Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Pancakes are a easy and frugal meal and not just for breakfast. They are a good way to use up fruit that is getting past its prime. There are numerous flavors, only limited by creativity (and maybe what is in your pantry or refrigerator at the time).

I start with a basic mix that I make (below). It stores well as I found out one day when I tried to make a large batch. I really shouldn't have been doing math so early in the morning. I ended up with 50+ cups of pancake mix by the time I fixed my mistake. Though maybe not 50+ cups, I do try to keep a supply on mix so not to have to make it each time I want pancakes. I also put the preparation instructions on the mix container so even my kids (or hubby) can whip up some and not wake me up. Wishful thinking at least ...

Pancake Mix
2 cups flour
4 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup powdered sugar

To Prepare: Mix together 2 cups pancake mix, 2 eggs, 1 to 1-1/2 cups milk and 1/4 cup oil. Mix until smooth and pour on to a greased electric griddle set to 350 degrees(or skillet over medium-high). Cook until holes form on top; flip. Continue cooking until other side is done.

I can't tell you the serving amount since it varies, but a double batch will feed my family with some leftovers. I also change the recipe up by substituting whole wheat flour for a third to half of the white flour. Whole wheat pancakes are more filling so I can get away with making less.

I like to use buttermilk in place of milk in my pancakes. I even use buttermilk powder adding the powder into the mix needed and using water in place of milk. I have also used fat-free vanilla yogurt or a fat-free French vanilla creamer in addtion to either buttermilk or milk.

Various flavors I have made:
Strawberry-Banana (pictured above)
Oatmeal Banana
Peanut Butter
Apple Cinnamon
Whole Wheat
Chocolate Chip (yummy topped with whipped topping and mini chocolate chips)

If the fruits or berries are soft, mash or puree them before adding to the batter. I actually just use the beater to mash the bananas while I am mixing up the batter. Not only can you use up soft, past prime fruits that would be thrown away but increase the nutrient value of the pancakes as well.

The toppings are as varied as the pancake flavors themselves. My hubby likes peanut butter on his. We have use good ol' maple syrup (and other flavored syrups), whipped topping with additional fruit or even heating up jams to use as syrup.

And those leftovers ... Freeze them so a ready-to-heat and eat breakfast is on hand for those really chaotic mornings. It is easy to pop a frozen pancake in the toaster or microwave to heat up.

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