Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Vanilla Cherry Quinoa-Oat Pancakes

It's exam week, and that means marathons of one-on-one interviews with my students usually accompanied by a sore throat and a melty brain. So this morning I decided to fix myself a breakfast that would be indulgent but also give me enough energy to last through my first morning of testing. This pancake recipe uses whole wheat flour, quinoa, rolled oats and flax seeds and contains lots of iron and vitamin B, as well as a good serving of complex carbs and protein. I bought these cherries at my neighborhood wet market and their flavor lends just enough tartness cut through the nutty flavor of the quinoa and just enough sweetness to allow for less sugar in the batter. Enjoy and let me know if you make these / how they go! 
Recipe notes:
  • I soaked the rolled oats in a bit of water overnight but you could do this half an hour in advance if you wanted and it'd probably do the trick
  • You need to used cooked quinoa. Most of the time the recipe on the bag calls for a 1:2 ratio of quinoa to water but I prefer 1:1.5 so the quinoa isn't too mushy. For this recipe, a drier quinoa works best so it doesn't weight down your pancake. 
  • It will take a bit longer to cook these because they have some heavy ingredients in the batter, but be patient and wait for those bubbles to pop before the first flip, just like you would with normal pancakes. Otherwise you might end up with doughy pancakes! Yuk. 
Calorie cutting and substitutions: 
  • I used a tablespoon of butter in the batter but you could omit this if you wanted to cut down on the fat content a bit
  • Sub two egg whites for whole egg if you want to cut the calories even more
  • I used brown sugar but I think next time I will use honey. I think the flavor would pair nicely with the almonds and cherries. Also, in my opinion, 1 tablespoon brown sugar was too much. The cherries already provided enough sweetness. You could probably cut it down to 1/2 tablespoon. 
  • If I were in the States, I would most definitely sub greek yogurt for the "buttermilk" 

Vanilla Cherry Quinoa-Oat Pancakes
Makes about 4 medium-sized pancakes

1/2 Cup Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
2/3 Cup Water
1/2 Cup Whole-Wheat Flour
1 tbsp Flax Seeds
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1 Pinch Salt
1/2 cup Cooked Quinoa
1/2 cup Milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 Egg
1 tbsp Butter
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tbsp Brown Sugar
2/3 cup Cherries

1. Soak oats in water overnight in fridge
2. In the morning, stir 1 tbsp lemon juice into the 1/2 cup of milk. Let sit for at least 5 minutes. This will make your "buttermilk." You can also just use buttermilk instead of this lemon-milk mixture if you have that on hand!
3. While that is sitting, mix the dry ingredients (whole wheat flour, flax seeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a large mixing bowl.
4. In a separate, medium mixing bowl, mix together your egg, butter, vanilla and brown sugar. Once combined, add your buttermilk, cooked quinoa and soaked oats.
5. Mix the wet ingredients into your dry ingredients, then fold in cherries. Don't overmix!!
6. To cook, heat your skilled on medium heat and pour a 4th a the batter in at a time. Flip it once bubbles appear on the top of the pancakes (on the side and the middle) and once they pop you can flip 'em over!
7. The pancakes should puff up a bit. Once they stop puffing up, that means all the air bubbles are formed and they are cooked through.
8. Move to a plate and top with chopped almonds and syrup, honey, PB, or any topping of your choice!

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