Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Quest for Homemade Pancakes

Today is a beautiful snowy day here in Maryland.  We are literally snowed in together staying warm and cozy.  I love snow days.  They bring back fantastic memories of my childhood and all the fun times my brother, Daniel, and sister, Kelly, and I had with the neighbor kids.  Snow days were filled with sledding for hours, snow forts, hot chocolate, and a lifetime of memories.  Brynn, Mere, and Greg, if you are reading this, I am missing our fun times growing up together with all this snow outside :o)    

Pancakes are one of my all-time favorite breakfast foods.  They were a regular in my house growing up.  We probably had them at least three times a week.  As a teenager, I would often make them for my brother, Daniel, when he came home from the neighbor's farm for breakfast.  We always used the Aunt Jemima original pancake and waffle mix.  This is the kind that you add milk and eggs to before pouring the deliciousness onto the griddle until they were a gorgeous golden brown.  They really are delicious!!!  However, in my quest for healthier alternatives, I have realized that pretty much anything you buy that comes in a box is not really nutritious.  Homemade, from scratch, with “real” whole wheat flour is the best way to go.  My friend, Emily, recently shared a vegan pumpkin pancake recipe with me that I have been dying to try.  Since I have this snow day to thank for the opportunity to make a homemade breakfast for my family, I decided today was the day to give it a try.
 My first time ever made from scratch, non-Aunt Jemima pancakes.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the success story I was hoping for.  I could not get them to cook all the way through, and they were gooey in the middle.  It could be that I mixed the batter too early before I actually cooked them.  Charlotte decided that today was a day she would sleep in late, so the batter sat for quite a while before I actually poured them out.  Charlotte loved them, but Steve and I were not big fans.  I was very disappointed, but I will try again.  I am on a quest for a better recipe, which I will hopefully share with a raving review.  Although I strive to find vegan recipes, whenever possible I am still a big supporter of the chicken egg.  My next go-round with pancakes will probably contain some great ingredients, including the egg.  We only buy free range or cage free organic eggs unless we know where they come from.  One of my older brothers gives us eggs from his chickens during the summer months, and we love them.  Nothing compares to an egg from a chicken that has had the freedom to roam the fields and has not been confined to a small space.  The difference is in the color and taste.  I will warn you, eggs from free range chickens tend to have blood spots in them, but don’t panic.  It’s not going to hurt you.  But if they bother you, just scoop them out before you add the eggs to recipes or fry them up.  I know growing up, when we would chase the chickens around, we were always told to stop, because it would cause blood spots in the eggs.  When you see those little spots, just think about all the fun those chickens had running around or being chased by crazy kids.  What a life :o)
In addition to the Aunt Jemima pancake mix, I also grew up on Log Cabin syrup.  It is made with several different ingredients (including sugar), which seems odd when you think about maple syrup.  By its very nature, maple syrup should be straight from nature.  S,o why would it contain more ingredients other than 100%, straight up, sticky goodness of pure maple syrup?  Aunt Jemima is another one of the syrups I grew up on, which also includes many added ingredients, including high fructose corn syrup.  I have transitioned us from these very processed syrups to straight up, 100%, no added ingredients maple syrup.  I also have a bottle of organic maple agave syrup sitting in my pantry.  If you are making the switch to a pure syrup, this might be a good transition for the kids as they get used to less of a sugary sweet tasting syrup and a more natural tasting one.  Agave has its own critics, but if you are using it to transition your family to a pure maple syrup, it’s much better than the alternatives out there, and I say go for it.  Just get to that pure 100% maple at some point.                     

No comments:

Post a Comment