Saturday, July 14, 2012

Food on Friday: (almost) healthy blueberry pancakes

Blueberries are one of the highlights of summer for me.  They are juicy and a sweet with a hint of sourness and are a gorgeous shade of navy blue that only the warm summer sun can produce.  Popping a handful in my mouth feels both like a luxurious indulgence and a great way to treat my body.

From late June to August, I try to put blueberries into almost every dish.  So far, I have come up with some delicious dishes.  I particularly love slightly cooked blueberries because of their extra little tang.  Adding them into breakfast is a must.  

It's not something I have mentioned on the blog much so far, but after my mom left (and we had indulged in constant eating and drinking for 10 days straight) I decided it was time to buckle down and treat my body right.  I gave up sugar, refined carbs and processed foods and started eating a diet purely of fruits, veggies, a little protein here and there and whole grains.  I have seen a huge difference in my body and the way I feel and so far I am loving it.  

This is the reason for the number of recent recipes including things like quinoa, oats, honey and fresh fruits and vegetables.  Additionally, it's the reason that many of the recent food posts have been "adapted" from other recipes.  

Peter loves pancakes (and French Toast, and generally all American-style breakfasts), so it didn't take long before he began to beg for them, despite my recent lifestyle change.  In fact, I too craved a little rich fluffiness on a Sunday morning.  Plus, I had a basket of blueberries sitting around that looked particularly lonely.  A union of the breakfast treat and those blueberries seemed like the perfect solution to all our problems.   

So, I whipped up these little babies and haven't looked back since.  Peter and I have both declared them our favorite pancake recipe we've ever made.  And, while pancakes are rarely considered a balanced meal, these are as close as you can get and, with their mix of oat bran, whole grain flour and almond meal they definitely aren't that bad and even contain some nutrients.  

And the secret to excellent pancakes every time, I recently learned?  Don't over mix the batter!  I never knew this, but mixing too long causes the pancakes to be tough and chewy instead of light and fluffy.  Mix just until all ingredients are barely combined and then leave them alone.

Here's the recipe
(adapted from Southern Food at


1 1/2 cup oat bran
1/4 cup whole grain flour (I have used whole wheat and spelt) 
1/4 cup ground almond meal
2 1/1 teaspoons baking powder
2-3 tablespoons raw sugar or honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs 
1 1/2 cups milk (regular or almond or whatever you prefer)
a dash of cinnamon 
a dash of ginger
1 cup blue berries

In a bowl, mix dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix only until smooth.  If mix looks a little think, add in more milk, one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved.  Do not put blueberries in yet.

Grease a frying pan or griddle over medium heat with yogurt butter.  Spoon in about a 1/4 cup mixture for each pancake and grab a handful of blueberries to sprinkle on top.  When the pancake is bubbly and a bit dry around the edges, flip it.  Repeat until you have cooked all pancakes.  (I like to keep the ones I have already made in a warm oven while I finish the rest.)  Enjoy! 

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