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:
- 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.
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