Sunday, March 9, 2014

Strawberries 'N Cream Pancakes

Did you know: this past Tuesday, March 4, was National Pancake Day? Normally, I celebrate at IHOP because on National Pancake Day, they serve free short stacks of pancakes all day long. Delicious! Of course, with free pancakes come long waits and crowded restaurants, so at the end of my busy day, I decided to make my own pancakes in hopes that they would be healthier and just as tasty (if not tastier).
Enter: Strawberries 'N Cream Pancakes! Wowww. These are as delicious as they are beautiful! It was really late when I started cooking (hence the poorly-lit photos--sorry!), so for simplicity's sake, I used a pancake mix shortcut--but to add a little fiber, I ground up some whole oats to make oat flour and added them to the mix. Bonus: it made for a heartier pancake, especially with the addition of freshly-chopped strawberries!

For flavor, I also added a little vanilla extract, some ground cinnamon, and a bit of almond extract. Man. Almond extract is stinkin' delicious. If you don't have some, I highly recommend that you get some...and use it as often as your recipes (and palate) will allow!
The glaze, though...come on is ridiculous. As I had just returned from the gym when I decided that pancakes were for dinner, I didn't want to wreck all the benefits of my workout by drowning the pancakes in a cream cheese waterfall (although, let's be real--it probably would have been worth it). So instead, I used Neufchatel cheese, which tastes just like regular cream cheese, but with 1/3 of the fat-- and I used low-fat milk (1%). Delicious!
Disclaimer: don't be deceived: though this is a healthi-er pancake, it won't help you fit into your jeans better. Consider yourself forewarned before you accuse me of derailing your diet! I loosely adapted this recipe from Serene at House of Yumm. Pancakes for everybody!

For the pancakes:
  • 2 cups Bisquick (feel free to substitute 1/2 cup of pancake mix for whole wheat/grain flour)
  • 1/2 cup oats, ground into oat flour (just pulse your oats in the blender or food processor)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk (almond, skim, low-fat--whatever you like)
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon almond extract (I eyeballed this one--don't have an exact measurement)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Again, that's approximate--I just gave the bottle a few good shakes)
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries 
For the glaze:
  • 4 ounces Neufchatel (or cream) cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar (the original recipe calls for a whole cup, but that's too sweet for me)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons milk
Add the Bisquick, oat flour, vanilla, cinnamon, almond extract, eggs, milk, brown sugar into a large mixing bowl. Stir until combined. Add the strawberries and fold into the batter.

Cook pancakes on a skillet over medium-low heat until golden. Note: the addition of the oat flour will make the pancake batter a bit thick, so be sure to cook your pancakes all the way through!

For the glaze:

Place all ingredients into a small mixing bowl and stir until smooth and creamy. Add milk or powdered sugar as needed to get desired consistency. 
Nutrition Facts-- Servings: 10-12 Size: 1 Pancake with glaze  Calories: 207 • Fat: 7.7 g • Carbs: 28.7 g • Fiber: 2.1 g  Protein: 4.6 g • Sugars: 13 g

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