I knew it was time for summer break when I found myself driving the final morning carpool of the year shoeless, wearing only pajamas and a robe. I simply couldn’t bear one more day of hustling to get dressed and convinced myself that since my sleepwear was black, it could pass for proper clothing. Never mind what my hair looked like. My poor kids.
Now that school is out, I’m relishing lazier mornings, which are at the tippy top of my list of summertime upsides: not having to coax children from warm beds, cajole them into getting dressed, put food in their bellies, or shuffle them out the door in time for the bus or carpool.
Summer means laying around with the paper, puttering in jammies, and homemade pancakes, normally a weekend affair around here. And with the luxury of time, making pancakes from scratch is worth the effort. Homemade, really, taste so much better and presents the opportunity to build up your batter with wholesome ingredients. Standard boxed pancakes, which are typically little more than white flour, oil and water, don’t offer much in the way of nourishment.
Consider these blueberry banana beauties. The recipe includes a full cup and a half of milk, a couple of eggs, oats, wheat germ or flax meal, and two fruits. This results in tender and filling pancakes scrumptious enough that they’ll never be mistaken for “health food,” only good food. Each serving packs in 4 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein.
The recipe comes from Janice Newell Bissex and Liz Weiss, whom you might know as the Meal Makeover Moms. Dietitians with a couple of cookbooks under their collective belts, these gals do a bang up job with tips and recipes for feeding a family.
With summer here, along with the peak of blueberry season, the time couldn’t be more right. So stay in your PJs, cook up a batch, and please, don’t rush. Relish your pancakes and your kids and your morning. If you happen to make more than you can eat in one sitting, here’s what you do with those leftovers.
Whole Grain Blueberry Banana Pancakes
If whole grain pancakes are new to your kids, start off with 3/4 cup all-purpose flour and 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour. My kids didn’t bat an eyelash when I made the switch, only, “why are they so brown, mom?” To which I answered, “cinnamon….lots of cinnamon.”
• 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour or white whole-wheat flour
• 1/3 cup wheat germ or flax meal (ground flax seeds)
• 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
• 1 ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
• 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
• Butter for cooking the pancakes
• 1 heaping cup blueberries
Whisk together the flour, wheat germ/flax meal, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl until well combined. Set aside.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, banana, and maple syrup in a medium bowl until blended.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened.
Meanwhile, melt a little butter in a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Use a 1/4-cup measure to pour the batter onto the hot skillet or griddle, forming 4-inch cakes. Arrange the blueberries evenly on each pancake. Adjust the heat if the skillet gets too hot.
Cook until bubbles begin to appear on the surface of the pancakes and the bottoms turn golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown, an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter, and blueberries.
Makes 15 4-inch pancakes
Adapted from a recipe by Meal Makeover Moms