Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Easy Breakfast Recipes - Homeschool Blog Hop Day 3

By far, one of the easiest breakfasts to put together and store in the freezer is pancakes and waffles. When you know that you will have an hour or two free on an afternoon or weekend, it's a great time to plan a pancake extravaganza! Waffles are great, but you can only make a few at a time, and it takes longer. Pancakes work out well because I can make a triple batch of batter, and by filling up my entire griddle, have the batter all turned into pancakes in under an hour. This will give me about a week's worth of pancakes to feed my hungry family!
Freezing tips: Allow your pancakes to cool completely before packing in freezer bags! This helps them maintain a good texture. Also, place them in single layers between wax paper. They tend to 'stick together' otherwise. Having them packaged well makes it very easy to just remove a few for what you need for one meal.
Reheating tips: The pancakes reheat well in the microwave or in the toaster! They also reheat well from a frozen state - no need to thaw first unless you really want to.
Pancakes are easy to make because you can make them from scratch or from pancake mix. I do both, depending on what's on sale or what I have on hand. Here's a simple recipe for pancakes from scratch. You can also make ahead your own pancake mix using just the dry ingredients listed below.
Dry Pancake Mix: (makes 8-10 pancakes per batch)
1 1/4 c. flour
3 Tbs sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
To this dry pancake mix, add:
1 beaten egg
1 c milk
1 Tbs cooking oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk dry and wet ingredients together until blended, but it should be slightly lumpy. Heat your griddle up on medium (it is hot enough when drops of water will bounce on it).  Spray the griddle with a slight dose of Canola spray, and pour the batter on in small circles. (For real uniform pancakes, you can use a batter dispenser! - see link below). As the pancakes cook, small air bubbles will form on the top.

When they begin to pop, it is time to get your spatula out and flip those pancakes over! The other side will only need to cook a short time. Remove the pancakes from heat and serve immediately! If you are making them to freeze, then allow them to cool completely before packing them in freezer bags.
A pancake ready for eating!
A stack of pancakes hot off the griddle!
Gluten and Dairy Free Alternatives: 
While you certainly can use the following recipe and make GF/DF pancakes from scratch, I highly recommend a commercial mix for best texture and flavor, especially if you have family members who have eaten regular wheat based pancakes in the past, before having to give up their gluten, and remember how they taste!
Our two favorite commercial mixes are: 

While it is slightly more expensive to purchase a pre-made mix, the convenience and superior quality makes it worthwhile for us. Plus, if you purchase by the case, like we do, then the cost is much less a factor.

Recipe for "from scratch" Gluten-free pancakes: (makes about 10 pancakes)
1 1/4 c. rice flour (if possible, use a fine ground version - link below)
4 Tbs tapioca flour
1/3 c. potato starch
2 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs  (see below for egg replacement advice!)
3 Tbs oil
2 c. liquid - can use apple juice, soy milk, rice milk (or whatever milk you use)

Mix dry ingredients together completely. Mix wet ingredients separately, then add to dry, and lightly mix until blended but still lumpy. Do not overmix or they will get very tough!

Continue cooking - following the directions above.

A stack of gluten free pancakes!
Egg Replacement:

When the girls were egg free, we used a lot of this product - Ener-G egg replacer. It is a potato based product that, when mixed with water, helps baked goods have a good texture.

If you need to replace the eggs in your pancake batter, mix 3 tsp of this egg replacer with 4 Tbs of water (to equal 2 eggs) and then continue with the recipe.

Often I will bag the pancakes as to how many I will need for one serving, so the kids can just grab a bag and heat them up themselves when they are ready to eat breakfast. Most of the kids will eat two, dad will eat three, so I do some bags of both. I write on the outside of each bag what is inside so everyone gets their own pancakes.

No More boring pancakes!! (Great add-ins)
I am always trying to find ways to sneak fruits or veggies into my family. Pancakes are a great way to do this! Here is a list of healthy add-ins to make your pancakes more exciting!

a scoop of blueberries
shredded apples  (and maybe a handful of chopped nuts?)
pureed pumpkin or winter squash
chopped strawberries
pureed bananas
and one not so healthy add-in that my kids love.....chocolate chips! (If you need dairy free, consider Enjoy Life chips (linked below) because they are just completely amazing!)

Here are several of my Amazon links to some of the products I mentioned:

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