Friday, August 30, 2013

Labor-less Long Weekend

It's the last long weekend of summer, so I'm going to focus on enjoying it (and I will not talk about winter - after 30 years, I know it's coming!).  Long weekends can mean sports camps, road trips, family gatherings, taking in local events, etc.  I will make the most of mine by attending our fireworks festival, attending my grandparent's 60'th wedding anniversary celebration (I wonder what the world will be like in 2072 for mine?), hanging with my family at the cabin, kayaking, playing frisbee, and of course - enjoying some great food!  There's always food at family gatherings!

Some of you may be making last minute preparations to send the kids back to school, so a little meal planning or big batch cooking this weekend will come in handy.  Your children might not be ready for the morning rush to get dressed, fed, and off to class; but we know how important it is for them to start the day off right!

With the long weekend and back to school on our minds, I thought I'd post about breakfast today.  I am truly a breakfast lover - I thoroughly enjoyed the odd 'pancakes for supper' when I was young.  Today, my husband would tell you that I love pancakes, crepes, eggs, fruit salad, etc.  A go-to pancake recipe I use is from Dietitians of Canada Cook!  To me it has a fall flavour because of the pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice and ginger - yum!

Pumpkin Pancakes

Serving size = 2 pancakes
  • Preheat overn to 200°F (100°C)
  • Makes eighteen 3- to 4-inch (7.5 to 10 cm) pancakes

1 cup
(250 mL)
all-purpose flour
1 cup
(250 mL)
whole wheat flour
3 tbsp
(45 mL)
lightly packed brown sugar
2 tsp
(10 mL)
baking powder
1 tsp
(5 mL)
baking soda
1 tsp
(5 mL)
ground allspice
1 tsp
(5 mL)
ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp
(2 mL)
ground ginger
1/4 tsp
(1 mL)

1 1/2 cups
(375 mL)
1% milk
1 cup
(250 mL)
pumpkin purée (see tip, at right)
2 tbsp
(30 mL)
canola oil
1 tbsp
(15 mL)
white vinegar

Vegetable cooking spray

  1. In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt.
  2. In another large bowl, whisk together egg, milk, pumpkin purée, oil and vinegar. Add to flour mixture and stir to combine.
  3. Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray lightly with cooking spray. For each pancake, pour 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) batter onto griddle and cook for about 2 minutes or until bubbly around the edges. Flip and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate and keep warm in preheated oven. Repeat with the remaining batter, spraying griddle and adjusting heat between batches as needed.
Pancakes are a usual occurrence at our cabin and since it's the long weekend, you may be doing a larger breakfast or brunch.  Aim to include a variety of fruits (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, apples, bananas) with the meal - or add them into your batter.  Some people like to switch up their flours, add ground flaxseed/wheat germ/oats, etc. Also try to include a healthy protein to keep you satisfied longer and prevent you from having a pile of hot cakes and syrup on your plate.  Try a glass of milk, greek yogurt, scrambled/poached/boiled egg, peanut butter, cottage cheese, etc.

Knowing that it will be a busy week ahead, you can plan to make extra pancakes to refrigerate or freeze.  They are great quickly toasted in the morning.  The trick is to set them aside so you don't end up eating them all for breakfast/brunch this weekend!

I also recently tried overnight chia breakfast oats from Dietitian Debbie - a fellow Recipe Redux contributor, and they're a great quick breakfast as well - we served ours with blueberries and greek yogurt.  Another new find I wanted to share is a Red Lentil Waffle recipe from Canadian Lentils that I am looking forward to trying.

What do you add to your pancakes/waffles/brunch to make them/it healthier?

Enjoy your weekend!
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching