Make Ahead Oatmeal Blueberry Pancakes
Well, this morning was a crappy morning. It was a crappy morning because I weighed myself.
I’ve been pretty open about the fact that I have a weight problem. Part of this is tied to my metabolic disorder, but really, let’s own the problem and say that I also eat too much. It happens when you love food like I do…and write about it.
I gained 10lbs since November. I’m sure part of this is fluid retention and stress (stress alone will make me gain 5lbs overnight. Fuck you, hormones!!) but ten pounds is ten pounds. I felt like crying when I saw those numbers. That’s not a fun thing to feel before coffee.
I joined up with a newer, cheaper gym on Saturday and have worked out four times since then, so I know I’m at least partially on the right track. And today I had my free introductory personal training session with the athletic training director…which of course turned into a year-long agreement since the prices are WAY cheaper than my old gym, and its more convenient. I did so well with my former trainer, so I figure having a coach again could do some good.
So I basically have the exercise back on track. Now I gotta get ahold of the foodage.
Starting with breakfast.
I suck at breakfast. I think I suck at breakfast because I suck at mornings in general. If I had my way, I’d never see them. Ever. I love to sleep and hate to wake up. When you hate mornings so much, you tend to run late a lot. When you run late, you make sacrifices. Like breakfast.
Usually I end up grabbing some crappy institutional food on the breakfast line in my work cafeteria. Not exactly the healthiest thing I could be doing, y’know?
So I’m making the change, thanks to a little pre-planning and a cast iron skillet.
Make Ahead Oatmeal Blueberry Pancakes
2 ½ cups Irish oatmeal
6 egg whites
1 cup skim milk
1 Tablespoon flaxseed
1 Tablespoon safflower oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Handful of blueberries (optional)
This is stupid simple. Put everything into a bowl. With a stick blender, blend until it’s smooth. (You can also use a food processor or a blender. My food processor only holds 3 cups at any one time, so I used the stick blender and things turned out great).
Studio Foodie (SF) Note: DO NOT BUY GROUND NUTMEG OR I WILL STOP BEING FRIENDS WITH YOU!!!
Nutmeg has a delicious, spicy flavor that can’t be replicated by anything else. Usually, when you take a bite of something—anything—and go ‘mmm this has a special something to it, but I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is,’ chances are, it’s nutmeg. However, that wonderful taste dissipates very quickly after it’s grated. What that means is that when you buy already ground nutmeg, you’re paying good money for an already stale product.
I wouldn’t buy stale bread. Don’t buy stale spices.
Go ahead and buy the nutmeg in its natural nut form, and grate it as you need it. It’s a little more work, but definitely worth the labor.
In order to keep my portions under control, I used a ¼ cup measure to ladle the batter onto a heated cast iron skillet. (To keep the pancakes from sticking, I sprayed it with some cooking spray first—less fat than butter!) Before the pancakes set up too much, I sprinkled a few blueberries on top.
Usually, you should wait until you’re about ready to flip before adding the berries. However, this is thicker than a traditional pancake batter, so I added them early. Give the berries a little tap down so they get more into the middle. If they just sit on top, you run the risk of burning them. Plus you’ll get a more uniform flavor.
After a few minutes, I checked the bottoms to make sure they were beautifully golden brown. A quick flip, a few more minutes in the pan, and the pancakes were done!
This whole recipe made 9 pancakes. I saran wrapped them in sets of two, with one lonely guy left over for a snack. The whole lot of them are currently in the freezer—in the morning I can grab and go. After my nearly hour commute to the office, they should be about thawed. I hope I can do a little sneaky sneaky by running them through the industrial toaster down in the cafeteria.
I’m going to try skipping the syrup—it’s just boiled sugar, anyway. I think these are great plain anyway, and the blueberries add a little burst of something special every bite or so. If they get too dry in the toaster, I can always add some sugar-free jam or natural peanut butter for some protein. And you know, when I make these again, I might just throw the peanut butter in there anyway.
So now I have a healthy breakfast with complex carbs and a little sweetness from the fruit. (This would be a great way to use up any fruit that on its last legs of freshness, actually!) If I listen to the experts, this will get my metabolism and up and moving. And that’s what I need right now.