Friday, June 20, 2014

The Art of Procrastination

All of a sudden, there is so much I "need" to do when it's time to clean my room...

I "need" to cut up and redesign an old tie-dye T-shirt...

I "need" to make Blueberry Four Grain Pancakes...

And I "need" NEED to update my blog. This I actually do need to do, so I am going to take advantage of this legitimate need to procrastinate cleaning my room just a bit longer, and talk about my breakfast this morning. 

My love for pancakes was rekindled at our In the Heights post-show cast party at IHOP. I had never not liked pancakes, but I would've preferred waffles or crepes if you asked me my preference. Quite frankly, I had never really liked IHOP, either. I had been only twice before, once being in New York for a track meet. The fact that I was running a big race that weekend, on top of the fact that I ordered some sort of strawberry yogurt crepes, left a sour taste in my mouth for the franchise.

On that particular post-show night at IHOP, I got the Harvest Grain 'N Nut pancakes (filled with oats, almonds and English walnuts), topped with blueberry compote. Maybe it was the post-show adrenaline. Maybe it was the fact that it was 11:30 at night, and everything sweet tastes better at 11:30 at night. Maybe it was just that IHOP has really good freaking pancakes. Whatever it was, they were delicious.

My next momentous trip to IHOP was two months later, at the post-show cast party for our spring comedy, Testing, Testing. I got the Whole Wheat with Bananas pancakes, and I will never get anything other than those at IHOP ever again. Fat, fluffy, warm, golden, and maple syrup. What more could a girl ask for? 

Anyway, I've been craving pancakes these past few days, but I was set on having whole wheat pancakes, and alas, we didn't have any whole wheat flour in our pantry. So, after surfing the internet for about forty minutes last night, I finally came across a series of healthy pancake recipes that I combined to make my own:

Blueberry Four Grain Pancakes

Yields 6-8 pancakes (4"-6" in diameter each)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/4 cup ground chia seed*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 large egg (or 2 egg whites)
  • 1 cup milk**
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (or light brown)
  • 1/3 cup original applesauce
  • Blueberries (optional)***
*Some websites I read said chia seeds are a whole-grain, and others said they aren't. Regardless, chia seeds are filled with nutritional benefits, including healthy omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. So, whether or not you call these pancakes Three Grain or Four Grain, they're still really healthy for pancakes.

**I used plain almond milk, but I'm sure any other milk would work fine. 

***Although the blueberries are optional, the quinoa flavor is strong, and I thought the blueberries helped mask the taste (although I don't mind the taste of quinoa). 

Here's where my skills in the kitchen fail: following directions. All pancake recipes I read online said to toss together all the dry ingredients first. Next, whisk the wet ingredients (in this case, applesauce, milk, and egg) in a separate bowl. Then, stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Honestly, I just combined them all at once in a big bowl. I used a whisk to break up the egg, and then a wooden spoon to stir it all together. It still turned out fine, but if I were to do it again, I probably would separate the ingredients.

One tip I did read, though, was to be careful not to overmix the batter. Stir until all the ingredients are just combined. Otherwise, the pancakes will be tough and dense. 

Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Coat with cooking spray, oil or butter. I used an ice cream scooper to drop the batter on the skillet, which made about 4" pancakes. I liked this size because it meant I could stack more pancakes :) 

Wait until bubbles begin to form in the center of the pancake, and then flip. Cook until the other side is golden brown. Coat your griddle or skillet before every pancake or batch of pancakes. 

Stack and serve with maple syrup! 

And now, three and a half hours after I have woken up, I return to clean my room. At least it's almost lunch time!

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