We had a lazy Sunday breakfast this morning. The Culinary Enthusiast walked to the corner store and picked up the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star, while I mixed up a batch of pancakes. With fresh coffee and maple syrup, we enjoyed a leisurely meal, reading and sharing tidbits from the newspapers (for instance, I found out that the LCBO* has an excellent Barolo at a remarkably low price — a good lead on wine is always welcome!)
Originally, I was planning to make cornmeal muffins, but I came across a recipe for “Cornmeal Peach Pancakes” and changed my mind right away. I didn’t have any peaches in the house, but I did have a nice new bag of raspberries in the freezer. A quick name change to the recipe, and breakfast was underway!
These pancakes were very quick and simple to make. The cornmeal added extra flavour and a bit of a crunchy note, and the raspberries provided a burst of sweetness and colour. I would like to try the recipe with peaches sometime, but for now we sure enjoyed them with raspberries!
The recipe is from Anne Lindsay’s Lighthearted Everyday Cooking which was published in cooperation with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada in 1991. I have used or adapted many recipes and techniques from this and her other book, The Lighthearted Cookbook, over the years, and in the process learned a lot about cooking healthy and smart. It’s a lot easier to get people to make healthy choices when they don’t have to compromise on flavour — that’s where the ‘smart’ comes in! These pancakes are a good example. Low in sugar and fat, they’re nonetheless high on flavour and eye appeal. Because the of the natural sweetness in the berries, we also used far less maple syrup than usual, also upping the healthy factor.
The Culinary Enthusiast ate an extra-large (as in EXTRA-large) helping, which I took as a sound endorsement of the recipe! (I may have partaken of more than usual myself, but there’s no need to go into details, right?) We can justify such indulgence by the fact our late breakfast also served as lunch (so technically, I suppose we had brunch).
And, as if a healthy recipe that tastes really, really good isn’t enough, as an added benefit, the fragrance of pancakes has perfumed the house all day long.
If you are looking to treat yourself to a nice homemade breakfast one of these weekends, why not try these pancakes?
*For those of you not in the know, the LCBO is the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. This will be a strange concept if you live somewhere where you can buy spirits, beer and wine in your local corner store, but with few exceptions, these items are sold only at the LCBO here. (That’s my educational announcement for the day.)
Cornmeal Raspberry Pancakes
Adapted from Anne Lindsay’s “Cornmeal Peach Pancakes” in Lighthearted Everyday Cooking. This recipe will make about 18 5-inch pancakes, which the recipe says is 6 servings. I won’t tell you how many we ate between the two of us; let’s just say we forgot about the portion size component of healthy eating!
- 3/4 cup cornmeal
- 3/4 cup flour (add an extra 1/4 cup for thicker pancakes; that’s what I did!)
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups milk (I used almond milk)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- about 1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)
In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients and stir well. In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs until light, then stir in the milk and oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Stir until incorporated; it’s okay to have some lumps. Fold in the raspberries.
Heat a nonstick skillet (or in my case, a seasoned cast iron griddle) over medium high heat until hot. Use as little additional vegetable oil as possible to grease the surface. Then drop spoonfuls of batter to form rounds (or figures that could roughly be considered round if you squint). When bubbles have formed on the surface and the underside is nicely golden brown, flip and cook until the bottom is lightly browned. Hold in a warming oven until the entire batch has been made, or put directly on serving plates if your breakfast crew just can’t wait!
Top with maple syrup, yogourt or a combination, according to your preference. You can never go wrong with a bit of butter either, but it’s not necessary.