|Happy National Pancake Day!!|
Pancakes according to Wikipedia:
A pancake is a thin, flat, round cake prepared from a batter and cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan. Most pancakes are quick breads; some use a yeast-raised or fermented batter. Most pancakes are cooked one side on a griddle and flipped partway through to cook the other side. Depending on the region, pancakes may be served at any time, with a variety of toppings or fillings including jam, chocolate chips, fruit, syrup or meat.
For us pancakes equate to happiness and over the years these hotcakes have provided numerous essential nutrients to my somewhat finicky children without them ever having a clue that they were eating something other than what they wanted. Taking the simple batter and turning it into an inviting breakfast (or snack or lunch or dinner) filled with whole grains, nuts and any variety of fruits has allowed me to furnish their growing bodies with essential nutrients that they would otherwise say "No thank you" to. I can always count on a pancake to be received with a smile and I have yet to have one turned down.
Today, being a special occasion, Liv decorate her pancakes in what she deems "the proper fashion". Smothered with whipped cream and sprinkles, these guys were more of a dessert than a healthy start to her day, however I smiled knowing that she was happily eating a good base of whole wheat, flax meal, milk and a bit of egg with each and every whipped cream smothered bite. Add in a glass of OJ and she was set for her day!
In the short life of Liv Life we have already filled our pages with some of our favorite pancake recipes. Whole Wheat Pancakes were the first to be shared and they are indeed still a frequent guest on our breakfast table. Very similar to today's recipe, these pancakes have the added benefit of a splash of vanilla giving them an added layer of flavor while providing lasting energy for the morning. Topped with a touch of butter and drizzled syrup these light and fluffy pancakes are gone in a flash.
Next up, our favorite Pumpkin Pancakes. Cans of Trader Joe's Organic Pumpkin are stocked in our pantry specifically for this recipe. Light and fluffy, these pancakes are spiced with pumpkin pie-like spices spreading the aroma of fall throughout your home as you flip them. Topped with dark maple syrup no one will ever know that they are receiving a good dose of vitamin A along with fiber and antioxidants. Additional garnishments of banana, raisins and walnuts only improve the overall health benefits. Liv first had these when she was still a baby and has been eating them ever since!
The richer Puffed Apple Pancake provides a bit of a different version of the regular pancake. Cooked as one big pancake in a skillet and finished off in a 425º oven this delight puffs into a dream as it cooks! Filled with sauteed apples and everyone's favorite apple pie spices the puffed cake is dusted with powdered sugar for a little added sweetness. Ingredients of 1/2 and 1/2, butter and maple syrup bring this version into the highly desired dessert realm, but I can remember happily finishing it off the following morning with my cup of coffee.
Another whole grain version, Whole Grain Buttermilk Pancakes with Oatmeal and Banana, mixes not only whole wheat flour but rolled oats, flax meal and wheat germ into the batter along with some mashed banana for an additional nutrition boost. A touch of brown sugar combined with cinnamon add a welcome sweetness and spice that complements the maple syrup with each and every bite. A plate of homemade goodness that makes Liv's eyes shine every time she sees them!
Every once in a while though, a girl just needs a does of plain, good 'ole white flour. Buttermilk Pancakes with Flax provide just that! With only 3 Tablespoons of Golden Flax mixed into the batter Liv had no idea that she was receiving a tiny bit of something good along with her fluffy and most requested Buttermilk Pancakes. While the 3 tbs probably don't provide much nutrition when broken down into servings, somehow I just feel better knowing that they are there.
And we can't forget the recent Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes. Dripping with a luscious, lemon spiked blueberry sauce reminiscent of blueberry pie, these little guys are a true treat. The addition of ricotta adds a wonderful tenderness to the pancakes along with the pleasant tang of the buttermilk. Lemony, blueberry goodness dazzles the tongue with flavor while the addition of spelt flour (or whole wheat) gives a little whole grain nutrition. The topping on this one is the true joy, simply oozing with flavor and nutrition from the antioxidant-rich blueberries. Ideal for any special occasion or just a simple morning breakfast, Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes have become an oft requested breakfast in our household.
With that, Liv Life wishes you a most joyous National Pancake Day. May your fingers be sticky with syrup and your lips smudged with whipped cream!
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakesadapted from Cooking Light
Light and fluffy, this pancake recipe is probably the most used in our house. With whole wheat, flax and/or wheat germ I feel that the kids are getting a good start to their day and when their eyes light up with the arrival of a heaping plate I know they will eat it!
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3-4 Tbs flax meal or wheat germ
1 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup skim milk (may need a little more)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine buttermilk, oil, egg, and egg white, stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.
Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Rub the cut side of a cube of butter quickly over the pan and spoon about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle. Turn pancakes over when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Serve with syrup and butter.
Note: I have found that with the variations of the weather I sometimes need to add extra liquid to the flours to get the proper batter consistency. If you add more flax or wheat germ you will most likely need to add more liquid as well.