Whole Grain Blueberry Pancakes

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I haven’t gotten around to publishing a recipe that featured blueberries as a highlight ingredient. I had various ideas but it was a matter of looking for a dish that would compliment them (which there many of). Fresh blueberries are hard to come across in my neck of the woods so I bought  a bag of frozen blueberries. I may seem like a compulsive shopper but my husband can vouch that whatever I buy invariably gets put into use (with the exception of jewelery which I mainly have for keepsake purposes). Blueberries are grown in clusters and are popular among the Northern American region.  Blueberries offer many noteworthy nutritional benefits such as vitamin C which aids the formation of collagen and helps maintain healthy gums and capillaries. It also promotes iron absorption and a healthy immune system. Moreover, blueberries are packed with dietary fiber which helps keep your heart and cholesterol level in check. They are also an are an excellent source of manganese which plays an important role in bone development and in converting the proteins, carbohydrates and fats in food into to energy. Lastly, blueberries contain substances that have antioxidant properties that work to unstable molecules linked to the development of cancer, cardiovascular disease and other age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s. Substances in blueberries called polyphenols, specifically the anthocyanins that give the fruit its blue hue, are the major contributors to antioxidant activity. You can guess where I am going with this. This entry is about a blueberry pancake recipe. Pancakes come in many varieties. I made chocolate chip pancakes for hubby because he wasn’t too keen on fruit. If you prefer to use other fruit instead of blueberries, then by all means do so.

Rather than using regular flour, I used whole grain flour. My father in-law co-owns a health food store. When my husband and I came to visit the US last year, my father in-law gave us some non perishable food that was no longer in stock to take back including a bag of whole grain flour. If you can’t find whole grain flour at your local grocery store, you can use whole wheat or spelt flour. For a gluten free version, you can try oat flour.  The difference between whole grain flour and whole wheat flour is a commonly asked question. Whole grain has the entire kernel of the grain from the bran to the endosperm to the germ. Whole wheat has the bran and germ removed during the refining process and is left containing only the endosperm. Unfortunately, the majority of vitamins and fiber that  are contained in the wheat bran and wheat germ is shed during the refining process. Whole wheat flour also goes through a refining process that removes some of the nutritional values. In fact, whole wheat flour has half of the nutrients stripped away during the refining process. Whole grain flour is not refined and therefor maintains its full nutritional value. Whole grain bread is a good source of B vitamins and fiber and is lower in fat than whole wheat bread. Whole grain has a richer taste than whole wheat does. Whole grain has a more dense texture than whole wheat does as well. Additionally, whole grain is a better choice for diabetics because it cause less of a “sugar spike” than whole wheat does. Refined grains have been linked not only to weight gain but also and increased risk of insulin resistance. In fact, whole grains have been shown to lower your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes otherwise known as adult onset Diabetes.  I occasionally make pancakes for breakfast when my mood and schedule allows.  I made these last week. For those of you who are wondering, I made a special treat for hubby too 🙂

For this recipe, you will need:

  1. 1  cup of whole grain flour
  2. 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  3. 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  4. 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  5. 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  6. 1 large egg lightly beaten
  7. 1 cup of low fat or skim milk
  8. 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar
  9. 3 tablespoons of corn oil + extra for greasing the frying pan
  10. Handful of fresh or frozen blueberries thawed

Instructions

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. In a separate bowl, add milk and lemon juice and let it stand for 5-10 minutes. Whisk in egg and oil. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and then pour in the egg mixture, all at once, and stir (with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon) just until combined. Do not over-mix the batter or the pancakes will come out tough. If you don’t plan on making pancakes right way, cover and store the pancake batter in the refrigerator up to 24 hours. Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat until a few sprinkles of water dropped on the pan splatter. Using a pastry brush or paper tower, lightly grease the pan with oil (or use a cooking spray). Using a ladle, pour about 1/4 cup of pancake batter onto the hot pan, spacing the pancakes a few inches apart. Evenly sprinkle the uncooked tops of the pancakes with fresh or unthawed frozen blueberries. When the edges of the pancakes are golden brown and bubbles start to appear on the uncooked top surfaces of the pancakes (2-3 minutes), turn over. Cook until golden brown (about 2-3 minutes) and cooked through. Repeat with remaining batter, brushing the pan with oil or greasing the pan with cooking spray between batches. Serve immediately with maple syrup or your favorite jam.

Yields  8 -10 4 inch pancakes



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