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                   Email: nanette@freerangegourmet.com

Sunday, May 15, 2011

 

Sunday morning: can pancakes be both healthy and delicious? (And really easy to make.)


by Nanette Geller

I'm not a morning person. I love breakfast but I’m not coherent enough to cook until after I’ve had my breakfast (including coffee). Fortunately, Larry is a morning person. While he doesn’t do much cooking at night, he has become a breakfast master. My usual weekday breakfast is oatmeal, which Larry cooks to perfection. Sundays, however, he likes to let loose with something special, like these cottage cheese pancakes. I actually adapted them about 40 years ago from a recipe by Edward Espe Brown and taught Larry how to make them. They’re still one of our favorites.

These are really easy to make and way healthier than most pancake recipes. Even made with low fat cottage cheese, they’re so moist and rich-tasting that they don’t need butter on top.

Here’s the basic recipe for one serving. It’s easy to multiply.

1/3 cup cottage cheese
1 egg, separated
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour (or other whole grain flour)

- Mix the cottage cheese, egg yolk and flour
- Beat the egg whites to medium-firm peaks (a little beyond soft peak stage)
- Fold the whites into the cottage cheese mixture
- Cook on a lightly oiled griddle or pan on medium heat (300 degrees on the electric griddle)

Notes:
- We prefer both the flavor and texture of Nancy’s lowfat cottage cheese, available at health food stores and some supermarkets.
- Egg whites whip better at room temperature.
- Use a clean, dry glass or stainless steel bowl to whip the whites. Even a tiny bit of fat or moisture will prevent proper whipping. Plastic bowls can have traces of fat.
- Stir about a quarter of the beaten egg whites into the cottage cheese mixture to lighten it before folding in the rest.
- Don’t make them too big or the edges will dry out before the center cooks.

Variations:
- Add some spices to the cottage cheese mixture. Larry often uses cardamom or nutmeg and cinnamon.
- After dropping batter onto the griddle, put some blueberries or other fruit on top of each pancake. It will heat through when you cook the second side.
- Go savory. Add whatever spices you like (curry powder would be nice) and serve with a salad for lunch or dinner.

 

pancakes

 

Here, Larry used cardamom and frozen blueberries (the blueberries are hidden underneath). Cardamom seems to go especially well with blueberry.

There’s sliced banana and real maple syrup for topping. Not strictly necessary, but it does taste good! The pancakes are already moist, so we can use just a little syrup for flavor. I also like to squeeze on a little citrus. Here, we have calamansi for a sweet-tart accent.

Also on the menu: mango, Americano coffee (espresso diluted with hot water) and conversation.

Thanks, Larry! I’m a lucky lady.


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Email: nanette@freerangegourmet.com
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