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How to Make Perfect Whole Grain Pancakes

There is nothing like fluffy and tender pancakes. Part of my education as a registered dietitian is food science. I use that knowledge here tell you how to make the best possible pancake with a pancake mix. Or use your favorite homemade pancake recipe.

For nutritious pancakes, use Kodiak Cakes Flapjack and Waffle mix. These are whole grain and higher in protein than most mixes. To order online use the code Faires10 for a 10% discount.

The other pancake mix I like is Bob’s Red Mill linked here.

Make the batter but be careful not to overmix. If you overmix you will have tough and chewy pancakes instead of the light and fluffy ones you were dreaming about.

Next, let the batter rest 5 to 15 minutes. This will result in pancakes that are more tender. Use this time to clean up, set the table, and prep the other parts of your breakfast.

I suggest using an electric griddle set at 375 degrees so that you can control the temperature. Let it heat up a couple minutes. Then grease the the griddle lightly. Turn the temp down to 360 to 370 once you start to cook the pancakes.

Poached eggs are a nice accompaniment to pancakes. I have and love this poached egg maker pictured below. And for other breakfast ideas go to my post here.

Test the temperature of the griddle by making a tiny pancake and adjust the temperature accordingly. Not hot enough means slow cooking which makes tough pancakes and too hot and it burns.

Ladle the batter onto the heated griddle. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to make perfect sized pancakes that are evenly sized. Sprinkle frozen blueberries on top of each raw pancake. No need to thaw the berries before cooking. The contact of the frozen blueberries on the heated griddle will thaw the blueberries. If you put the blueberries into the raw batter and mix you will have overmixed and deflated pancakes.

Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium-high. You’ll know when to flip them when the edges are dry and bubbles have formed and popped around the edges.

You can use a spatula to check if they are nicely browned on the bottom. If the pancakes are too floppy to flip, they aren’t cooked enough. If they are getting brown before they’re ready to flip, turn down the heat.

Perfect edges, dry and bubbles have formed.

Don’t flip too soon. And only flip once or you will deflate the bubbles. Don’t press down on the pancakes while they’re cooking or that will result in a flat pancakes. Continue to cook until done.

Perfectly browned pancake.

Place pancakes on the warmed plate. Top with fresh blueberries or some thawed frozen blueberries. To enhance the flavor of your blueberry pancakes use blueberry syrup.

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Build a Healthy Meal Template

Build your meals around nutrient-rich foods to make Mediterranean style meals focusing on:

Mostly plant foods, lean protein such as seafood or occasionally lean poultry, beans, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, mono fat.

Why? 1. Vegetables, fruits, seafood, lean poultry and whole grains have a low caloric densityCalorie density, also known as calories per pound, is how much energy, i.e. calories, is provided per unit measure of food. Choosing foods with a low calorie density can help with weight loss. 2. These foods are nutrient dense.

Helpful Resource 

This is my favorite book containing a collection of quick to make grain bowls, stews and risottos, that will help you create meals using my build a meal template. The author showcases recipes for vegetarian and vegan meals as well as heartier ones with meat and seafood.

Vegetables    ½ your plate

Salad greens or vegetable salads

Roasted asparagus, cauliflower, broccoli, red pepper strips, mushrooms, etc.

Sautéed or stir fried mixed vegetables, kale, sugar snap peas

Raw vegetables

Broth based vegetable soup

Lean Protein     ¼ of your plate

Shrimp, Salmon, Crab, Fish, Chicken or Turkey Breast, Egg Whites, Tofu and some tofu products, quinoa, Reduced Fat Cottage Cheese, Low Fat Greek Yogurt, Skim Milk

Healthy Carbs    ¼ of your plate

Whole grain products: cereal, bread, tortillas, English muffins, pasta, crackers

Whole grains such as: brown rice, quinoa, barley, farro

Sweet potato or potato

Beans, peas, lentils, corn or green beans

Fruit

Products Spotlight:    *Seeds of Change Quinoa and Brown Rice, precooked and microwavable   *Barilla Whole Grain Pasta    *Trader Joe’s Whole Grain Crispbread      *Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley

Healthy Fat  Small Amounts 

Olive oil, olives, olive tapenade, canola oil

Avocado cream (see my blog)

Pesto, Costco’s Kirkland

Avocado

Walnuts or almonds

Nuts and seeds

Light salad dressing

Flavor Boosters  Small amounts of the ones that are calorically dense

Rubs (Spike, El Gaucho, Salish Lodge, Rub with Love), Herbs and Spices, Ceylon Cinnamon, see here more Ceylon Cinnamon info, Turmeric, Salsa, Lemon, Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce, Barbecue Sauce, Sirracha, Chipotles in Adobo, Chili Sauce, mustard, Brummel and Brown Spread, vinegars, Miso, avocado cream (see my blog), Reduced fat sharp cheddar, feta, goat cheese, reduced fat sour cream, dried fruits, Stevia and erythritol. 

Foods to avoid: saturated fat, food colors, red meat, processed meat, deep fried foods, junky gluten-free products, agave (higher in fructose than other sugars), fast food, highly processed food, added sugar, refined grains like white flour, industrial vegetable oils, trans fats, fruit juice, alcohol, barbecued foods, high heat cooked food.

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Maria Faires’ Lemon Farro and Brussels Sprouts


 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Farro and Brussels Sprouts

Farro is a variety of wheat and similar to wheat berries, farro is still a bit chewy when cooked, rather than soft and mushy. Farro is still a bit chewy when cooked, rather than soft and mushy. If you don’t have access to a Trader Joe’s, use wheat berries.

In the spring when asparagus is in season, try substituting asparagus for the Brussels sprouts.

·      1 c. Farro Ten Minute Trader Joe’s or Wheat Berries (Adjust cooking time)

·      2 or 3 c. chicken or vegetable broth (Adjust amount depending on if you are using Ten Minute Farro or Wheat Berries)

·      1 lb. Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and quartered

·      1 large shallot, chopped

·      2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided

·      1/4 c. chopped walnuts

·      1 tbsp. lemon juice

·      zest from 1 well-washed lemon, I like to use a microplane to zest the lemon

·      Salt + pepper to taste

1.    Combine 1 cup wheat berries and 3 cups broth OR 1 cup Ten Minute Farro and 2 cups broth in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook until tender, if using wheat berries about 50 minutes or if using Trader Joe’s Farro Ten Minute, 10 minutes. Drain off any excess liquid. Set aside.

2.    Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

3.    While wheat berries are cooking, start Brussels sprouts. Toss Brussels sprouts, shallots, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large bowl. Transfer to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until browned. Remove from oven and stir in walnut pieces.

4.    Whisk together lemon juice, zest, remaining 1 Tbsp oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add wheat berries and roasted vegetables; toss to combine, then serve.

 

 

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