Monday, September 6, 2010

Yogurt or Banana Happy Pancakes | Recipe

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Today's post is a great little recipe for pancakes that are easy to make and delicious.  I hate restaurant pancakes because they are always dry and make me thirsty.  A little yogurt or banana will fix that right up.  See the bottom of the post for tips for those with dietary restrictions.  This recipe may be easily doubled or tripled depending on family size.

Yogurt or Banana Happy Pancakes

20 minutes, serves 2.

1 egg
1 cup of pancake mix
1/2 cup of yogurt, any flavor
1 teaspoon of vanilla (optional)
1/4 cup of milk, coconut milk, rice milk, or soy (juice works in a pinch)
Coconut oil (optional)

Start heating up the pan now over a medium heat.  If the pan is not hot enough, the pancakes won't cook right.  I suggest a non-stick pan to avoid the need for oil.  If you have a pan big enough to cook two pancakes at a time, you will appreciate it.

Beat the egg in with the yogurt, vanilla, and milk with a whisk.  Add the pancake mix.  The mix should be thicker than a very heavy cream, but no so thick that it's lumpy.  It should pour like a slightly runny cake batter.  If the mix is too runny, add a tablespoon more of pancake mix.  If it's too thick, add a splash of milk.  If you do not eat or do not have yogurt, one banana well mashed with a fork will substitute.

If you are using juice, banana, or a fruity yogurt, your pancake mix will be a little stickier and may require that the pan be slightly oiled.  No not drown or fry your pancakes.

Ladle one pancake at a time onto the hot frying pan.  You can roll the pan a little to help spread the batter if you like thinner pancakes.  The pancake is ready to be flipped when the edges look solid and the top has been bubbling and is starting to solidify.  Use a plastic or silicone spatula to gently lift one edge, slip underneath, and flip the pancake over in one motion.  The edge now facing up should be a nice golden brown color.  Let it sit for a minute or so and flip the pancake again to check the other side.  If it is still pale, return it to the fire for another minute or so.

Awesome Tip of the Day:  If you have kids (or if you want to impress your girlfriend or wife) you can make "happy pancakes".  Drip a little pancake batter onto the pan in the shape of a small happy face, two eyes and a mouth.  Let is sit for a couple of seconds and then pour the rest of the ladle over the whole thing.  When you flip this pancake over, it will be one happy pancake.  If you want to get more creative and have time to play, use an old honey bottle to squirt the pancake mix into different shapes or words ("eat me").  Breakfast always makes you smile when it smiles back.

Sometimes the first pancake comes out wrong because the pan is not yet hot enough or because the heat or mixture needs adjustment.  If the pancakes are burning to fast while the inside remains too squishy, turn down the fire and cook them a little longer.  If they are drying out before browning, turn up the fire and cook them a little less.  If the pancakes are too thick or thin, you can adjust them accordingly by adding a tablespoon of either milk or pancake mix.

These pancakes can be a little sweeter than others, requiring less syrup or honey.  You may also want to try a little mashed and possibly heated berries, apples, or bananas on top.  Diced or shredded apples are also great inside the pancakes.

If you have dietary restrictions, there are a number of substitutes that can be made.  If you do not eat dairy, you can trade out the milk and yogurt for any rice, soy, almond or coconut products.  The mashed banana method is a nice option if you don't want to use soy yogurt.  Please keep in mind that substitutions may cause the mix to be thicker or runnier, so adjust accordingly.  If you eat a gluten free diet, Trader Joe's sells a great gluten free pancake mix that tastes wonderful and can take the place of any other pancake mix.


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