As much as I enjoy cooking, there are enough times where I simply do not feel like spending any amount of time or effort in the kitchen. So when my husband suggested we go out for dinner tonight, I was very tempted to agree. However, then I thought about how much effort is involved in getting three hungry children out of the house, and the bill that would be handed to us at the end of the meal, and decided against it. Besides, there was a gigantic basket of freshly picked blueberries (thanks, Mama!) on my kitchen counter, waiting to be eaten. Then I remembered the bag of Bob’s Red Mill Organic Scottish Oatmeal in my pantry with a recipe for Scottish Oatmeal Pancakes or Waffles on the back that I’ve been wanting to give a try. Who says you can’t have pancakes for dinner?!

Although my children can devour fresh blueberries by they bowl fulls, for some reason they do not like them in any baked goods, including pancakes. So for them I made a plain batch, which they LOVED. Every bite they took was accompanied with a heartfelt, “Mami, make these again!” My husband and I savoured the warm, juicy bursts of antioxidant goodness in every bite of our batch. I will be making these again very soon – maybe as soon as tomorrow’s breakfast!

(I’ll also be using some of these berries in my Flax & Bran Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, replacing the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips with at least 1 cup blueberries.)

Blueberry Scottish Oatmeal Pancakes or Waffles

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (I used regular whole wheat flour)

3/4 scottish oatmeal* – UPDATE: IF YOU LIVE IN CANADA, THIS CAN BE PURCHASED AT SOBEYS!

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted (I used 1/3 cup grape seed oil, but canola oil would also be good)

fresh blueberries

Directions:

Mix flour, oatmeal, baking powder, salt and soda. Stir in buttermilk, eggs and butter until smooth. While this batter is best on the thicker side, stir in a little more buttermilk if the batter is too thick. (For waffles, just add 1 more egg and 1 tbsp of oil.) Gently fold in however many blueberries you would like!

* As per the packaging: “Oatmeal originated in Scotland centuries ago and was different from our modern rolled oats. A coarse meal was produced by slowly grinding the kernel between two large millstones. Bob’s Red Mill Organic Scottish Oatmeal is produced in the same old-fashioned way and contains all the health-giving nutrients of the best quality oats from which it was ground – the germ, the oil and the fiber.”

Do you go blueberry picking? What’s your favourite recipe using blueberries?

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Late this morning, as I stood in front of my open refrigerator, I wondered what on earth I would make for today’s lunch. I couldn’t help but notice that I had a lot of green onions – they have been included in every CSA box since the deliveries started in June and I have not been able to use them all up before the subsequent week’s delivery, so there were A LOT! After searching for some recipes online, I decided to make a Creamed Green Onion & Broccoli Soup Sans Cheese (from Group Recipes), Green Onion Pancakes (from delicious days), and Green Onion Quick Bread (from Best Recipes Ever).

The soup was a big hit with everyone, even the children. It is quite similar to the Broccoli Leek Soup I posted not too long ago, though it is a little more indulgent than the leek version because it calls for butter, which along with flour and milk, is used to thicken this soup. I even had fresh broccoli from my latest CSA box delivery from just a couple of days ago, so the flavour of the soup was outstanding. I used some of my homemade chicken stock from the freezer, to which I barely add any salt, so this soup was definitely as low sodium as you can get! If you do not have any homemade chicken stock on hand, I recommend using PC Blue Menu Reduced Sodium Chicken Stock. The recipe suggests pureeing the soup only slightly, so there are still broccoli pieces in the soup, however knowing my children’s aversion to chunky soups, I opted to puree the soup until all the vegetables were liquified. I love it when my children say, “Mami, make this again!” and that’s exactly what they were saying today!

I actually started preparing the Green Onion Pancakes first (though why they’re called pancakes is beyond me, since they resemble more a flatbread). Despite the blogger’s command to, “make them now, you won’t regret it”, I quickly became skeptical that these would turn out (I mean, hot water added to flour and  a little salt hardly sounds or looks appetizing, I don’t care how many green onions you add to it!). So while I put the dough to rest for 30 minutes as per the recipe’s instructions, I decided I’d better make the quick bread, too (besides, I still had lots of green onions available)! The quick bread looks so tasty in the picture on the website, and everything I have ever tried making from “Best Recipes Ever” has always been a success, so I thought for sure it would be a winner. Well, the quick bread tasted quite bland and I was so glad I had continued making the “pancakes”, because they were truly amazing  to the point that I will overlook the fact they are made entirely with white flour and are fried in oil, which is so not in line with the purpose of this blog! Given that the quick bread has whole wheat flour and is baked (not fried), I will try it one more time, except I’ll add a little more salt and some (or maybe lots of) grated cheddar cheese.

So, if you have a bunch of green onions and broccoli in your fridge, I highly recommend making this soup. And if you have a little extra time on your hands and would like to try out something different, I highly recommend making the “pancakes” to accompany the soup. If you decide to make the quick bread with my modifications, please let me know how it turns out!

Here are a few photos of my “in-progress” lunch preparations:

This is the soup just before I pureed it, thickened it, and simmered it for 5 more minutes.

 

These are the “pancakes” just before I added the green onions and then fried them in olive oil.

 

This is the quick bread before I placed it onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper and baked it in the oven for 35 minutes.

Are you part of a CSA? What is your favourite part about receiving your box of vegetables?!

Whole Grain Pancakes

May 3, 2012

For a time, my kids were slightly addicted to Cheerios for breakfast. And when there isn’t much time available in the mornings before having to rush out the door to catch the school bus, I certainly rely on this cereal for a quickly prepared breakfast the kids will eat without complaining. But now that I make my own pancake mix and store it in my pantry, we have pancakes for breakfast more frequently – even on weekdays! These pancakes are packed with flavour (especially if you follow my modifications) and texture and you’ll never want to buy another box of prepared pancake mix again (not that I have ever even considered doing so)!

I found this recipe in “Whole Grains for Busy People” by Lorna Sass. (I include my modifications in brackets.)

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (I used 1 cup spelt flour, 1 cup kamut flour, 1/2 cup quinoa flour, 1/4 cup ground flaxseed

Editor’s Note: 1 cup oatmeal (large flakes) was originally (accidentally) omitted from this post – be sure you add them!

1/4 sugar (you can omit this if you’re trying to cut back on your sugar consumption, as I am)

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt (I usually omit salt from all my baking)

Directions:

In a large zipper-top bag or storage container, combine all ingredients. Seal and shake gently until thoroughly mixed. Label and date. Refrigerate for up to 3 months. Shake gently to aerate the mix before each use. (I doubled the recipe and am storing it in my pantry.)

To make the pancakes, you will need:

1 large egg

1 cup well-shaken buttermilk, plus more if needed (I have also used kefir instead, with equally tasty results)

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted (I use 1 Tbsp canola oil instead)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups Whole Grain Pancake Mix (see above; stir before measuring)

1 to 2 tsp grated zest of a lemon or orange (optional)

Directions:

In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg. blend in the buttermilk (or kefir), butter (or oil), vanilla, and lemon or orange rind (if using). Fold in the pancake mix just until the flour is absorbed. Avoid overmixing.

Heat a large griddle or skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat the surface with oil (my griddle doesn’t require any greasing). When a drop of water thrown on the griddle immediately sizzles, pour on 2 Tbsp batter per pancake, allowing space for the batter to spread. When the pancakes are dry around the edges and the bottoms are nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes, flip them. Cook until browned on the second side, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Lower the heat if the pancakes are browning too quickly, leaving the centre uncooked. Serve each batch as soon as it’s done, arranging the pancakes slightly overlapped. Do not stack the pancakes – this causes them to steam and become soggy. If you prefer to bake and serve all of the pancakes at once, set them in a single layer on a baking pan and place in a warm oven.

Please let me know what you think of these pancakes if/when you try these!