If you could only choose one pancake recipe to use forever more, I promise you, this is the one you’d want. It’s not only enormously healthy and versatile, but wonderfully tasty too. We have used this base for raspberry pancakes, blackberry pancakes, chocolate chip pancakes, blueberry pancakes, and just plain old syrup-covered pancakes. Never once have they disappointed us.
Here’s the 411 on this batter. First, it’s packed with oats, which are good for you in so many ways. They help with cardiovascular health, have anti-cancer properties, and they’re high in fiber and protein. Second, we use Greek yogurt in these pancakes, so we’re getting a calcium boost and some more protein. Then there’s the white whole wheat flour. If you haven’t started using it yet, I think you should. All the benefits of whole wheat flour are there, but because it is made from hard white spring wheat, the color and texture is lighter. Perfect for pancakes and other baked goods. There’s no oil or butter, just good stuff through and through.
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that my kids are absolutely addicted to their dad’s peanut butter chocolate chip pancakes. Well, this recipe has finally shoved that one out the door. The versatility of these are a huge hit with the kids. As Jim mans the griddle, they get to choose what kind of pancake they want. Feels a little like a diner, which is fun. But since Jim’s using the same batter for everything, it’s no big deal to sprinkle some mini chocolate chips on one, some blackberries on another, and some blueberries on a few more. It definitely takes breakfast to new heights!
Recipe: Raspberry Oatmeal Pancakes
(adapted from Sunset magazine)
1 1/2 c. rolled oats
1 c. plain, lowfat Greek yogurt
1 1/2 c. nonfat milk
1 1/2 c. white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
4 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 c. berries
In a large bowl, mix oats with Greek yogurt and milk. Let stand 15-30 minutes for oats to soften. Meanwhile, in another large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. When 15-30 minutes has passed, beat eggs and vanilla into oat mixture. Pour oat mixture into flour mixture and stir until evenly combined.
Heat griddle over medium heat. When hot, spray with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter onto griddle and sprinkle each with berries. Cook until pancakes are lightly browned on the bottom, then turn to lightly brown the other side.
Serve pancakes right away or keep warm in a single layer on a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven.
Have you ever looked around at all the varieties of rice krispie treat desserts there are out there? I really think you could create a blog just totally about those and not run out of ideas for years. These avalanche bars are a take on the classic that I hadn’t seen before, so I wanted to give them a try for the kids on the first day of school.
Warning: You absolutely must like white chocolate chips or you aren’t going to enjoy these. Personally, I’m not a fan. White chocolate – real white chocolate – is fine with me, but vanilla flavored morsels are just not my cup of tea. However, they’re a main ingredient here and I figured I wasn’t the one who was going to eat them, so I made them anyway. Were they ever sweet!! So much so, in fact, that (shock of shocks) my kids didn’t really even care for them. Crazy, I know, since Claudia has an exceptionally active sweet tooth.
Take my “review” for what it’s worth. I love the idea of mixing up the traditional rice krispie treats, but I’m going to stick to some of the other recipes I’ve found out there in the blogsphere. Have you tried cake batter rice krispie treats yet? They’re definitely on our “keeper” list!
Recipe: Avalanche Bars
(from Cookies and Cups)
12 oz. bag of White Chocolate Chips
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
3 c. Rice Krispies cereal
1 1/2 c. mini marshmallows
1/4 c.mini chocolate chips + 2 Tbsp. for garnish
Lightly grease a 9×9 pan. In a microwave-safe bowl, pour in white chips and heat on 50% power for 1 minute. Stir and continue to heat in 30 second increments until chips are melted. Stir in the peanut butter until combined. Add krispies and mix. Allow to cool 15-20 minutes. Add the marshmallows and mini chocolate chips. Stir to combine. Transfer mixture to prepared pan and spread evenly; pressing lightly with the back of your spoon. Press remaining chocolate chips into the top for garnish. When completely cooled, cut into bars. (I found that I had to refrigerate them to firm them up enough to cut into bars.)
I have recently been turned onto chia seeds and hemp seeds, and have tried to make them part of our diet. If you haven’t heard, both seeds are known as super foods. They give you omega fatty acids that many of us are lacking in our normal diets, plus fiber, protein, calcium, and antioxidants. And that’s not all. Just google either and you’ll find that there are hosts of other benefits! They really are a super food, all packed into a tiny seed.
Chia seeds absorb whatever they’re paired with and become gel-like, which makes them perfect for this jam, but also good for adding to puddings and oatmeal. Hemp seed, on the other hand, reminds me of a softer, smaller version of a sunflower seed. They are great for tossing into smoothies or sprinkling over cereal and salad.
But back to this blueberry chia jam. I love it mixed into refrigerator oatmeal or as a topping for toast or pancakes. Even though the original recipe calls for fresh berries, I used frozen wild blueberries. I didn’t make enough this time to freeze any, but I plan to do that next time. I also want to try other fruits, like strawberries and cherries, and since frozen fruit worked so well, I can make this any time of year. Love that!
Recipe: Blueberry Vanilla Chia Jam
(from Oh She Glows)
3 c. blueberries, frozen or fresh
3-4 Tbsp. pure maple syrup, to taste
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
“In a medium-sized non-stick pot, bring the blueberries and 3 tbsp of maple syrup to a low boil. Stir frequently, and reduce heat to low-medium to simmer for about 5 minutes. Lightly mash the blueberries with a potato masher or fork, leaving some for texture.
Stir in the chia seeds until thoroughly combined and cook the mixture down until it thickens to your desired consistency, or about 15 minutes. Stir frequently so it doesn’t stick to the pot.
Once the jam is thick, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Add more maple syrup to taste if desired. The jam should keep for at least a week in an air-tight container in the fridge.”
Nothing fancy here and no recipe to speak of. Just my baby girl’s very favorite beverage on the planet on a stick! We spooned some vanilla ice cream into our popsicle molds, then slowly added root beer. Popped them in the freezer and enjoyed root beer float popsicles in a few hours.
Do you see that the popsicle doesn’t go the whole way down to the top of the popsicle stick? They got foamy, like floats do, and the foam was taking up the little bit of space in the molds. If the root beer had been flat and lost its fizziness, our popsicles would have filled the molds better. So if you need a perfect-looking popsicle, then you’ll have to be more patient than we were!
Wouldn’t it be great to make your own creamsicles too?
Recipe: Root Beer Float Popsicles
Spoon vanilla ice cream into popsicle molds. Slowly add root beer. Freeze.
I love when one of my kids wants to bake, and I have a stash of easy recipes that they can do with just a little help from me. I’m more like a coach as they work their way through the recipe, and they get bragging rights when everyone loves their dessert. I kind of get bragging rights too, actually. I love telling everyone what an awesome job they did!
Sam thinks graham cracker crusts are great – after all, his very favorite pie in the world has a graham cracker crust. This dark chocolate pie was right up his alley and he did such a good job making it. It was as dark and decadent as a truffle, but in pie form, and definitely got two thumbs up from everyone. Way to go, my boy!
Recipe: Dark Chocolate Pie
(from Hershey’s Kitchens)
one pre-made graham cracker pie shell
2/3 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
4 egg yolks
3 c. milk, any fat content (We used nonfat milk and the pie was very thick and creamy.)
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. dark chocolate chips
whipped cream, optional for garnish
Stir together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in 2 quart saucepan. Combine egg yolks and milk in a separate bowl. Slowly pour milk mixture into sugar mixture and stir to mix. Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Add chocolate chips and stir until chips are melted and mixture is well blended.
Pour into graham cracker pie shell. Lightly lay a piece of plastic wrap on top of pie filling. Refrigerate several hours until chilled. Garnish with whipped cream before serving.