It recently occurred to me that we go through a lot of Bob's Red Mill pancake mix. Bags and bags of it, especially during prime pancake weather, like now.
We don't all agree on the pancake mix of choice: the kids favor plain old Buttermilk; Mountain Man prefers the Buckwheat variety; and me, I go for the Cornmeal pancake mix every time. With fresh blueberries, please.
You may have heard that it was 27 below zero at my house last week. Even the moose wanted to come inside to warm up.
When the temperature is below zero in the valley, we head to the tops of the mountains. A temperature inversion can mean it's balmy and warm up top. Darcy and Chris skinning up the South Side of Teton Pass.
When it's cold outside, I mean really cold outside, we do eat a lot of pancakes. We need carbs and protein and sugar and berries to keep warm. And happy.
Please do not feel sorry for us because we live in a frigid, harsh environment. When the temperature dips way below zero, we have bluer-than-blue-can-be skies. Even the kids stop to marvel at the color of the sky, and the silhouette of the frozen branches against it. This often makes us late for school...but let's get back to those pancakes.
I have tried mixing Bob's Red Mill Buttermilk pancake mix with the 10-Grain variety, but I fooled no one. The pancakes were less than good, and left to languish on the breakfast table, uneaten.
This bull moose possessed only one antler. Mountain Man says it's not unusual to see a one-antlered moose this time of year. I say it's a sign of good luck. Especially when he is peering into your mudroom and wanting to try on your Uggs.
Plunging into the archives of my recipe files, I found a recipe for Multigrain Pancake Mix. Make it yourself in bulk. Mix up as much as you need. Customize it to the degree of graininess you desire (and your family will tolerate). Could be cheaper, too. A lot cheaper than premium pancake mix.
Darcy, Sue and Chris at the summit. Chocolate covered almonds fueled our ascent. That, and a breakfast of Multigrain Pancakes.
Homemade multigrain pancake mix is a great way to use up odds and ends of flour in your pantry, which appeals to the frugal Sicilian in me. Old World Sicilians were famous for never letting a morsel of potentially edible food go to waste. My Grandma Barranco would be so proud of my Multigrain Pancake Mix.
This recipe begs to be customized. Swap out the almond meal for buckwheat flour. Add cinnamon, cardamom, or pumpkin pie spice. Use quinoa flakes instead of instant oats. Just keep the ratio of flour/grains to baking powder/soda/sugar/salt the same.
No buttermilk on hand? You can make your own in 5 minutes. Place one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar into a one cup measuring cup. Add milk to total 1 cup. Let stand 5 minutes. Now you've made buttermilk, or at least a reasonable substitute good enough to leaven your pancakes and give them that special tang.
It is amazing how much my handwriting has improved since I retired from being a doctor.
Multigrain pancake mix with blueberry compote
The Master Mix is adapted from a recipe by Elaine Khosrova, which appeared in Real Simple years and years ago. It needed no adaptations for altitude.
The Blueberry Compote is an original recipe that came to me while peering into the freezer, and finding my stash of frozen berries from last summer.
For the Master Mix (enough for 24 four inch pancakes):
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (or try white whole wheat flour)
- 1/2 cup almond meal ( or 1/2 cup buckwheat flour)
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup quinoa flakes (or instant oats, such as Quaker 1-Minute Oats)
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg (or customize with your own spices)
For the pancakes (to make 6 four-inch pancakes):
- In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients with a whisk.
- Transfer to an airtight container, or a Ziplock bag.
This recipe makes enough pancakes for 2-3 hungry people. In my family, a double recipe feeds 4 just right.
- 3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk (no buttermilk? see above)
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup Master Mix
For the Blueberry Compote:
- Whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and vegetable oil until blended.
- Stir in 3/4 cup Master Mix just until blended. Do not overmix.
- Heat nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a pat of butter.
- Pour 1/4 cup batter into skillet for each pancake.
- Cook until golden brown, a few minutes on each side.
- Serve with warm maple syrup, or blueberry compote (see below).
- 1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
- 1 cup maple syrup
- Warm syrup and berries in a small saucepan until bubbling.
- Remove for heat, and pour on your pancakes while still warm.
I almost forgot to give you the culinary word of the week. Here you go...
Quinoa (KEEN-wah): Quinoa is a grain staple of the ancient Incas. Dubbed a "complete protein" because it contains all 8 essential amino acids, it is higher in unsaturated fats and lower in carbohydrates than most other grains. Quinoa is a subtle-flavored protein-rich grain that expands to 4 times its original volume once cooked. Quinoa is great for breakfast, as a hot porridge topped with fruit and brown sugar.