The great thing about pancakes (besides the obvious fact that they are a delicious vehicle for maple syrup) is that a) kids will eat them, and b) you can sneak a ton of good stuff into them and they’ll still eat them, just by virtue of the fact that they’re pancakes.
Try using different wholegrain flours in this recipe— oat, barley, quinoa, buckwheat, and brown rice flours are good choices—or add quick-cooking oats or ground flaxseed. Any combination will work, provided you keep about 1 cup of wheat flour, which provides gluten to hold the pancakes together. Puréed beans—no one will know they’re there—boost nutrients and fibre.
- 2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose or whole wheat flour, or a combination
- 2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
- Shake of ground cinnamon (optional)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup (250 mL) rinsed and drained canned white beans (half a 19 oz/540 mL can)
- 2 cups (500 mL) milk
- 2 large eggs
- 2 Tbsp (30 mL) canola, olive, or flax oil
- Berries or sliced banana (optional)
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon (if using), and salt. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the beans with the milk, eggs, and oil and pulse until well blended. Purée until it’s as smooth as you can get it.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined; don’t worry about getting all the lumps out.
Preheat a heavy skillet over medium heat and spray it with non-stick cooking spray or rub it with oil (use a paper towel). Ladle the batter into the skillet, making pancakes any size you like.
Place berries or slices of banana directly onto the batter, if you’re adding them. Turn the heat down a little and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, until the bottom is golden and bubbles begin to appear on the surface. Use a thin, flat spatula to flip them over and cook for another minute on the other side, until golden.
Repeat with the remaining batter. If you want everyone to eat at the same time, keep the finished pancakes warm, uncovered, in a 200ºF (100 ºC) oven.
Yield: 8 to 12 pancakes, depending on their size
Adapted from Spilling the Beans: Cooking and Baking with Beans and Grains Every Day by Julie Van Rosendaal and Sue Duncan (Whitecap 2011). Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.