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Perfectly Light & Fluffy Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

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You don’t often see the words “light & fluffy” paired with “whole wheat”, but these pancakes are exactly that. How do you achieve that covetable airy pancake texture while using 100% whole wheat flour?

It’s easy.

The first secret is to use whole wheat pastry flour, which you are definitely more than familiar with if you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time. It is my preferred flour for just about everything, as it has all of the nutritional benefits of regular whole wheat flour, but with a finer grain that is perfect for achieving a fluffy texture.

The second secret is to sift the flour; a step that might seem unnecessary, but serves to even further lighten the grain to ensure a resulting texture barely discernible from pancakes made with white flour.

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Now that we have the flour & texture situation squared away, let’s talk about how these pancakes taste. Pancakes made with buttermilk are undeniably unrivaled by those made without; the rich tanginess lends a flavor element that cannot be beat.

For the sake of simplicity, I kept these pancakes unadorned, but you could certainly liven then up. Think of this as a base recipe onto which you could add any (or all) of your favorite pancake ingredients. Blueberries, bananas, chocolate chips… whatever your pancake dreams are made of.

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So the next time you’re craving pancakes for a weekend brunch or a weekday breakfast, whip up a batch of these whole wheat buttermilk pancakes!

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Perfectly Light & Fluffy Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

by Lauren Zembron

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Ingredients (12-14 pancakes)

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp maple sugar (or another unrefined granulated sugar)
  • 2 cups low fat buttermilk, preferably organic, well-shaken
  • 2 eggs, preferably organic
  • butter or neutral-flavored vegetable oil for frying

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar; whisk and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients; stir with a rubber spatula just until only a few streaks of flour remain (batter will be thick). Do not overmix. Set aside to rest.

Heat a bit of butter or vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet (or a griddle pan) set over medium/medium-high heat.

Ladle the batter into the hot skillet and cook until bubbles start to form on the surface, about 2 minutes Flip and cook on the other side until cooked through and golden brown (another 1-2 minutes).

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PB Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches

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Summer is officially here, and although it’s still cool most mornings here in Massachusetts, it has been warming up quite a bit as the day goes on. Although it may be tempting to run after the ice cream truck when it drives down your road, it is undeniably much healthier to make your own frozen treats at home, and these ice cream sandwiches are just about as healthy as they get!

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There is a fantastic park within walking distance to our house, complete with a huge shaded playground, a swim pond with a sandy beach, and a few short trails winding though the woods. I love every aspect of this park, and I take the kiddos there many times throughout the week, but I hate that the aforementioned ice cream truck  makes a daily stop there in the late afternoon. I’m sure it’s lucrative for the ice cream person, but it’s a nuisance to parents like myself who don’t want their kids to fill up on artificial, sugar-laden desserts before dinnertime.

I enlisted Lily’s help to make these ice cream sandwiches (she didn’t need much of an incentive; she loves to lend a hand in the kitchen, especially when making a sweet treat!), and both she and I loved the result. The filling is comprised of only frozen bananas, peanut butter, and a bit of coconut oil. The sweet & creamy “ice cream” is sandwiched between graham cracker squares, making them portable and fun to eat.

These ice cream sandwiches are healthy enough to eat for breakfast, but they are so tasty that you may find yourself reaching for more than one over the course of a hot summer day!

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PB Banana Ice Cream Sandwiches

by Lauren Zembron

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients (3-5 ice cream sandwiches)

  • 3 all-natural (preferably whole wheat) whole graham cracker sheets, (or more if you want thinner sandwiches) each broken in half to create squares
  • 6 medium-sized ripe bananas, peeled, sliced, and frozen overnight in a large zip top bag
  • 1/4 cup natural creamy unsweetened peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp virgin coconut oil, melted

Instructions

Place frozen bananas, peanut butter, and melted coconut oil into a food processor fitted with the steel blade (or into a high-speed blender). Process/blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.

Line either a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan (if you want thicker sandwiches)or an 8 x 8 inch square pan (if you want thinner sandwiches) with parchment paper. Scrape the peanut butter/banana ice cream into the lined pan, smooth the top to create an even layer, and place in the freezer; freeze for at least 2 hours.

Using the sides of the parchment paper, remove the hardened ice cream from the pan.

Place a graham cracker square on the top, and cut along the perimeter to create an ice cream square of the same size.

Repeat step 4 until you have as many squares as you can cut out. (I used a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, and got 3 sandwiches; with a bit of leftover ice cream, which I transferred to a glass container and froze). Sandwich each ice cream square between two graham cracker squares. Individually wrap the ice cream sandwiches, and freeze for at least 2 hours.

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