As we “eat-from-the-pantry” this month, I anticipate some creative cooking and menu planning. However, one regular feature on our menu that also makes good use of pantry staples is one that my kids will gladly embrace: Pancakes! My husband is usually the pancake chef around here, creating all sorts of cool designs.
Whether you serve pancakes for breakfast, lunch or dinner, they are sure to be a hit with everyone in the family. Here are some tips to make your next pancake breakfast (or dinner) a success.
Start with a great recipe.
If you don’t have a favorite, try our favorite pancake recipe.
Give it a boost.
To boost the batter’s nutritional content, consider using any of these ingredients as substitutions:
- Replace an equal amount of flour with 1/4 to 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup quick oats, 1/4 cup cornmeal, 2 Tablespoons flax seed meal.
- Replace some of the milk with buttermilk or plain yogurt.
- The consistency of the batter will very depending on your substitutions, so make adjustments accordingly. If too thin, add a little more flour. If too thick, add more milk. With some experimenting, you’ll find the perfect combination for your family.
Use a large electric griddle to speed up your cooking time.
A good one can be purchased new for about $20 or found in a thrift store for less. Since pancake baking is definitely an assembly-line activity, the more you can make at one time, the better. Otherwise, the line of kids at your side will never end. Trust me.
Vary the toppings.
- Warm 1 cup fruit jam or jelly until it thins to a syrup consistency.
- Make your own maple-flavored pancake topping by combining 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup boiling water and 1/4 teaspoon maple extract. Bring to a boil and serve.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar, brown sugar, or colored sprinkles.
- Top with whipped cream and sliced fruit, such as bananas, strawberries, or peaches.
- Sprinkle pancake batter with blueberries or chocolate chips just prior to flipping.
Make pancakes ahead of time.
Serve them with some protein.
Let the kids help.
Pancakes made from scratch definitely work for me!
Got a pancake trick? I’d love to hear it!