Saturday, July 17, 2010

Blueberry-Oat Pancakes


So, I stole my boyfriend's waffle maker (yes...I literally took it out of the cabinet and walked out the front door with it...), but it wasn't like he was using it... Anyway, I HAD to make some waffles. I had a pint of super delicious blueberries waiting to be made into breakfast food and since I now had a wafflemaker I knew this was going to be all good.

Except it wasn't.

I painstakingly made a batch of waffles (it only made two at a time!), and they tasted awesome, but, the wafflemaker itself did not take too kindly to blueberries. They tended to burst and turn into goo and that caused my waffle to (mostly) fall apart. I don't think words can express how disenheartened I was! Especially since the ones that did kind of turn out were delicious, they had the perfectly toasty outside and the nice waffle-y inside.

I'm pretending this post is actually about waffles.

I tried to make some more today after reducing the amount of blueberries, but I gave up after the first round. It was obvious that it wasn't going to work. So, instead I flipped them into a skillet and I made myself some pancakes. I figured I was overdue for some pancake goodness away (it's been awhile). SUCCESS! The pancakes came out perfectly and I was once again a happy cook. I now have another pancake recipe to add to my arsenal.

These pancakes are super heart-healthy. Each little pancake is bursting with oats, flax, and antioxidant-rich blueberries and there's not any animal products or too much sugar to cancel out all the good ingredients. The first time I made these I made them with only vanilla, but since then I've used a blend of almond and vanilla. It gives it such a nice little boost and I can't eat them without it! However, you could leave it out if you like, just double the vanilla. Almond extract is just one of my pantry musthaves. I add it to a lot of stuff, lol.

Heart-Healthy Blueberry-Oat-n'-Flax Pancakes:
1 c. unbleached flour
1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour or graham flour
1 1/2 c. rolled oats
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. Earth Balance, melted or oil
1 1/2 Tb. flax meal + 3 Tb. hot water
2 c. almond milk (sweetened)
2 Tb. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
3/4 c. fresh blueberries

Notes: I used Silk Almond milk, the kind that's refrigerated. It's sweet, but not too sweet. It's also very thick (like, surprisingly thick). You could add a 1 Tb. of vinegar to the milk in order to thicken it up a bit and make "buttermilk" or you could leave it as is. It's up to you. I also used old-fashioned rolled oats but quick oats would work just fine.When you make the pancakes you can't really tell it has oats in it!

1. Mix together the flax meal and hot water. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the unbleached flour, wheat flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt with a whisk until well-combined.
3. In a small bowl, add the milk, brown sugar, and extracts. Stir well.
4. Combine the dry ingredients with the melted Earth Balance, flax "egg", and wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
5. OPTIONAL: You can either mix in the blueberries now, or you can drop the pancakes on the skillet and and the berries to them, about 5-8 berries per pancake. Both ways will work.
6. In a hot skillet (though temp should be at medium-high) that has been sprayed with nonstick spray, place about 1/3 c. batter per pancake. Cook each side until edges are dry and bubbles are formed in the middle.
7. Flip the pancake and cook for a couple more minutes. These pancakes seem to take a little longer than your standard banana pancake. Repeat the spraying and pancaking process until all the batter is gone.

Note: If your pancakes keep browning too much before they are cooking, turn the heat down. Pancakes are like grilled sandwiches. Just get the skillet hot and then turn that baby down.

Enjoy with fresh blueberries, butter and syrup, or blueberry syrup!

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