Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How We Start Most Mornings: Blueberry Spelt Pancakes

I think this is my third pancake post on here. What can I say? We love pancakes at our house.  Though the pancakes recipes I've shared on this blog in the past are good (you can find them here and here), this is the recipe I make the most. My one-year-old gobbles these down for breakfast just about every morning; my five-year-old eats them most of the time (he'll opt for a bowl of cereal or oatmeal now and then to mix things up). I make a batch of these once, maybe twice a week. Whatever we don't eat goes into the freezer. Most mornings I just pop a couple pancakes in the toaster (our toaster has button for frozen foods that works perfectly for this) and the boys have a hot, healthy breakfast in mere minutes.

I like these pancakes not only because they're tasty and my boys love them, but also because they're full of healthy things --  whole grain flour, natural sweetener, flax meal, and blueberries. What makes these pancakes stand out, I think, from other whole-grain pancakes is the spelt flour. The spelt flour makes the taste and texture of the pancakes lighter than a traditional whole-wheat pancake, yet it has that yummy, nutty flavor you get from whole grains. Spelt is also high in fiber and contains more protein than regular wheat.

Blueberry Spelt Pancakes - adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking
2 cups of spelt flour (I buy it in the bulk section of our local natural food store)
2 Tbsp. Sucanat (more on that in a moment)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cups milk
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
frozen or fresh blueberries
ground flax meal

First, mix all the dry ingredients together -- the flour, Sucanat, baking powder, and salt -- with a whisk and set it aside.

In case you were wondering: this is Sucanat.

Sucanat is an abbreviation for sugar cane natural because it's just dehydrated sugar cane juice. It isn't nearly as refined as regular white sugar. It comes in the form of little brown crystals -- it's brown because it has retained the molasses that is present in sugar before it is processed (for more info on Sucanat, you can go to this interesting link I found). Sucanat can be subsituted in any recipe that calls for white sugar (so if, say the recipe calls for 1 Tbsp. of sugar you can use 1 Tbsp. of Sucanat instead). Sucanat does have a stronger flavor (from the molasses), so it works better in some recipes than others. It works really well in this recipe (and in the wheat bread I make). However, I used Sucanat in place of the regular sugar in some chocolate chip cookies last month and my five-year-old didn't eat a single one (I can't say I blamed him -- they weren't so great.). The next time I made cookies he reminded me to use "the right kind of brown sugar."  Oh well. You win some, you lose some. I buy Sucanat in the bulk section of the natural food store, too. If you don't buy flours, nuts, rice, grains, and, in this case, Sucanat in the bulk section, you really should look into it. But that's a different post. On to the pancake making!

In another bowl -- I always just use a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup -- mix the milk, melted butter, and vanilla with a fork.  Add to the dry ingredients.

According the recipe in Whole Grain Baking, they suggest setting the batter aside and letting it thicken for around 15 minutes. When you've got a baby in his highchair signing "Eat" (gosh, it's cute when he does that) and a five-year-old with his head on the table, whining about being hungry, waiting 15 minutes isn't really an option. And, really, if you don't wait the 15 minutes, they still turn out fine. Granted, they are a little fluffier if you wait. By the time I'm pouring the last batch of pancakes on the griddle, they've thickened up pretty well.

Pour about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Once I've done that, I sprinkle each pancake with flax meal and drop a bunch of blueberries on them. I like adding the blueberries at this point instead of mixing it into the batter so as to avoid having blue-gray pancakes. Flip pancakes once the edges get set and the bubbles in the batter pop. Cook for another minute or two until the pancake is cooked through.

Add some butter and real maple syrup and you've got yourself a breakfast that keeps you going all morning. It's a lovely way to start the day.

Note: Some of the links in the post above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. 

{This post is linked up to  Homestead Barn Hop and Your Green Resource.}

1 comment:

Betsy (Eco-Novice) said...

Yum, I would like to try these. I have never been able to make as good pancakes with milk as with buttermilk, but yours look nice and fluffy. I couldn't find spelt at WF -- guess I'll have to look elsewhere.

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