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Yesterday, a reader asked me to share a recipe for Puerto Rican pumpkin fritters using ‘calabaza’ pumpkin, I remembered that I had a slice in my refrigerator that I needed to use.
Puerto Rican pumpkin fritters are also called ‘Barriguitas de Vieja’ which translates ‘the belly of an old lady’ and they are popular treats in Puerto Rico.
I decided to make it similar to my Banana Fritters recipe[, at first I was contemplating making baked pumpkin fritters but I decided to go ahead and fry it in my non-stick skillet.
Pumpkin Fritters Ingredients
- Pumpkin – The traditional variety used for Puerto Rican Pumpkin fritters is the ‘calabaza’ or the West Indian pumpkin, it is green skin or yellow skin with orange flesh. Its flesh is firmer than the American red-skinned pumpkin when cooked.
- All-purpose Gluten-Free Flour – I substituted gluten-free flour for traditional wheat flour but regular flour will work. I used Knusteaz All-purpose Gluten-Free Flour.
- Ground Flaxseeds – I used ground flaxseeds as an egg-replacer, Combine 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds plus quarter cup water or almond milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. You can make your own ground flaxseed by blending flaxseeds in a high-speed blender and store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
- Sugar – I used Florida Crystals cane sugar but you can substitute it with maple syrup, coconut sugar or your favorite sweetener.
- Baking powder – I used Rumford aluminum-free and gluten-free baking powder
- Spices – I used a combination of vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg but a blend of cardamom and coriander would work for those avoiding cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Salt – I love Himalayan Pink Salt.
- Coconut oil for frying may substitute with grapeseed oil or your favorite oil.
How To Make Pumpkin Fritters?
If using fresh pumpkin, you need 2 pounds of pumpkin, peel and scoop out the seeds and membrane. I usually save my seeds, dry them and save to grow them in the springtime.
Chop pumpkin and place in a steamer basket, add water to the steamer, cover, and cook pumpkin until the flesh is tender. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl and mash with a fork and set aside.
In the meantime, mix water or almond milk with ground flaxseeds, add to the mashed pumpkin with vanilla, and mix well.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in another bowl and mix well. Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix until the batter is smooth.
Heat non-stick skillet on medium-high, add large heaping tablespoons of pumpkin batter. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown, turn over, and cook the other sides until golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is done.
Other Caribbean Breakfast Recipes To Try
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- Categories: Gluten-Free, Vegan
- Courses: Appetizer, Breakfast
- Cuisine: Puerto Rican
- Energy: 160 kcal / 669 kJ
- Fat: 7 g
- Protein: 2 g
- Carbs: 22 g
- Preparation: 20 min
- Cooking: 12 min
- Ready in: 32 min
- For: 8 Fritters
- 2 cups pumpkin, cooked and mashed (or substitute canned pumpkin puree)
- 1/4 cup almond milk, or water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
- 1 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- coconut oil, for frying
- Peel pumpkin, scoop out seeds and membrane. Chop pumpkin and steam in a steamer basket for 25 minutes or until tender. Remove from stove, mashed with a fork.
- Mix water, flaxseeds and vanilla and set aside for 5 minutes. In a large bowl combine all purpose gluten-free flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon nutmeg and salt.
- Combine flaxseed mixture with pumpkin puree and add to dry ingredients. Mix to combine until smooth.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a large heaping tablespoon of pumpkin fritters batter and cook on one side for about 2-3 minutes. flip with a spatula and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.
Can these be frozen ahead of time? If so how long would you bake them from the freezer? Thanks!
Do you have to use pumpkin?
Micheless, sweet potato puree should work perfectly.
Thank you so much! Do you know the Trinidadian version as well? It didn’t have sugar, only the syrup we would put on it. I am half Trinidadian and Half Puertorican :-)
No, but sounds interesting. I’m only familiar with pholourie and tamarind sauce but the next time I’ll do a savory kind similar to Jamaican salt fish fritters without saltfish.
The “salt fish” fritters sounds good, l faintly remember those from when l was a child! Of course now l am vegan but look forward to your creation!