Nostalgic Sunday – Old Fashioned Pancakes

As an empty nester, I have the luxury to take my cup of coffee and laptop back to bed in the morning if I so choose, but I recall the days when I got up early every morning and made breakfast for three hungry boys before school. Those days are long gone though. Now when my kids come home to visit, they are rarely up before noon. Feeling a bit nostalgic for the ‘good old days’ this Sunday morning, I decided to make one of my classic breakfasts, good old fashioned pancakes, which I used to make several times a week. They are easy, delicious and full of wonderful hidden nutrients, your family will never know its eating. These are not your giant restaurant pancakes which soak up syrup like a sponge and leave you feeling like you’ve eaten wet concrete. These are light and creamy, a more healthful version of the old silver dollar pancakes.

I have been a fan of Adelle Davis, a visionary nutritionist who wrote books on nutrition from 1948 through the 70’s. She was among the first to believe that eating right can make you healthy. She believed in unprocessed foods, good fats, whole grains and cooking to maximize nutrition and taste. It’s probably due to her that I never jumped onto the fat free bandwagon, which we now know is actually making people fatter, due to the added sugar and empty calories substituted for the fat. She also believed that “Good food is a symbol of love” and can help satisfy your “spiritual and emotional hungers”. Perhaps, as a mother, this is why I have identified with her approach. I have always felt that preparing a beautiful meal is the easiest way to share the love, so to speak, perhaps my own take on the saying “The fastest way to the heart is through the stomach”.

Pancakes flour

I have adapted this pancake recipe (and many others over the years) from her “Let’s Cook It Right” cookbook which my mom gave me many years ago. One of the things I like about her cookbook is that she offers so many options that make her recipes very flexible. This recipe calls for a cup of flour, a combination of any types of flour as long as they are whole grain, so it’s easy to make this gluten free and wheat free, and use whatever is in your pantry. I like to use oat flour, brown rice flour, and coconut flour (which is high in protein) but there are many great options available now. If you use whole wheat flour, I would recommend using whole wheat pastry flour which is lighter as it is ground more finely. You can also buy combination flour mixes for convenience. Bob’s Red Mill has a good gluten-free flour mix. I usually use non-fat or 1% milk (since that is what we drink) and add non-fat powdered milk to boost calcium and protein levels, which was especially important back when I was trying to feed finicky eaters, but using whole milk, buttermilk or yogurt all add more food value and create a creamier pancake.

I can remember personalizing each pancake, special to each person. The thought of this still makes me smile.  Dylan liked his plain with butter and syrup, bananas and blueberries on the side (not touching). Jackson’s were plain, strawberries no blueberries. Eric loved blueberry pancakes and my husband preferred finely diced apples cooked inside with fresh fruit on top. My favorites had a little bit of everything cooked inside and on top.

Old Fashioned Pancakes

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


Whole Grain Pancakes

1 cup whole grain flour (any combination)

1/2 cup powdered milk (optional)

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1 1/2 cups milk, buttermilk or yogurt

2 eggs

2 Tbsn vegetable oil

Assorted fruit, sliced or diced thinly

Pancakes fruitPancakes apples

  • Sift dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl.
  • Add milk, eggs and oil and stir to mix but as little as possible (no more than 50 strokes) as the texture can become tough.  Add more milk if it seems too thick.  A thick batter will make thick pancakes.

Pancakes cookingPancakes cooking2

  • Pour or drop by spoonfuls onto preheated griddle.  If you are using brown rice flour or powdered milk, lower the heat so it doesn’t burn.  Top with fruit if desired and spread with a spoon to ensure even cooking.  When bubbles pop, turn and brown the other side.  If you are using apples, pancakes need to cook a bit longer.
  • Top with fresh fruit and maple syrup. Enjoy!


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