My son had a friend sleep over last night and they requested pancakes for breakfast. Now I really like my son’s buddy – he’s a great kid, but he is truly one of the pickiest eaters I have ever encountered. If it’s not plain plain plain, he won’t even look at it. So it’s always a challenge to cook for this kid. But this morning I was feeling plucky. Sure I’ll make pancakes – but let’s see what I can sneak into the batter to make them both nutritious and palatable to the fussiest of nine-year-olds!
I recalled a recipe I had for cornmeal pancakes. Now the original recipe calls for squash puree, but I’ve substituted canned pumpkin in the past and it turned out very well. I rooted around in the pantry and lo and behold – canned pumpkin. Also I had some buttermilk in the fridge which needed to be used up. (I know what you’re thinking “Squash puree? Canned pumpkin?!?!?” but stick with me here people – it’s so worth it!!!)
I decided to take my chances. I sent the boys outside to play so they wouldn’t be the wiser. I whipped up a batch in no time and promptly tossed the empty can of pumpkin in the recycle to be rid of the evidence. I called the boys in and waited with baited breath… Would he spit them out? No! My son’s friend gobbled them down… Success!!! But ixnay on the umpkinpay!
Healthy Cornmeal Pancakes
(adapted from “Simply Great Food” by the Dieticians of Canada)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 cup canned pumpkin (or 1 cup butternut squash puree)*
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
In a large bowl, combine whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda and baking powder.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, buttermilk, canned pumpkin, oil and vanilla. Whisk into flour mixture. If mixture looks too thick, add up to ½ cup buttermilk to thin it out.
Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray lightly with vegetable cooking spray. For each pancake, pour ½ cup batter onto griddle and cook until bubbly around the edges, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm in a low oven.
*The original recipe says you can also substitute mashed sweet potato for the squash puree.