Day 56–Warm, Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

Pancakes being cooked on a griddle.

A reader recently asked what we do for breakfast. I spend a lot of time blogging about our dinners, but nothing about breakfast (but see our smoothie recipe from Day 53). Typically, our breakfast involves toasted Ezekiel bread w/local apple butter, a bagel or, my tween’s favorite, homemade pancakes. Actually, our dog and cat love pancakes so much that they turn into little pancake lunatics when they smell them cooking. This past week, we had our one and only “snow” delay of the winter. It was so nice to make a fresh batch of pancakes, a pot of coffee and watch the 1/4″ of snow on the ground. Almost as cozy as a real winter.

Barring the rare snow delay, our morning schedule is pretty rushed (we are all out the door at 7:00 a.m.). There is no way this mom is making fresh pancakes every morning at 5:30 a.m. Fortunately, pancakes freeze well and warm in the microwave in just a few seconds. So, 30 minutes in the kitchen on Sundays makes for an entire week’s worth of hot, warm breakfast. Here is our recipe for whole wheat buttermilk pancakes that are much more nutritious and delicious than the frozen toaster variety you can buy in the grocery. While the first side of the pancakes cook, you can add fresh fruit, wheat germ or (if you’re feeling indulgent) chocolate chips. When I’m feeling like super mom, I even warm the syrup up for a few seconds in the microwave. YUM!

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or whole wheat all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. organic sugar
  • 1 1/4 c. Maple View Farm buttermilk (or any good quality buttermilk)
  • 1/2 c. organic milk
  • 1 large farm egg
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Pure maple syrup
  1. Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, soda, salt, sugar) in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Combine milk, buttermilk and egg in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter and mix.
  3. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until moist.
  4. Spray a large skillet or griddle with cooking spray and heat to medium.
  5. When skillet is hot, ladle about 1/4 cup of batter into skillet for each pancake.
  6. Cook until golden brown (about 3 minutes). Sprinkle the raw side of the pancake with fruit, wheat germ or chocolate chips, if you like.
  7. Flip each pancake with a spatula and cook until golden brown. This could be 1-2 minutes, depending on your stove and pan.
  8. Keep pancakes warm on a plate in a 200 degree oven or just serve ’em up as they come off the skillet.
  9. Serve immediately with real maple syrup.
  10. Recoat your skillet with non-stick spray as needed and continue cooking until batter is gone.

For freezing and reheating:

If you are going to freeze these, cool pancakes completely on a cooling rack.

Pack in a freezer safe storage container, putting a sheet of wax paper between pancake so they don’t freeze together.

When ready to reheat, take however many pancake you want and wrap them in paper towel.

Put the towel wrapped pancakes on a microwave safe plate and heat for 30 seconds-1 minute. Start with 30 seconds and if that is not enough, heat in 10 second increments until pancakes are hot.

Serve to your family, making sure they take note of your super parent status.

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Day 17–Family Pizza Challenge

The Green Machine before cheese

What to do with some delish, but somewhat random ingredients from the farmers market? I posed the question to my 11-year-old and got “pizza challenge!!” A great idea! We made our own whole wheat pizza dough, divided it into thirds and retreated to separate parts of the kitchen to prepare our secret masterpieces!

Here were our family challenge rules (yes, we needed rules!):

  1. Each person had to try each pizza (you don’t have to like it, you just have to try it).
  2. No putting inedible or otherwise objectionable ingredients in your pizza (yes, we needed this, too)
  3. Use what we have in the fridge or pantry; minimal outside additions allowed.

We all did well adhering to the rules and all our pizzas were completely different. There was a surprising amount of secrecy and competitiveness and a LOT of pizza smack talk, which was hilarious. Our pre-teen got into the reality TV side of it, creating video interviews with each contestant about their pizza and the other competitors. Next time, she would like a videographer and independent judges.

How were the pizzas? They were all really good! The whole wheat crust (recipe below) was not tough or dry–it was really good and very filling (we have lots of leftover pizza for lunch this week). Here is what we ended up with:

T's Pizza Bolognese (on a heart-shaped crust!)

T’s Pizza Bolognese (tomato sauce, ground beef, organic mushrooms, Italian cheese mix, organic Italian seasoning)

E’s Meat Lover’s Extreme (olive oil, country ham, artisan pepperoni, local red bell pepper, mozzarella cheese)

D’s Green Machine (olive oil, leftover roasted chicken, roasted local broccoli, organic local dino kale, local onion, sea salt, swiss and Gruyère cheese mix)

These were not all healthy pizzas, but all agreed that kale and broccoli on a pizza is actually good! So on our next try, we’ll have less meat and more vegetables. This will be really fun when we get our weekly Produce Box and have something specific to rally around!

What we learned:

  • Pizza dough is very easy to make and very forgiving to work with, even for non-cooks.
  • Dark green vegetables like greens and broccoli look great and taste great on a pizza.
  • We need to allow more time for cooking. Cooking all 3 pizzas, even though they were small, took more time than we thought (about 45 minutes). We will start earlier next time.
  • If you are competing, expect some smack talk (especially with kids who watch chef shows) and have a judging form to structure your family comments to reflect appearance, aroma, texture, taste and overall pizza success. We didn’t do this, but we agreed that we couldn’t decide on one winner–they really were all good.

I can see this quickly becoming a tradition in our house! If you want to try it, too, here is our pizza dough recipe:

  • 1 pckg. yeast
  • 1 3/4 c. warm water
  • 4 c. whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes until completely dissolved and a bit foamy.

In the bowl of a standing mixer (w/dough hook attached), combine flour, salt and olive oil.

While mixer is running on low/med low, add yeast water to the flour in a stream.

Allow mixer to knead dough for about 4 min.

Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 1.5 hours or until doubled in bulk.

Punch down dough and divide into two pieces (we divided it into 3). Each ball will make a pizza. You can freeze half for another time or let each dough ball stand covered for 20 minutes.

Shape and make your pizzas!

We cooked our pizzas at 500 degrees for about 12-15 minutes each, depending on the thickness of the dough.

What are some healthy topping combinations you have found?