Friday, 2 May 2014

Pancakes For Dinner, Chia Seed Jams, And A New Smoothie

For dinner on "Meatless Monday", we had my daughter's favourite breakfast...pancakes! Ok, I know my goal is to eat fewer meat based meals, but as it turns out, our meatless meal night fell on Monday and I was wanting to make do with pantry and fridge items already on hand!  Not to mention, I really had a craving for pancakes!  I took my "go to" pancake recipe and tinkered with it, yet again.  

It is essentially a half and half white flour and whole wheat flour recipe, with a little wheat germ tossed in for good measure. This time, I cut the white flour back by half and subbed in some quick cooking oats.  I also used almond milk instead of dairy milk. The pancakes were just as tasty, a little more dense than usual, and the batter didn't brown as well as usual.  Recently, I learned that I can make oat flour by whizzing large flake oats in my food processor with the S-blade.  I think I will give this a try next time and substitute the white flour with the oat flour instead. Perhaps this will lighten the texture a bit and allow the pancakes to brown better.  I will let you know. 

To make our pancake supper a little more special (and sneak in a little more nutrition), I made a raw chia seed strawberry jam out of my frozen strawberries and tried the Oh She Glows recipe for a cooked vanilla blueberry Chia seed jam.  Both jams were fabulous!  

Basic Pancakes
3/4 cup almond milk
2 tbsp canola oil
1 egg
1/4 cup white flour
1/4 cup quick cooking oats  (next time try oat flour)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tbs wheat germ
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbs sugar (I used organic evaporated cane juice)
1/2 tsp salt
Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together
In another bowl, combine all wet ingredients together
Preheat cast iron frying pan over medium heat
Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just blended. Do not over mix.
Wipe fry pan with a light layer of cooking oil
Ladle batter into pan, cook until golden brown on the bottom and there are bubbles on the surface of the pancake. Flip and continue cooking until light brown on other side.
Keep warm in a 200°F oven.

Since our dinner was breakfast, I thought it would be fun to make smoothies to drink with our pancakes.  I used some fresh pineapple, a frozen organic banana and then decided to be adventurous and tossed in half a red pepper and 1/4 of a yellow pepper, organic of course.  The peppers were sweet and turned our smoothie into a pretty pinky-orange concoction.  I added just a touch of honey for a little extra sweetness and used a combination of almond milk and water to blend.  I thought it was yummy... The kid, not so much!  The only down side was that the peppers did not blend as smoothly as the pineapple and banana so there were teeny chunks through out the smoothie.  Perhaps, if I get a Vitamix one day, this won't happen?  Anyway, a good experiment and the smoothie was lovely with the pancakes!

It was a real treat to have breakfast for dinner.  We even ended up with 2 extra pancakes for a mid week instant breakfast for Erika!  

If you like making pancakes for weekend breakfasts, I highly recommend that you make a double batch.  Then you can take the extra pancakes and cool them on a baking rack. Once they are cooled, leave them on a cookii sheet in a single layer and freeze.  Once the pancakes are frozen,  put them into a large Rubbermaid container or a freezer bag. This  makes it easy to grab one, two or more pancakes in the morning.  The pancakes can be reheated in the microwave or thawed first and then put into your toaster.  Serve your favourite fruit topping or with maple syrup, Yum!

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