7 New Ways to Cook with Pumpkin

If you're sick of the pumpkin spice latte craze, you're not alone. Coffee and pie aren't the only ways to get your pumpkin fill this season. Clever Cookstr has 7 new ways to use pumpkin in your kitchen.

Kara Rota
4-minute read
Episode #20

Welcome to the Clever Cookstr, your ultimate window into the kitchens of the world’s best cooks. 

In today’s episode, we’re going to talk about the ingredient that’s become pretty much synonymous with fall: pumpkin.

I know the pumpkin spice phenomenon is getting a bit out of control, but let’s face it: there’s a reason people are so enthused. It smells good, it tastes good, and it just feels like autumn. So today, we’re going to talk about 7 different ways to cook with pumpkin – beyond a pie or a latte.  


Pumpkin for Breakfast? Absolutely!

You don’t have to put pumpkin in your coffee to start your day on a festive fall note. How about a pumpkin-packed breakfast? Yes, you can easily add a tasty pumpkin flavor to your pancakes and waffles.  

Here's how:

Preheat the waffle iron if you’re using one. You’ll want to start with your standard 2 cups of flour, mix in 2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder, and about ½ teaspoon of salt. If you like really sweet breakfasts, add ¼ cup of sugar to the dry mix – if you prefer all the sweetness to come from the syrup, add less sugar or none at all. Feel free to add cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe a little ground ginger—spice up the dry mix all you want. 

Then in a separate bowl, mix 1 ½  cups of milk, 3 eggs, and about a tablespoon of vanilla extract together with a whisk. I always put in extra vanilla, but that’s just me. Melt a stick of butter and whisk that into the wet ingredients. For people who are very serious about fluffy waffles, you probably want to separate your eggs and beat the egg whites until they start to get those stiff peaks. 

If you want to be a little lazy and if you’re making me breakfast, then skip it and I’m probably not going to complain. So in with the wet ingredients, you’re going to whisk about a cup of pumpkin – plain canned pumpkin puree will work just fine. Make sure you’re not using pumpkin pie filling – that has a lot of extra sugar in it.

Add the wet ingredients into the dry and fold them together just enough to combine—when making pancakes you want to make sure you err on the side of leaving the batter a little lumpy rather than overmixing it. Overmixing gets you those rubbery pancakes where you’re just left wondering "What did I do wrong?" Well, that’s what you did wrong, you overmixed it.

So you’re not going to overmix and you’re going to make a really gorgeous stack of pumpkin pancakes or waffles. Serve them with regular syrup, pumpkin syrup, pumpkin butter, pumpkin whipped cream…go crazy. 

And while we’re talking about breakfast, pumpkin puree is really good in smoothies, too! With a frozen banana, some coconut milk, peanut butter, chia seeds if you’re into that, some cinnamon, and vanilla extract – basically it's like frozen pumpkin pie in a glass, so there’s really a lot to love there. 

And now for something a bit more savory......


About the Author

Kara Rota

Kara Rota headed children’s programming at Chicago’s Green City Market and studied food politics at Sarah Lawrence College. Kara has been a featured speaker at numerous venues including Food Book Fair, the Roger Smith Food Conference, and the Brooklyn Food Conference. She has written about food for Irish America Magazine, West Side Rag, Recipe Relay, and Food + Tech Connect, and is the former Director of Editorial & Partnerships at Cookstr.com.