By Judith Yamada
Now don’t get me wrong. When I get this pancake urge, it’s not a craving for those boring pancakes that a lot of people say they don’t like. You know what I mean, the questionable bag mixes and tasteless homemade plain fried batter cakes with no flavor. When I told a neighbor about the different pancake recipes in my upcoming cookbook, Frugal Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times, she asked, “Why do you eat pancakes, they’re so tasteless?” I replied, well, I make them delicious, that’s why.
Anyway, pancakes are a perfect example of frugal, hearty comfort food. Cheap and easy to make from scratch, kids love them and can even help with the preparation. I still have fond memories of Mum making homemade silver dollar pancakes for dinner on Saturday nights when Dad worked past our bedtimes.
Of course, these quick treats can also be plain and drizzled with butter and maple syrup. They can be nutritionally motivated by incorporating nutrient-dense ingredients like eggs, tofu, mashed pumpkin, yogurt, whole grains, summer squash, or fruit. And they can be made into delicious hearty dinners with herbs, squash blossoms, cheese (ricotta is especially good), nuts, vegetables, smoked fish or cooked lean meats.
One of my favorite pancake recipes is whole wheat zucchini pancakes, which I serve with fresh berry sauce. The great thing is using all of those zucchini. You can use plenty of summer zucchini during the growing season to make these delicious pancakes. And for a touch of summer, these are just as tasty and fluffy with frozen shredded zucchini that’s been thawed and drained.
Amazingly, my husband (who doesn’t love veggies) loves these. That says a lot in my kitchen.
Wilderness House Zucchini Pancakes
My old 1976 zucchini cookbook has the most wonderful zucchini recipes and this one is no exception. These are mottled green, fluffy, tender, delicious – and healthy. You will be amazed.
2 large eggs – beaten
1 cup low-fat unsweetened milk OR buttermilk
1 tablespoon honey OR maple syrup
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ cups shredded zucchini, green skin included but seeds removed*
1 ½ cups whole wheat flour OR gluten free flour mix
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Oil for griddle
In a medium bowl, whisk the beaten eggs with other liquids.
In another bowl, whisk the dry ingredients.
Combine both mixtures and stir very little. Don’t overmix.
Carefully and evenly fold the grated courgettes into the batter.
Spoon ¼ cup batter (for each pancake) onto a lightly oiled griddle preheated to medium, low, or medium heat. Turn the cakes when bubbles begin to burst at the top, but only turn once and do not press down. Other side brown. Keep warm in the oven (170 F.) until all the pancakes are done. Top with the berry sauce below, other fruits, honey, soft cheese, syrup or some butter. 3-4 servings
Adapted from the original: Zucchini Cookery/Wilderness House
*Frozen shredded zucchini is perfect for this. Thaw and drain 2 cups of shredded zucchini before using.
Warm berry sauce
3 cups washed fresh berries
¼ cup of water
3 tablespoons real maple syrup or honey or natural fruit spread**
pinch of salt
If you’re using it for a pancake or waffle topping, start with the sauce first.
If using strawberries in the sauce, peel and slice. Halve blackberries. Use any combination of berries you have*. Place all ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until mixture simmers. Reduce the heat to maintain a constant, light bubbling. Stir every few minutes. The sauce will thicken as the liquid evaporates (about 15 minutes). When the liquid is syrupy, drip it from a spoon. It is finished. Remove from stove. For 2-4 people as a topping for pancakes, waffles, shortcake, yoghurt or ice cream. If you don’t use all of the sauce, refrigerate it for another use. Use within 3 days.
*Frozen berries can be substituted. Use one 12-ounce package of frozen unsweetened berries and mash them during cooking to get preferred texture. Do not thaw the berries for this recipe.
** ½ cup unsweetened pineapple or orange juice can be used in place of the sweetener and water.
Original: Kitchen Maven