Friday, January 22, 2010

Blueberry Blast

By Brianne Harrison

I’m a sucker for pancakes on the weekend, but I was having trouble finding a good “from scratch” recipe. Most of the cakes I ended up with went tough seconds after they came out of the pan, or they ended up too flat. I wanted a fluffy stack of pancakes that’d soak up a nice helping of maple syrup. And then, I found a recipe for good old fashioned pancakes and my search was officially over.

The pancakes in this recipe come out moist and fluffy every time, and they’re good for snacking on even hours after they’re cooked. This past weekend, I had a little fun with the master recipe and started playing with it. The results were particularly memorable.

Blueberry Whole Wheat Pancakes
1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
3 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 T white sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of cloves (optional)
1 c fresh or frozen blueberries
1 ¼ c milk
1 egg
3 T butter, melted

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon and cloves into a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, and melted butter. Mix thoroughly, until smooth. Stir in the blueberries.

Heat a griddle or frying pan over medium heat. Grease lightly if necessary. Scoop the batter onto the griddle or pan, using about ¼ cup for each pancake. Cook until browned on both sides (unlike most pancake recipes, these pancakes don’t start to bubble on top, so don’t wait for that or they’ll burn).

Cooked pancakes can be kept warm in a 200 degree oven. Serve plain or with a good-quality maple syrup.

Quick Tip: White whole wheat is a bit sweeter than regular whole wheat, which can be a little bitter. If you can’t find white whole wheat, you might want to make these with ¾ cup whole wheat flour and ¾ cup white flour, mixed.

Healthy Roundup:
Whole wheat flour is a rich source of B-vitamins, vitamin E, and protein. It also contains more trace minerals and dietary fiber than regular white flour.

Blueberries are high in antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. In fact, they’re among the fruits with the highest antioxidant activity. Certain studies have also suggested that regularly eating blueberries may slow aging (specifically, age-related loss of mental capacity), and researchers at Rutgers University have identified compounds in blueberries that promote urinary tract health and reduce the risk of infection. There’s also some speculation that blueberries may raise your metabolism.

Cinnamon has been said to lower blood sugar, triglycerides, LDL, and cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. Cinnamon is also a rich source of antioxidants; can stop the growth of bacteria, fungi, and yeast; and has anti-clotting and anti-inflammatory properties. Talk about a super spice!

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