Last weekend while I was in Sylvan Lake, my mother-in-law gave me a book called The Sneaky Chef by Missy Chase Lapine. While I have mixed feelings about serving my kids cupcakes just to get them to eat their blueberries (which my kids happen to love, by the way), I do love the idea of packing even more nutrition into semi-healthy and healthy foods they already love.
So, using this principle, and inspired by a recipe in the book itself, this morning I created a new kind of pancake for our family, "hiding" two items that have been previously offensive to my kids taste buds--green beans and saskatoons. (They actually love wild saskatoons, but these were domestic ones, rather large, with very large crunchy seeds which were off-putting. And I am the only member of my family that likes steamed green beans, or any other form of them.)
Also, for my birthday, my mother gave me this amazing grain grinder. It slices, it dices, it washes your car! Well, not quite, but I got the attachments to not only grind grain, but to grind meat, slice onions, cheese, and other vegetables, grate nuts, carrots, etc., and to flake grains. Also, I got the hand-operated base as well as the motorized, so if I'm feeling ambitious, the power's out, or I feel a little boy needs to work off some energy, we can still use the grinder. And! It's quiet! (Some grain grinders I've heard would compete with standing directly behind a jet-engine on take-off for noise level.)
The advantage of grinding your own grain is, of course, that you get to keep more of those precious nutrients that start to oxidize and be lost as soon as the grain is ground. You also get to avoid any toxic "re-fortifying" of nutrients that is often included in the store-bought variety. (You don't need the re-fortification anyway--the flour is unbleached, fresh, and still has all its nutrients!)
So, this is a twist on my previous soaked pancake recipe, using spelt* instead of whole wheat flour, and being a little bit "sneaky" to get the whole family--myself included--to consume more green healthy things during our day. (You can use store-bought whole wheat, if a grain-grinder or spelt flour are not available to you!)
Double Chocolate Spelt Pancakes
Makes about 18 6"-diameter pancakes
3 cups freshly-ground spelt flour
2 1/2 cups whole-milk kefir (Buttermilk may also be used)
1/2 cup saskatoon/green bean purée (see below)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 eggs (organic, free-range is best)
2 tbsp. natural sugar (e.g. Rapadura, succanat, Panela)
1/4 cup cocoa
1-2 tbsp. baking powder (aluminum free)
1 tsp. celtic sea salt--may be ground for more even distribution, but not necessary
1/2 cup organic chocolate chips
Optional add-in: 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1-3 tbsp. butter
- The night before, mix flour and kefir and set on the counter in a covered bowl to soak for at least 7 hours. (Neutralizes phytates.)
- The next morning, add remaining ingredients and mix well. (Leave out chocolate chips and optional until everything else has been well-blended.)
- Heat a cast-iron pan or griddle on medium-low. Melt 1 tbsp. butter in pan to prevent sticking. Pan is ready when a drop of cold water "skips" on surface.
- Drop by serving-spoonfuls into pan. Cook until the edges start to dry out and "bubbles" appear around the edges. Flip and cook until bottom is browned (more-so than the already cocoa-coloured brown-ness!)
- Serve warm, smeared in butter or nut butter, topped with fresh fruit, a drizzle of maple syrup and a dollop of whipped cream (raw is best).
- Leftovers can be sent as snacks in lunches and eaten cold with a smear of butter on them.
Saskatoon/Green Bean Purée
1 cup saskatoons (you may also use fresh or frozen blueberries)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen green beans
1 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2-3 tbsp. filtered water
Boil over medium heat for several minutes until beans and berries are soft. Purée in blender or food processor. You can slip left-over purée into shakes or muffins and other baked goods--just make sure to adjust the other liquids in the recipe accordingly.
Naturally-Sweetened Whipped Cream
2 cups whipping cream (raw, organic is best)
1-2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
Use electric mixer to beat cream until stiff. Add syrup and vanilla, mix in, and serve. YUM!
The result? Mommy was amazed as the children gobbled down their über-pancakes, then asked for more--completely unaware of the nutrients they had just ingested. My kids are becoming educated (at age-appropriate levels) about reasons to eat healthy food, and to avoid refined sugars (we talk about how eating sugar puts their "soldiers" to sleep so they can get sick), but even adults have things that they avoid, no matter how good for themselves they know the item to be, because they can't stand the taste or the texture. This might be the answer for helping kids (and adults!) to get that "wide variety of high-nutrient food" into their systems with minimal face-scrunching.
If you put this principle to work, let me know the results!
*The St. Hildegard mentioned in this article also did quite a lot to further the knowledge of the use of essential oils and plants to aid the body in healing itself.
I would just like to point out this source of raw, unpasteurized almonds that I just found this week. The added perk? They are pre-sprouted! (For those who are unaware, as of September 1 of this year, all almonds grown in North America are being pasteurized, with who knows what kind of long-term effect on the nut and the consumer.)
Here's a video featuring the owner of www.LivingNutz.com. and Mike Adams.