Recipe: The Improved Pancake

You know those instant muffin mixes where you just add milk?  The kind that are usually sold in soft-sided packages instead of boxes?  Fun fact: you can turn any of those into pancakes just by adding one egg (or the equivalent amount of egg substitute) in addition to the milk.

Now I’m going to take this one step further by explaining how to make these pancakes healthier, while saving money in the long term.

First, I want to take a step back and talk about whole wheat pancakes.  Really, all you need for a batch of these is some whole wheat flour, an egg, some milk and a tsp each of baking soda and baking powder.

Problem is, whole wheat flour has a slightly bitter taste which many find disagreeable.  Unless you dump a ton of sugar into the mix, and maybe add some butter, this type of pancake isn’t going to be very popular.

Instead, you can strike a compromise between tasty and healthy (tealthy?) by adding a cup of whole wheat flour to that muffin mix, along with a tsp of baking soda and baking powder.  Then you can also save some money by dividing half of the resulting mixture into a baggie for later.

This technique will work better for some flavors than others.  In general, you will want to add something to the mix to offset the bitterness of the whole wheat flour.  You might even make them even healthier, to boot.

Chocolate chip pancakes can be improved by adding dark cocoa powder.  As for apple cinnamon pancakes, adding freshly diced apples and a lot of cinnamon completely transforms them.  And banana slices seem to be a given for banana nut pancakes, though you may also want to add a few drops of imitation banana flavoring.

 Nobody will mistake this for health food, but I think it’s important to find a compromise between cravings and necessities.  By exercising a bit of restraint, and putting in little additional effort, you can make pancakes that could improve both your waistline (though not by much) and your finances (probably even less, but cut me some fucking slack).