I don’t know about you, but I love pancakes! I enjoy the process of making them with my little helper perched on the counter testing every ingredient, memories of pancake breakfasts growing up (griddle out, everyone congregated in the kitchen) and, of course, the delicious taste. What I don’t love about traditional pancakes (think Bisquick, Krusteaz, Hungry Jack, etc.) is how they leave me feeling like I need to hibernate for about a week in sweatpants (thank you blood sugar spike and crash). Enter Apple, Oat & Spinach Pancakes!
This pancake recipe focuses on using naked ingredients, minimizing sugar, and including fiber and protein to keep blood sugars stable and energy levels ready for a hike instead of hibernation! Now, let’s get cookin’!
Little Miss Highlights/Ideas for Getting Your Kids Involved & Chowing Down:
- Observing all the ingredients around her, stacking them, trying to take the lids off and put them back on.
- Helping mom put the measured ingredients into the blender.
- Putting the blender container on the base and pressing the on button, dancing to the sound of the blender; hands in the air like I just don’t care (I’ll try and get a picture of this next time, y’all would appreciate the flare she brings to blender time).
- Taste testing after the first blend (water, apple, and spinach) and feeling quite content with our creation.
- Snacking on frozen berries while the pancakes cook and trying to get her grubby little hands on the spatula to flip the pancakes (not looking impressed with my response that we have to be safe and mommy needs to flip the hot pancakes).
- Chowing down on the finished product; no syrup needed!
- 1 organic medium sized apple, cored and sliced into quaters OR 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- ~1 handful or 1 cup organic spinach
- 1/4-1/2 cup water (less water is needed if you use applesauce)
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon real maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Optional: Almond butter, fresh or frozen organic berries
- Place the apple slices OR unsweetened applesauce, spinach and water (use just enough water so the mixture will blend) in your blender and blend until completely smooth.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to your blender. Blend until the batter is completely smooth (see photo above for consistency), pausing to scrape down the sides as necessary.
- Heat a heavy cast iron skillet/non-stick pan over medium-low heat, or heat an electric griddle to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly oil the surface of your pan (if it needs it) with coconut oil or butter.
- Once the surface of the pan is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles on it, pour about ⅓ cup of batter onto the pan. This batter is thick, but your pancakes won't cook through if they're thicker than ½-inch, so you might need to help spread the batter out with a spatula. Place fresh or frozen berries in the batter. Let the pancake cook for about 3 minutes, until bubbles are popping up and the edges are more matte than shiny. (Be patient, these pancakes need to cook a little lower and slower than most.)
- Once the underside is lightly golden, flip it with a spatula and cook for another 90 seconds or so, until golden brown on both sides. You may need to adjust the heat up or down at this point to avoid burning the outsides before the insides are cooked. Repeat with remaining pancakes.
- Serve the pancakes immediately or keep warm in a 200 degree Fahrenheit oven.
- Apple, spinach and berries: Go organic! These are all on the dirty dozen list and it is worth the extra money to reduce the toxic pesticides that you are ingesting.
- Eggs: Not all eggs are created equal. What chickens are fed and how they are raised impacts the final nutrient composition of their eggs. To help you decide what to buy, the following orders eggs from highest to lowest nutrient density: Pastured > Omega-3 > Organic > Free Range/Cage Free > Conventional. Conventional supermarket eggs are still a good choice if you can’t afford or access the others.
- Almond Butter: For almond butter the ONLY ingredient you want to read on the label is almonds (or whatever type of nutbutter you are using); salt is ok too. Make sure the label does NOT have sugar or partially hydrogenated oils (contrary to JIF's slogan, if you have JIF or Skippy you might want to rethink your choice...). These ingredients cause inflammation in the body and can contribute to weight gain and a number of health issues.
- Real maple syrup: The ONLY ingredient in maple syrup should be maple syrup. Fake syrup is chock-full of artificial ingredients. For example, Mrs. Butterworth's ingredients list reads as follows: High Fructose Corn Syrup, Corn Syrup, Water, Salt, Cellulose Gum, Molasses, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Citric Acid, Caramel Color, Polysorbate 60. These ingredients are addictive, cause inflammation in the body and can contribute to weight gain and a number of health issues.
I’ll be out for the next couple of weeks, but look forward to returning with a post on ways to maintain healthy habits and feel fabulous while traveling!
To family breakfasts that nourish the body and mind! Chris