From My Blogroll
Sunday, January 3, 2010
A year, much like a day, ought to begin on solid footing, don't you think? Even if you don't subscribe to the view that a new year is a clean slate, there's something heartening about getting a new calendar year off to a good start. We can define "good" in various ways, of course; but since this is the season of new gym memberships and diet resolutions, let's play along and go for something healthy.
Don't worry, I'm not about to convert this blog to a diet blog. On the contrary, given my new toy, I'll probably have all sorts of new and decadent recipes to share. And what with being on blood-thinning medication for the next several months, I don't exactly have free rein with most of the vegetables that are now in season. But that doesn't mean that we can't find new and interesting (and, above all, delicious) ways to nourish ourselves.
I've done a fair bit of nudging and winking recently about whole wheat recipes that I try to pass off as healthy, with varying degrees of success. This recipe falls right into that theme. These pancakes are cooked in butter (or at least I recommend that you cook them that way), and are delicious drizzled with maple syrup, so there's no claiming that they are 100% guilt-free. That said, of all the whole wheat recipes that I've posted, this is perhaps the one with the most bang for its nutritional buck.
With some of the other recipes, I felt like you couldn't mess too much with the butter or sugar quantities before the intended tasty treat became, well, not as much of a treat. Unlike those recipes, these pancakes don't need a lot of dolling up in order to make you feel like you're starting your morning with something special. They've just a touch of oil and sugar--so little sugar, in fact, that I think you'd hardly miss it if you left it out--but tasting them, you wouldn't know it.
And here's another thing you might not guess from tasting these pancakes: they're actually two breakfast foods in one. That's right, these pancakes are made with oatmeal--the better to make your heart jump for joy when you sit down to a plate full of them. But the texture doesn't feel like a bunch of oats, the way oatmeal raisin cookies do. They dissolve (or something?) into the pancake batter, and you're left with a soft and hearty--but not tough or chewy--pancake.
The introductory comments on the original recipe mentioned something about these pancakes being rather dense, but I don't think that's the case at all. The buttermilk makes them pillowy, lighter than one might expect of whole wheat pancakes. And if you have your heart set on a truly fluffy pancake, you can always separate the eggs, make the batter with the yolks only, and then fold in the beaten whites.
These pictures reflect a banana-walnut version of the pancakes, but that's just a variation born of necessity. The recipe was originally written with blueberries in mind, and the pancakes are equally good that way. I imagine they would also be good with no fruit at all, or made plain and topped with fresh raspberries, or apple (or pear, or quince) compote... I'll let your imagination keep that train of thought going.
But before I lose you to your reverie, I'd like to wish you all a peaceful and prosperous (and pancake-filled!) new year. Here's to another year of good eating!