When you feel like a lunchtime snack that isn’t going to involve a lot of time, then this provides a tasty meal within 20 or so minutes. If you have kids around who are hurrying you along because they are, “Starving!” then you can divide out the tasks – one doing the measuring of the dry ingredients, one doing the wet ingredients while you supervise and get the skillet on the stove, or even over a wood fire when you are camping.
It brings a family close when you cook together and sit at a table to share the spoils. After the wet ingredients and dry ingredients are prepared one child can grate the apples while another sets out the butter, maple syrup and cheese for the pancakes, or slices up fresh strawberries and gets out some whipped cream as an alternative topping.
- 1 ½ cups flour (regular or gluten free)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 small apples grated, or one large apple
- 1 cup milk
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- In a bowl mix the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, cranberries and chia seeds.
- In a jug, lightly mix the egg, yogurt, and milk.
- Melt the butter and add to the egg milk mix.
- Set the skillet on the stove, oil lightly with coconut, or sunflower oil, and leave to heat on medium.
- Grate the apples.
- Add the grated apple to the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet ingredients from the jug and stir together.
- The mix should drop off a spoon but not run off. If it’s too stiff add a little more milk or a little water.
- Drop a tablespoonful onto the skillet and wait for bubbles to form on the top before flipping over. If your skillet is large enough you should be able to do four at a time.
- When done the pancakes should be about half an inch thick and golden in color. Remove to a warmed plate while you finish cooking the batch.
- Serve with butter and maple syrup, slices of cheddar cheese, or strawberries and whipped cream.
Why are these pancakes healthy?
They contain no added sugar in the mix – the apple, cranberries, and chia seeds provide enough flavor!
Chia seed, food of the Aztecs was, according to Jesuits priests who wrote down their observations of Aztec ways, the third most commonly planted crop – corn and beans taking the first and second places.
The seeds, currently touted as a super food were carried by the Aztecs on journeys where a porridge with a scant handful of chia seed provided enough nutrition for the day on long journeys – similar to the way Arabs in North Africa could survive on a handful of dates when crossing desert terrain.
Besides being high in protein chia seed is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids – the ones that promote good HDL cholesterol that protects against heart attack and stroke.
The tiny black and white seeds also contain antioxidants, and provide iron, calcium, and fiber. They are best included with wet ingredients, as they swell slightly.
There have been reports of people choking when downing a spoonful of dry chia seed – but that really does not make sense to do this – one can choke on just about anything that dry, including breadcrumbs, biscuit crumbs and even trying to eat a teaspoon of dry cinnamon!
Always include chia seed into smoothies, breakfast oats, or other dishes where they have a chance to absorb some moisture.
Cranberries, whether fresh or dried, contain immune system boosting antioxidants – more so than any other berries. They also contain significant amounts of dietary fiber.
Cranberries have long been used to help with urinary tract infections – a standard procedure is to drink plain cranberry juice (no sugar added as this destroys the effect).
The anti-oxidant proanthocyanidins contained in cranberries help stop bacteria gaining a grip within the urinary tract. Cranberries can also help lower the bad cholesterol in our systems. They are also lower in sugar than the majority of fruit.
Apples have a list of benefits that go on and on. Research has shown that the soluble fiber in apples helps lower cholesterol levels, that they can help prevent type 2 diabetes, and that the pectin in apples promotes the probiotics in your gut for good digestive health.
And that is just the start – they are also said to be good for bone health, for preserving mental acuity as a person ages, and can help prevent asthma. Research is now confirming the benefits of apples, long regarded as a health food since the times of the ancient Greeks.
As a child I wanted to grow up and marry a farmer… simply because it was so different from my life right on the shores of the ocean. Well, I didn’t marry a farmer but a surfer instead. The urge, however, to grow stuff and make great food for a big family never left. We are on acreage with a sea view and easy access to fresh caught crayfish and other seafood – the best of both worlds. As an artist and writer I enjoy creating new recipes, tweaking traditional ones, and sharing the results not only with family and friends, but online.