I’m a big fan of pancakes. When my sister and I were little, our daddy used to make them into our initials and animal shapes. I did the same for my own kids when they were small.
Fresh blueberries add a delicious juiciness to pancakes, so I make these in the summer when the blueberries are cheap and plentiful. Just cut them in half first, otherwise they make big lumps that will cause your pancakes to have raw spots. Defrosted blueberries can be used whole. Chop up a few strawberries to add to the blueberries if you like. I’ve also tried adding a soft banana that I smashed up to the batter.
Several friends have introduced me to Sally Fallon’s cookbook “Nourishing Traditions” in which she maintains that soaking whole grains in yogurt, buttermilk, or a water and lemon juice mixture, aids absorption of minerals from the bran and increases B vitamins. I don’t know enough about nutritional science to explain or judge this, but she provides an interesting recipe for pancakes, which calls for soaking whole wheat flour in buttermilk overnight. This softens the whole flour to make the pancakes as light as those made with white flour, and gives them a sourdough taste. You can stir together plain nonfat yogurt and milk to substitute for buttermilk. I like to use the yogurt at the bottom of the container that has plenty of liquid whey. If you don’t have yogurt on hand, use milk with apple cider vinegar.
Beginning with her soaking method, I created the following recipe. I separate the eggs and whip the whites and add a bit of white flour to lighten the pancakes. I add a little sugar and vanilla to balance the sourness of the buttermilk, nuts for a nice crunch and protein, and of course, blueberries. My kids love to throw in a handful of chocolate chips for that sweet gooey touch.
Top with Strawberry Sauce
Serves 4 (about 20 small pancakes) 1/2 Recipe (about 10 pancakes) in parentheses
1 cup (½ cup) whole wheat flour. Even better with finely ground whole wheat flour.
2 ½ cups (1 1/4 cups) low fat buttermilk.
OR substitute 2/3 cup (1/3) plain nonfat yogurt including 2 Tb (1 Tb) liquid whey, and 1 1/3 (2/3) cups milk (I use 1%)
OR substitute 1 1/3 (2/3) cups milk (I use 1%) and 1 Tb apple cider vinegar, let sit a minute, then add whole wheat flour
2 eggs (1 egg), separated
1/4 cup (2 Tb) white flour
2 tsp (1 tsp) baking powder
½ tsp (1/4 tsp) baking soda
1 shake salt
1 tsp (½ tsp) sugar
1/4 cup (2 Tb) flax seed meal
2 tsp (1 tsp) vanilla
2 Tb (1 Tb) melted butter or extra-virgin coconut oil for coconut flavor. You can mix them too.
1 cup (½ cup) chopped walnuts or pecans, if desired
1 cup (½ cup) fresh blueberries and/ or 1 (1/2) large soft banana
serving suggestion: fresh peaches, strawberries, pecans, maple syrup
Combine flour and buttermilk, cover bowl with a clean dishtowel, and let stand in a warm spot overnight. (If you forget, you can do this step first and let it sit while you prepare the other ingredients. It still works.)
Separate eggs. Stir in yolks to flour mixture
Sift in white flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Stir in flax seed meal,
Melt butter and/or or coconut oil in oiled frying pan and stir into batter.
Stir in vanilla.
Slice blueberries and fold into batter.
Fold in nuts if desired
Fold in several spoonfuls of beaten egg whites to batter to lighten it. Then fold in the rest of the egg whites.
There should be enough butter in the pan to fry the first batch of pancakes. You may need to add a bit more oil or butter to the pan for subsequent batches.
Fry spoonfuls into letters or shapes as desired, over medium flame.
Serve with sliced fresh peaches and/or strawberries on top, drizzle with maple syrup or Strawberry Sauce if desired.