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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Superfood Pancakes

Whether it's an early breakfast, a leisurely brunch, or breakfast for dinner, our family loves pancakes. The kind we eat most often are what most people would consider diner-style, aka Malted Pancakes. It's not often that all five of us agree on a single favorite rendition of a certain dish, but this is one such dish.

That said, pancakes in general are hard to turn down. If I have a jar of sourdough hanging out if the fridge, I'll add some to the batter. I also like to stud them with fun things like sausage and cheese or bacon, blueberries, and brown butter. Cardamom and strawberry...a handful of wheat germ...cornmeal and blackberries...or the all-out decadence of banana pancakes scented with ginger and cinnamon and smothered in a Butter Rum Banana Maple Syrup. Sigh. I could go for a plate of pancakes right now.

So really, what better vehicle is there than a family favorite for experimenting with healthier choices? I can't think of one.

A great way to start is by replacing up to half of your regular, all-purpose flour with a whole wheat or whole grain flour. The whole wheat adds a hint of nuttiness, and helps to make you feel full sooner (fiber). Pancakes are also a great place to throw in some of your favorite superfoods (or superfoods you may like to try).
This time, I used a combination of blueberries, chopped walnuts, and (my favorite superfood) chia seeds. I also added some coconut, not really considered a superfood unless it's a "young coconut", but I couldn't shake the craving. It was an amazing combo. Try experimenting with other superfoods such as dark berries, whole grains, nuts, seeds, cacao, and honey.

What exactly are superfoods? In their most basic form, they are foods that are beneficial to your health. They are usually high in antioxidants, vitamins, or another nutrient, and other health-promoting properties. You've heard the term "eat a rainbow" before? Well, colorful foods are healthy, and many of those foods are considered superfoods - that's a great place to start. You can search the internet for other superfoods, as well. I don't have any affiliation with Food Matters, but it's a good starting place if you need one.

Superfood Pancakes
Start your day right with these superfood pancakes. With the addition of whole wheat flour and superfood add-ins such as blueberries, chia seeds, and walnuts, your family will love these pancakes turned healthy!
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Superfood Pancakes
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: breakfast entree chia seeds walnuts blueberries flour American

Ingredients (2 dozen pancakes)
    dry ingredients:
    • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
    • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
    • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    wet ingredients:
    • 3 large eggs
    • 2-1/2 to 3 cups buttermilk (or any type of milk)
    • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
    superfood add-ins:
    • 2-1/2 to 3 cups of at least three different superfoods (I used blueberries, chia seeds, and walnuts)
    Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl. 

    Whisk together the wet ingredients in a large measuring cup with a spout; start with the lesser amount of buttermilk. Pour into the bowl with the dry and stir until just combined; it's okay if there are a few lumps, but if it seems too thick to you, stir in some more buttermilk.

    Fold in your superfood add-ins.
    Heat a cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium heat. If it's not non-stick or well-seasoned, grease it with a bit of butter or non-stick spray. Pour on a scant 1/4 cup of batter per pancake and cook until the edges look dry and the bubbles in the batter are starting to pop; flip and cook through. Remove to a plate or baking sheet set in a warm oven, if you wish, while finishing the rest. How many you can make at a time depends on the size of your skillet/griddle.

    Enjoy with a small pat of butter (optional) and warm maple syrup, jam, fruit, or powdered sugar.

    If you're looking at the photos, you'll notice that I also added sliced coconut to my batter. Coconut isn't a superfood, but it was a tasty addition to the pancakes. If you add something to the pancakes other than the three (or more) superfoods, include it in the add-in measurement.