I’ve never needed an excuse to eat a pancake, but I’ve recently discovered there are at least three good reasons to eat them:
Headlines everywhere say today, February 28, 2012, is IHOP’s National Pancake Day, where you can eat free pancakes with the option of making a donation that benefits Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals ©. That sounds like a terrific reason to eat a pancake.
I’ve also seen that Fat Tuesday, also known as Shrove Tuesday, is also pancake day. Fat Tuesday is that last day of feasting on all those treats that are forbidden once Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Those treats include milk, eggs and fat – the key ingredients in pancakes. So Fat Tuesday is apparently your last chance to stuff your tummy with these delicious little cakes, and other fattening treats, before you deprive yourself during the next 40 days of Lent. To learn more about Shrove Tuesday, visit these links: ShareFaith or BBC
I’ve also read that January 28 is National Blueberry Pancake Day. SO! It seems there are many days and many reasons to eat pancakes.
Making pancakes from scratch isn’t hard and doesn’t take that much more time or effort than boxed pancake mixes. The recipe below produces a very light and fluffy pancake, and one superior to a pancake mix.
While pancakes do include fats, you can ease your conscience by adding the amazing super foods walnuts and blueberries. Blueberries are a ‘super food’ because they are loaded with antioxidants and phytoflavinoids (don’t ask me what those are) according to WebMD.com. Walnuts are considered a super food, too, partly because they are high in Omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants.
Add a little quinoa (known as complete protein because it contains all eight (8) of the essential amino acids) to your pancakes and maybe you can convince yourself that you are eating something really healthy. I know I’m convinced.
Place quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all of the water is absorbed. Quinoa is done when the spiral-like germ, or tail, has popped from the seed.
BLUEBERRY MAPLE SYRUP
6 ounces fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
½ cup blueberry syrup
½ cup maple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer until blueberries are heated through.
2 ½ cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons shortening
2 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooked black or white quinoa (I prefer the texture of the black)
Beat eggs well. Add remaining ingredients and mix until blended, but do not overmix. Pour onto a hot, lightly oiled griddle. The hot oil will create those crisp edges to your pancakes. Flip pancakes once air bubbles surface and pop, and the batter appears to firm up. This will make flipping easier. Keep first batches warm in a 200º oven.
GARNISH with toasted walnuts and Blueberry Maple Syrup.
*I like having extra quinoa in case I make pancakes the next day or use them in an omelet. If you don’t want extra, then cut this portion of the recipe to 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa and 1 cup water.
Patricia Bainter is a blogger and writer for 303magazine. She trained at Le Cordon Bleu London and shares her culinary musings and recipes at her own website ThePatricianPalette.com. Photos by Mark Woolcott Photography.