• Theresa Gentile

Easy Pumpkin Oat Pancakes

Pumpkin pancakes that lower your cholesterol? Say no more! If you're eating right for your heart and are craving pancakes, this may be the perfect, easy, weekend meal.


Pumpkin - you either love it or hate it. I love it and all the fiber-packed nutrition that pumpkin offers. I love coming up with ways to make healthy food easy and tasty so my whole family will enjoy healthy foods.


These particular pancakes pack an extra heart-healthy punch - they're made with oat flour. The heart-healthy fiber in oats is beta-glucan, a kind of soluble fiber. Foods with oat fiber have been shown to lower bad levels of cholesterol, or LDL-cholesterol. Soluble fiber in oats may also lower non-HDL cholesterol as well (apo B), which carries bad cholesterol through the bloodstream. Oat fiber, combined with other sources of soluble fiber in the diet can help decrease the risk of heart disease.


What other foods contain heart-healthy fiber?

This heart-healthy, beta-glucan fiber can also be found in barley, yeasts, seaweed, algae, and some types of mushrooms (like reishi, shiitake, and maitake).


If you love pumpkin and oats, make sure to try my so-healthy-you-can-eat-for-breakfast Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies.

And if you're in the mood for more fiber-rich oats and chickpeas in a portable, yummy energy ball, try my No-Bake Protein Energy Balls.


How much beta-glucan fiber do you need each day to help lower cholesterol?

3 grams of beta-glucans per day can help lower blood cholesterol levels by 5-8%, according to an approved health claim by the FDA. You can get 3 grams of beta-glucans from 1.5 cups cooked oatmeal, 3 packets of instant oatmeal, or about 1 cup of cooked pearl barley.


What are other health benefits of beta-glucan fiber?

This soluble fiber, along with insoluble fibers can help modulate blood sugar and promote insulin sensitivity. Oat and barley-containing foods slow the absorption of glucose after a meal. This means less insulin needs to be released to bring down your blood sugar. And, remember, insulin is our prime fat-storage hormone. The less we need to release, the better.


So, I’ve given you plenty of reasons to try these pumpkin oat pancakes. Tell me what you think!


Easy Pumpkin Oat Pancakes


Dry ingredients

1 ½ cups old fashioned or quick-cooking oats, blended to a powder

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon nutmeg


Wet ingredients

1 ½ cups buttermilk

¾ cup pumpkin puree

3 Tablespoons melted butter

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Directions:

Blend oats in a blender or food processor. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.


In another bowl, whisk and thoroughly combine the wet ingredients.

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and gently whisk together until just combined.


Prepare a griddle over medium heat until hot.


Spoon 1/3 cup batter onto the griddle and cook until you see the tiny bubbles on the top of each pancake and some have popped open. Then flip the pancake and cook until lightly browned and fluffy.


Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree F. oven.


Serve with pure maple syrup, butter, or plain Greek yogurt for extra protein.



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