Saturday, June 23, 2012

Apple Oatmeal Pancakes

Since my kids are crazy about pancakes and they usually expect me to make them once on the weekend, I have tried to find various ways to incorporate "healthy" foods into them. I love the texture that oats give to pancakes- it is not going to be your typical pancake. Instead, these pancakes tend to be denser and chewier, but they have a lot of flavor, as well as being very filling! I have often either grated apples or just chopped them in smaller chunks and added them to the batter, in addition to some apple pie spice. These are wonderful with some homemade cinnamon-flavored apple sauce and some maple syrup. You might also try making an apple syrup from apple juice/cider and a couple of tablespoons of honey that has been reduced down.

Both oats and apples are full of fiber and antioxidants. You know there is a lot of truth to the saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." These additions to your pancakes can take an average breakfast food that is usually not very healthy (especially if made with white flour and regular sugar and pancake syrups) and make it into something that is going to give us more energy, keep us full longer and yet taste yummy! If you really want to pump up the health benefits without really changing the taste, add in a few tablespoons of chia seeds or ground flax seed (both are high in omega-3 fatty acids and chia seeds are very high in antioxidants, yet flavor-neutral).

Makes about 20 larger pancakes.
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups quick or old-fashioned oats, uncooked (I use quick oats)
  • 1 cup all purpose flour (I use white whole wheat flour, could also substitute coconut flour)
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/4-1/2 tsp cardamom or 2 tsp apple pie spice blend (optional if adding apples)
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 3 Tbsp sugar or other sweetener
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 large apple or 2 small-medium apples, chopped very small or grated (I leave the skins on)
  • Pour milk over oats, cover and let stand. 
  • Meanwhile, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and spices. 
  • Stir eggs, oil, vanilla into the oat/milk mixture.
  • Add in the dry ingredients and wheat germ. Mix just until moistened.
  • Fold in apples.
  • Bake on moderately hot, lightly greased electric griddle (375 degrees) or pan fry until golden brown, turning only once when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked.
May serve with the following sauce if not adding in fruit:
     Orange Sauce:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup butter or coconut oil
Mix sugar and corn starch in a saucepan. Stir in juices. Cook until mixture is thick and clear. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Blend in butter/oil. Serve warm over pancakes.    

Makes about 3 cups.

Shared with the following:
Ladybird Ln

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rhubarb Custard Cake

Our rhubarb has not grown very well this year. I kept holding off cutting it to see if the stalks would grow a little bigger. Now that the weather is getting hot,  I decided that I needed to cut the largest ones and leave the rest. This is an easy cake that was originally from "Taste of Home" by Evelyn Gebhardt, and I just love the way it turns out. It uses a cake mix, and if you don't like them, just substitute your favorite yellow/butter or white cake recipe. There is such a great balance between the sweet cake, the tartness of the rhubarb and the creaminess at the bottom.

Serves 12-15
  • 1 yellow cake mix (18 1/4 oz)
  • 4 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
  • whipped cream and fresh mint (optional) for topping
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare cake batter according to package directions. Pour into greased 13x9 inch baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with rhubarb and sugar.
  • Slowly pour cream over top.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. 
  • Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
  • Garnish with whipped cream and mint if desired.
  • Refrigerate leftovers.

**Alternatively, you can increase the cream to 1 pint (2 cups) and bake it longer, about 1 1/4 hours. Follow the recipe the same as above otherwise. This gives a thicker custard layer. See picture below:

Shared with the following:
Ladybird Ln