South African Pumpkin Fritters

5 Apr

These don’t look healthy, do they? I mean, just the word “fritter” sounds like it is filled with oil and fat. Well, you are about to be pleasantly surprised. These fritters are actually adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe! They are a little bit savory, a little bit sweet, and a lot delicious. What makes them South African? Well, I first want to say that the real name for this dish is pampoenkoeky. Just wanted to clear the air on the name. They are a traditional dish from South Africa, although there are no specific international flavors that set them apart. So I think we need to start a new tradition and make these American pumpkin fritters.

Pumpkin Fritter Ingredients

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla sugar (can be left out, but adds extra sweetness)

15 oz canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)

2 eggs, separated

3 sprays cooking spray, divided for cooking

1 Tbsp olive oil, divided for cooking

You are going to need a few bowls to make this dish, so hopefully you have someone else or a dishwasher to clean them. In a small bowl, I sifted together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and vanilla sugar. In a large bowl, I combined the pumpkin and egg yolks until well-combined. And in a third bowl, I whipped the egg whites until soft peaks formed.

Alternately in batches, I added the flour mixture and the egg whites to the pumpkin mixture, stirring after each addition.

Next came the really fun part. Normally when I fry something, it is certainly not nutritious. In fact, it’s usually dripping with oil. And while that can be very exciting once in a while, I always wished I could fry something and still be healthy.  Now here’s my chance! I coated a large skillet with cooking spray then set it over medium-low heat. I added a teaspoon of olive oil and when the oil was shimmering, I dropped 4 large spoonfuls of the pumpkin mixture to form 3-inch fritters. You can make the fritters smaller and you will just end up with more fritters. Nothing wrong with that option!

I let them cook until they bubbled around the edges, around 2 minutes, then flipped the fritters and let them finish cooking for an additional 2 minutes, until nice and lightly browned.

I repeated this process two more times until all of the fritters were cooked. I piled a ton of them high on a plate and poured sugar-free pancake syrup all over the top. Yum! Another option would be to coat them in crunchy cinnamon sugar or even serve them with mango salsa. Remember, these South African fritters are almost like a savory pancake. I ate 11 out of the 12 fritters…Justin ate one of them. It’s a good think each one is only 1 PointsPlus point on Weight Watchers. It doesn’t get any better than that. Hopefully you enjoy them as much as I did!

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