Monday, April 16, 2012

Blue Breakfast: Blueberry-Millet Pancakes and Blueberry Smoothie

Blueberry-Millet Pancakes with Banana Slices

I love pancakes. I often make them on Sundays, just for myself, so there's lots of leftover. I labelled a freezer bag "Pancake Bag" and load my leftover cakes in there after they've cooled. That way, I can have a special, and very quick, treat whenever I want during the week. Despite the fact that I am only cooking for one, the treats are rarely a plain affair. I always add some kind of fruit, nut or seed. Also, I like to make healthier substitutions; for example, I almost always use whole wheat pastry flour for "regular" pancakes, and often try to swap in some sprouted whole wheat flour, too. I often use Earth Balance or coconut oil for butter, and an alternative sweetener for the sugar -- sometimes maple syrup or coconut crystals.

On my recent cleanse, I got a little sick of smoothies, oatmeal, and eggs and found myself really wanting some pancakes for breakfast. I thought that I could probably make a whole grain pancake with just cooked grain (like quinoa or millet) and some egg, soymilk, etc to bind it. My first attempt was with quinoa -- tasted good, but a mess. I learned quickly that when making whole grain pancakes, it's best to keep the size small, dropping only about 1 rounded tablespoon down for each pancake.

The results have been really great. I love blueberry pancakes, so this version with millet is a special treat. Millet reminds me of corn, so these pancakes remind me a little of blueberry corn muffins. The lemon zest gives just the right kick.These pancakes will come out a little bigger than a half dollar and look very "gourmet" stacked up with some creamy filling -- maybe some sweetened sour cream or cottage cheese. I stacked mine with banana slices -- another great companion for blueberries.

A rather sad-looking bb-millet pancake
Blueberry-Millet Pancakes

Dry Ingredients
1/2 cup cooked millet
1 tbs. sprouted whole wheat (to hold the pancake together)
1 tbs. coconut crystals (or whatever sweetener you prefer)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
dash of baking soda (for extra fluffiness)

Wet Ingredients
2 tbs. coconut oil, melted
1 egg
1/4 cup soymilk
1/4-1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1 tsp. lemon zest

Quick Directions (assuming you already know how to make basic pancakes)
Mix each set of ingredients in separate bowls, making sure that the dry ingredients are in a large bowl. Pour the wet into the dry and mix gently with as few strokes as possible. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a greased griddle over medium heat. Once the first round of bubbles come and go, check the bottom for golden brown doneness, and flip 'em. They will be delicate, so that's why you want to keep them small.

Breakfast of Champions

While the pancakes are a treat, my usual breakfast is a smoothie with fruit, yogurt and assorted other stuff. Strawberries are my favorite, but blueberries are great, too, and add delicious color. I think the trick to a good smoothie is to use frozen fruit instead of ice and fresh fruit. Ice is just water and has no taste, while fresh fruit tastes great, but has variable texture; frozen fruit has flavor and great texture. Here's a basic smoothie recipe that you can adapt all you want. Don't feel as though you need all these ingredients to make one.

Blueberry Smoothie

1 banana (fresh or frozen or 1/2 and 1/2 -- try a smoothie sometime with just frozen bananas. Amazing.)
1/4-1/3 cup frozen blueberries
1/3 cup blueberry juice
1/3 cup of yogurt (I use Greek yogurt. Just don't use yucky flavored yogurt.That stuff is an abomination.)
1/3 cup soymilk or other nut milk
a scoop of protein powder (I am currently using Raw Meal, but only about a 1/4 of the recommended amount, which is for drinks with no other proteins.)
Other add-ins: 1/2 - 1 tsp. of greens powder (I like Kyo Greens), 1 tsp. - 1 tbs. ground flaxseed, or a squirt of flaxseed oil

I blend this in stages: I start with the banana, frozen fruit, juice and add-ins and adjust liquid levels as needed to get the right texture (I like it to be thick but not so thick that I have to use a spoon.). Then, I add the yogurt, milk, and protein, and blend until smooth.

1 comment:

Dana Bennett said...

Those small blueberry pancakes look fabulous. When I come to visit back there, you will have company for your Sunday pancake splurge! Oh, I also love to mix blueberries with bananas. The smoothies are similar to what I fix except instead of greens powder, I actually add greens and other veggies. And sometimes Silken tofu for protein. I'll have to try some Raw Meal.
I like the way you write about food. I'm right there, tasting, feeling the textures, smelling. Nice!