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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Flippin' Pancakes

I know some people think my family eats nothing but tofu and greens, but nothing could be farther from the truth.  We all like sweets and on the weekend, we usually have pancakes one morning.  I have even been known to make pancakes for dinner, gasp!  Sometimes I just fix plain Bisquick pancakes but (no surprises here) I like to experiment too.  Adding blueberries to the batter is a quick way to make pancakes more interesting plus add some nutrition.  I must say that I've never added chocolate chips because the very thought is nauseating.  Chocolate and syrup?  Not me.

I once had pancakes with cream of wheat added at IHOPs so I started doing that at home too.  Barry loves chopped pecans in his pancakes and/or chopped bananas.  Since I read Eat This, Not That, I have made a few changes to the foods I purchase.  This past weekend, I made scratch pancakes with King Arthur unbleached white whole wheat flour.  I threw in 1/4 cup of flax seed as well.  The results were delicious and much better for you.  The whole wheat flour and flax seed gave the pancakes a little more texture.  Making pancakes from scratch is not difficult and the results will make you want to do it more often.  Here is my altered recipe for pancakes with whole wheat flour and flax seed.

Plain Pancakes
2 eggs
5 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, regular or whole wheat
4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
Beat eggs until throughly blended in a mixing bowl.  Melt the butter, then add it to the milk before adding to the eggs.  Mix well.  Put all dry ingredients into a small bowl and mix well.  If you like, try adding 1/4 cup of flax seed.  Add to the egg, milk mixture and stir till just moistened.  Add a bit more milk if batter seems too thick.  Do not overmix.  Heat griddle until a drop of water sizzles on it.  Pour out batter in small amounts and cook until bubbles break and the edges look dry.  Flip and cook other side.  Serve with your favorite syrup.  This recipe is just as good with regular all purpose flour as with the whole wheat.

About a year ago, I found the following recipe for syrup which I had to try.  My family is glad I did because it is so good, you'll slap your Moma to get it.  Aunt Jemima is fine but this syrup is over the top.  It is especially good on homemade blueberry pancakes.

Buttermilk Syrup
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 Tbsp. corn syrup
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla
Put all ingredients in a saucepan except the vanilla and bring to a boil.  Stir and cook for 7 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator. 

My last recipe is pumpkin pancakes.  The family discovered another way to enjoy pumpkin curtesy of IHOP.  Since then, pumpkin pancakes are a welcome treat at our house.  (I always feel better serving sweets if I can say they have some nutritional value!  And pumpkin is loaded with beta carotene, an antioxidant, fiber, and potassium, among other things.)  The added spices mean even more antioxidants.

Pumpkin Pancakes
2 1/3 cups Bisquick, preferably Reduced Fat
1 1/4 cups skim milk
1 egg
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. each of ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon
Heat griddle till a drop of water sizzles on the surface.  Mix all ingredients until just blended.  Pour small amounts and cook as above. 

Maybe you can surprise your family with a pancake supper one night this week or pancakes for breakfast this weekend.  Serve some fruit on the side, a couple pieces of bacon and a large glass of milk; couldn't get any better!


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