2 pounds)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Use a soupspoon to scoop out the seeds and discard them. Arrange the squash cut-side-up on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the oil evenly over each piece and then bake the squash until the flesh is tender and can be easily pierced with the tines of a fork—30 to 40 minutes. Set aside until it is cool enough to handle.
- Scoop the flesh of the squash into a blender and puree it until it is smooth; this will give you about 2 cups of puree. Then add the flour, milk, eggs, baking powder, vanilla, and salt, and blend this mixture until just smooth.
- Add the butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot and the butter is melted, pour about ½ cup of the batter into the pan; this will make one pancake, about 4 inches in diameter. Cook the batter until bubbles start to pop on its surface and the bottom is nicely browned. Then flip the pancake and cook it until the other side is also brown and the edges are dry—about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Repeat with the remainder of the batter.
- Serve with extra butter, syrup, fruit, or whatever you like!
- You can decrease the amount of squash you use in the recipe, using a small squash—about 1 pounds (this will give you about 1 cup of squash puree after blending it). If you do so, also increase the amount of milk to 1 cup and the decrease the baking powder to 1½ teaspoons.