Sunday, August 1, 2010

Prudent Pancakes

While this post will focus on pancakes, sans gluten, many of the suggestions are applicable to traditional recipes as well.  If you eat gluten free, you have probably noticed that your diet may not be as filling as it previously was. You have probably noticed that baking is difficult and time consuming, and your grocery budget is screaming for relief from high priced specialty foods. In light of said realizations, I'll share with you my 'super-filling-quick-and-easy-not-too-expensive' pancake recipe(s).

First, I must point out that when I bake gluten free, I bake in bulk and freeze the excess. This is the ONLY way to have a life out side of the kitchen while maintaining this important diet.

Second, I will, unfortunately, discourage you from creating your own gluten free baking recipes from scratch if you are relatively new to this diet, and/or baking in general. It sounds fun to go buy all these new ingredients and stretch your kitchen skills with the challenge of whipping up something delicious and different that's completely gluten free, but realistically, you are setting yourself up for failure. Skip it for now, until you are very well versed in gluten freedom and the trials and tribulations of baking with foods that will never rise, fluff, sponge, look or taste anything remotely like glutinous foods do.

Third, I will reiterate the old adage that 'you get what you pay for'. Once you experience the more expensive specialty products from small independent companies like Namaste, Amy's and Pamela's, you will undoubtedly have a hard time swallowing (pun intended) the cheaper, easier to come by products from larger manufacturers. There IS a difference, and if you can learn to make your gluten free foods go farther, you CAN afford the higher quality, better tasting varieties.

On that note, I'll tell you the secret to making your pancakes, regardless of recipe, go farther. Add protein to the mix. There are several ways to do this, and the result is thicker, more filling, and healthier flapjacks. The higher the protein content of your pancakes, and any food for that matter, the sooner you will be satiated, causing you to eat less, and stay fuller longer.

I'll admit, I use a pre-made mix. I just do. It's simpler, and I have a deep, sincere appreciation for simplicity. Now that I have revealed my dark secret, I can tell you that my entire family prefers Pamela's Pancake mix. It is carried by most health food stores, enlightened mainstream grocers, and Amazon.

Food Prude's Favorite Pancakes:
1 Cup of Pamela's Pancake Mix
2 scoops of Arbonne's Chocolate Protein Shake Powder
3/4 cup of water
1 T olive oil
*(you will see that Pamela calls for eggs in the directions for her mix prep, however, I omit the eggs when protein powder is added)

Mix on medium with mixer. If the batter seems too thick, add a small amount of water and oil until it is just thin enough to barely drip out of the bowl onto the griddle. Make sure they are not too runny, b/c they will not fluff. Once it hits the griddle, what you see is what you get.  I double, sometimes triple the recipe and refrigerate or freeze the the extras.

These pancakes are so delicious, you can eat them plain. However, we do occasionally top them with a dab of butter (the real stuff, NOT margarine), and a tablespoon of pure maple syrup.

Along with a serving of fruit, my children will typically eat one of these power packed plate fillers for a meal, (and it's not always breakfast). Before I began adding protein, however, they would eat 3 or 4 pancakes.....EACH! Being the budget conscious shopper that I am, it was like I could hear the 'cha-ching' sound with every additional pancake that was consumed. To my defense, I feel it's important to note that Pamela's Pancake mix averages $6.59 a bag, and makes about 32 less than average sized pancakes, sans protein. So you understand the cash register in my head.

As I mentioned, there are several ways to make your flapjacks laden with protein. I have used other plain powders from health food stores, and added my own sweetener, (like Agave, or Honey), and flavoring, (like cocoa powder, or blueberries - note the OR). You can also use peanut butter and banana, or yogurt and the berries of your choice. I chose to feature this specific combination because it is the easiest, and happens to be the most requested in our household. I encourage you to play around with your pancakes and share your ideas and recipes here.

Two final notes, for a great scratch pancake recipe, among several other great recipes, check out The Nurture Diet by Shannon Mahoney.

To order Arbonne's delicious chocolate protein shake mix, check out my sister site,

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