Pancakes are one of my daughter’s favorite breakfasts, and at 16 she is old enough and skilled enough to whip up a batch for herself. But she won’t bother unless there is a pancake mix she can use. Sigh.
While we had found a couple of whole-grain mixes suitable, it always irked me to spend a premium for what is essentially a simple addition of baking powder and salt into flour. And “fine” was about as high a praise as we could muster for any of those we tried.
Finally, it struck me: I can make my own mix! Since then I’ve been toying around with variations, incorporating grains such as cornmeal and oats, and ground nuts and seeds for intrigue and a nutritional boost.
This version has soft, mild whole-wheat pastry flour as its base (you could substitute regular whole-wheat flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour) with almond meal/flour added for extra richness, protein and healthful fat. You can buy almond meal or make it yourself by whirring blanched almonds in a food processor to a powdery consistency.
This recipe also includes hemp hearts or wheat germ for nutty-tasting nutritional goodness and texture. The pancakes come out tender and light, and — with or without added fruit and nuts — they are officially approved by at least one teenager.
DIY whole-wheat almond pancake mix
For the mix
3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup almond meal/flour
¼ cup hemp hearts or toasted wheat germ
¼ cup baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
For the pancakes
1 cup milk
1 large egg
1¼ cups DYI Whole Wheat Almond Pancake Mix
⅓ cup chopped toasted nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans), optional
⅔ cup sliced banana or strawberries or whole blueberries, optional
¼ cup pure maple syrup, for serving
For the mix: Whisk together the whole-wheat pastry flour, almond meal/flour, hemp hearts or toasted wheat germ, baking powder and salt in a container with a tightfitting lid.
To make enough pancakes for 3 to 4 servings, whisk together the milk and egg in a medium bowl. Add 1 ¼ cups of the pancake mix, stirring until there are no dry spots or large lumps; some small lumps are OK. Stir in the nuts and fruit, if using, reserving some to use as an optional topping.
Heat a large nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat. Ladle about ¼ cup of the batter per pancake. Cook for about 2 minutes, then flip them when the pancake tops are covered with bubbles and the undersides are browned. Cook for another 2 minutes or so, just until the pancakes are golden brown on both sides and cooked through. The yield is 8 or 9 medium-size pancakes.
Serve right away, topped with reserved fruit and nuts, if using, and with the maple syrup.
The mix can be refrigerated for up to 3 months.
Makes 5 cups mix, or enough for four batches of pancakes.
Nutrition per finished pancake serving (using 1-percent low-fat milk): 60 calories, 5 grams protein, 5 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fat, 1 grams saturated fat, 50 milligrams cholesterol, 95 milligrams sodium, 0 grams dietary fiber, 4 grams sugar