Isn't it pretty? All perfectly rounded, sitting just inside the inner rim of the place, the perfect golden brown. Okay, that's one perfectly round pancake I've made in 40 years of cooking! Usually, no matter how hard I try to spoon the pancake mix or twirl the pan all chef-like there's always one edge that sort of globs out all retarded and freakish-looking. One. Out of 40 years.
I can live with that.
This pancake has a hidden secret. It's actually good for us! Eating healthy has become a journey for me over the last couple of years. As in so many things in my life where instant gratification is is never realized, I finally realized that pursuing healthier habits in all parts of my life are about baby steps, not about throwing out the old and emerging from my bed a new person on a designated day. (Which is usually how I'd try to do it in the past.) I'd start a new "diet" by saying to myself at bedtime "Tomorrow I will start eating only healthy wholesome perfect foods and exercising for one hour and do it every day for the rest of my life." Waking up in my new frame of mind, I would be that perfectly perfect wholesome creature up until about 10 seconds after my first breakfast before I had my Hobbit second breakfast of a slice of processed cheese and a Coke. C'est la vie. Literally, that is my life!
One of these baby steps is with flour. Personally, I love whole wheat breads but when it comes to pancakes, it's more of a desire than an actual love. In my heart of stomachs I still want the all white flour tastebud memories of my youth. (Gene too.) Until now. I made pancakes and eggs for supper the other night and in the middle of preparing it realized I only had 50/50 wheat flour in my pantry, meaning half whole wheat mixed with half all purpose white flour. That's all I had so I used it. Holy cow, what a wonderful taste. Our pancakes were still light and fluffy but the whole wheat added a sweetness and heft that I found I much preferred to pancakes made from all white flour! So much so that I didn't even really need syrup to enjoy them. I ate the leftovers over the next several days either with just a little butter or spread with a little all natural peanut butter and wrapped around a banana--the new PB&B sandwich. Can I say that they were all whole wheat freshly ground at the time, like my friend Robert's? No, but a baby step definitely in the right direction! The rest of the recipe was in the right direction too: local honey and olive oil replaces the white sugar and margarine of my mother's recipe.
One of the things I ask myself when I read books like Eat Clean by Tosca Reno is this: Will I ever become a tofu or cottage cheese/whole wheat flour/no sweetener kind of pancake eater? No. I don't see myself ever going there...and liking it. But as much as I agree with Tosca's basic diet tenets, there's a real world component for me where I know there can be a happy medium, like with replacing our white flour and white sugar (the real Devil's Food according to most health literature) with 50/50 wheat and locally hived honey.
I can live with that.
Half and Half Whole Wheat/White Pancakes
Recipe by Glenna Anderson Muse
Combine Dry ingredients in large mixing bowl:
2 cups half white/half whole wheat flour Locally-ish, I recommend Hogson Mills, in Effingham, Illinois or go all the way with Whole-grained WHITE wheat (most American flour is made from red wheat, white wheat is lighter in texture and taste) flour from War Eagle Mill in War Eagle, Arkansas
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Whisk together Wet ingredients in medium mixing bowl:
1 egg, beaten
2 cups buttermilk (or soured milk, 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1 3/4 cup regular (sweet) milk)
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Tbsp honey
Olive oil cooking spray for skillet
Butter, syrup, fresh fruit for toppings
1) Separately combine wet and dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients into dry and quickly whisk together JUST until all are combined. There might be a few lumps and that's okay.
2) Pre-heat skillet over medium heat for approximately three minutes or until a drop of batter sputters when hitting the cooking sprayed surface of the pan.
3) Ladle 1/2 cup batter into pan, one at a time, and flip when top bubbles and then the bubbles start bursting. Edges of the pancake will start to appear dry. Flip to second side and cook until browned.
Makes approx. 8 pancakes
Nutrition per 1 pancake: Calories: 188: Protein 6; Carbs 30; Fat: 5; Fiber 2: Weight Watchers Pts: 5 For comparison, when using only all-purpose white flour, the calories rise by 10, the carbs by 5, the WW pts by 1, and the fiber drops to basically none.
If you really want to get creative, check this out:
This is my friend Robert's favorite Sunday morning breakfast with his kids: