Every morning I have the same conversation with my 4 year old. It goes like this:
Me: Hey buddy, what do you want for breakfast, cereal or oatmeal?
Him: Um.. pancakes.
Every once and a while just to throw him off and make myself appear to be Supermom I say, “Okay”. I wish I could capture the look on his face when this happens because it’s priceless.
Now Kate recently posted an awesome pancake recipe that’s universally loved around here. I kind of consider that recipe to be a Saturday morning pancake, at least for me. It’s the one that I don’t mind trashing my kitchen for because my whole family is going to sit down at the table and slather them with naughty condiments and the time and effort is worth it. So don’t get me wrong, I love those pancakes, but this whole wheat recipe has become more of an everyday recipe for my family. I love that it’s simple; you could even do it in one bowl. I also love that these are fairly healthy. You get a good dose of whole wheat, and the recipe uses little sugar, little oil, and an added egg white. Top them with fruit and I feel pretty good feeding them to my kiddos a couple days a week.
The other thing I love is that these make great freezer pancakes. I can get 24 perfect kid-sized pancakes from this recipe and I keep them in the freezer in a zip lock bag. That way when my son bats his eyelids and pleads for pancakes I have no problem whipping them out and becoming a star for the day (or at least for like 30 minutes). Kind of like when I pull my other sneaky Mom trick and let him eat ice cream for breakfast. Later in this post I’ll show you some of my favorite kid-friendly healthy pancake toppers.
Here we go:
Dry Ingredients: Whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar. And can I just say that I’m not one of those people who likes whole wheat in everything? I know you people are out there because you comment on every recipe we post that involves flour asking for whole wheat instructions. So trust me- these taste REALLY good, and you honestly can’t even tell there’s whole wheat flour in there! I even keep meaning to experiment by increasing the wheat ratio.
Wet Ingredients: buttermilk (or regular milk with a little lemon juice, see recipe notes), egg, egg white, vanilla, canola oil
All you do is whisk the dry and whisk the wet and then stir together. Easy breezy. And really, you could even make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients and whisk your wet stuff right there to keep it all in one bowl. Since we make these fairly often I sometimes mix up a few batches of just the dry ingredients and keep them in ziplock baggies in the pantry. Then it’s even easier to whip them up.
I’ve noticed this batter is thinner than others you may be used to, so it’s important that your grill is hot. If it’s not, then the batter will just run all over. If it’s at a good heat, then the batter will sizzle and start to cook right away which will allow it to grab onto the pan.
Watch for bubbles to form around the pancake. You can usually tell when a pancake is done because if nudge it with your spatula it holds its shape pretty well around the edges- as opposed to mushing all over.
And there you have it. Soft, fluffy, delicious, pancakes that are relatively healthy and easy enough to whip up on a week day.
Since I consider these to be a semi-healthy pancake we try to top ours with something semi-healthy too. For a super easy fruit syrup, just heat up a little jam in the microwave and it easily pours like a syrup. (That’s what’s shown in these pictures, it’s just strawberry jam). As a reader mentioned in the comments, you can do the same thing to peanut butter (brilliant!) Add a little hot water to either of those to make them thinner if needed.
My kids like them with a smear of peanut butter- and with some of the warm jelly syrup poured on top it’s just like a yummy PB & Jelly pancake sandwich!
It’s also a great way to get fruit into my kiddos when otherwise they’d probably just be downing bowls of “fruit” loops. They easily gulp up berries, bananas, stonefruits, etc. when they’re sitting on top of a fluffy pancake; who wouldn’t?!
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes
adapted from Cooking Light
3/4 C whole wheat flour
3/4 C all-purpose flour
3 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C low-fat buttermilk *
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs canola oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
Cooking Spray or butter for pan
*As a substitute for 1 C buttermilk, place 1 Tbs lemon juice (or vinegar but I prefer lemon juice) in a 1 C measuring cup and then fill the remainder with milk. This recipe calls for 1 1/2 C buttermilk, so do the same thing with 1/2 Tbs lemon juice and remaining 1/2 C milk.
Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together. In a separate bowl combine buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla and whisk well. Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until moistened and combined.
Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet to medium heat. Coat pan with non-stick spray or a little butter and then pour on pancake batter. Use about 1/4 C batter for large pancakes (5-6″) and 2 T for kid-sized ones (2 /2-3″). Wait until bubbles form and edges are set and then flip.
Makes 12 large or 24 small pancakes.
Freezer Instructions: These pancakes freeze wonderfully. Just lay out pancakes in a single layer on a baking sheet or other pan. Freeze until solid and then place in a zip-lock bag. To serve, just warm up in the microwave or toaster.