Saturday, November 19, 2011

Pancakes Made Healthier & Tastier

Personally, pancakes are one of my favorite breakfasts, especially for special occasions or guests. But I want them to be healthy and wholesome, not refined and processed. Fortunately, this is easy to accomplish… One simple change to a basic pancake recipe is using whole wheat pastry flour (or other whole grain flour) instead of all-purpose. Any basic “mother” recipe (traditional, vegan, wheat-free…) you might start with, you can make all sorts of variations, depending on what’s in season and what’s in your pantry that morning.

Try one or more of these additions sprinkled into the batter:
  • spices (cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla…) 
  • citrus zest (lemon, orange, Buddha hand…) 
  • whole grains and seeds (oats, toasted wheat germ, quinoa flakes, raw hemp seeds, chia seeds…) 
  • fresh seasonal or dried fruit (sliced strawberries or bananas, dried blueberries or shredded coconut…) 
  • chocolate chips, carob chips, cocoa nibs 
  • nuts (sliced almonds or macadamia, walnut or pecan pieces…) 
And for toppings:
  • fresh seasonal fruit or fruit compote (sautéed peaches or nectarines, apple pear compote...) 
  • spreads (nut butters or chocolate hazelnut or jams or lemon curd…) 
  • maple syrup or honey 
  • whipped cream or coconut crème 
One of my very favorite combos is to add several healthy spoonfuls of grains and seeds to the batter and top with lemon curd and fresh blueberries. Or try pancakes for dessert: chocolate chips & vanilla in the batter, topped with sliced strawberries & whipped cream!

Start playing with your favorite pancake recipe or try mine:

1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 tablespoons rapadura sugar
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 to 1 1/4 cup milk, apple juice, yogurt, buttermilk or sour milk
3 tablespoons oil or melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder & salt. In a measuring cup, beat the eggs; then mix in the other wet ingredients. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Stir in any additions (spices, grains, seeds, fruit...) and pour out a few tablespoons of batter on a lightly oiled or buttered hot griddle or skillet on medium-low heat. Cook for a few minutes and when you see bubbles appear and the edges look a little dry, flip the pancakes gently with a spatula. Cook a few more minutes until golden brown on each side.

Serves 4-6.  Spare pancakes can be frozen and saved for a quick breakfast later.

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