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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Easy Oatmeal Pancakes

When I was a little girl, I remember thinking that my mom's pancake breakfasts were the most delicious, most exciting meal that she would make for us.  As we got older my younger sister Alissa and I loved helping out with the preparation, watching for the batter to bubble and timing the flip just right to make them the perfect shade of golden brown.  We lived at our house in Bethany Beach, Delaware every summer and pancake breakfasts there were especially wonderful.  Our little townhouse was full of guests staying with us, all summer long.  We were laid back, carefree, barefoot and happy.

The memories I have of growing up at the beach every summer are priceless to me.  Those years have so much to do with making me the person I am today.  I was taught to appreciate the simple things, to adore time with the people I love, to be flexible and easy going and just live in the very moment at hand.  I can't think back to that time in my life without smiling and feeling completely grateful.  It is almost like warm sunshine washes over and through me whenever I think about it.  My lips automatically curl into a smile and I know that I am blessed and lucky.  I can close my eyes and take myself right back there, and taste all of the memories as if they were yesterday.  I feel the sand in my toes, the saltwater on my skin.  Hear the laughter of me and my sisters and our friends.  I am filled with the pure and simple joy that made up those summer days.  And I am thankful.

I think all of us have pieces from our childhood that we hope to recreate for our own children when we become parents.  Moments and traditions that helped shape us into the people we are today.  Memories of the ones we love, especially our parents and our siblings, that we want to pass down for future generations.  For me, SUMMER is like a big box full of everything I hold dear.  I want to open it up, dive in and just SAVOR every second of it.  I could LIVE in that box of Summer, and I would not tire of the season one bit I promise you.  The idea of an "endless summer" totally works for me - I am a summertime girl and there is just no time of year that suits me better.  Some day I will live at the beach.  I don't really care which one.  I just want to be close to the sea and the salt air and the sunshine.  Some day.

Anyway, this post is already all over the place.  Sorry about that.  I said it was about pancakes.  And it is!  I just digressed a little (or maybe a lot).  Because when I think of pancakes I think of my mother and when I think of my mother I think of the summer and our big pancake breakfasts and the fact that I want to be that kind of mom to my own kids.  To pass down the pancake breakfast tradition.  I'm not a fantastic cook - but pancakes - I can do those!  Thanks to my mother.

So four years ago when my son Will was diagnosed with life threatening food allergies to nearly every ingredient that is IN a pancake, my bubble was completely burst.  He can't have eggs or dairy (among lots of other things) and up until he was 3 years old he also couldn't have wheat or soy.  My husband and I were determined to figure out a way to make pancakes that our little guy could eat and that we all would enjoy.  We tried lots and lots of recipes and this one is so simple it almost can't even be called a recipe.  I make these pancakes frequently for my family and everyone loves them.

EASY OATMEAL PANCAKES

ingredients:
quick oats
soy milk
sugar
canola oil


There are no measurements, I realize that.  It is great - very hard to mess up - and also really easy for the kids to help out with.

To make the batter, I fill a microwavable glass bowl about half full with the oats.  Then I add soy milk to get a consistency that would make very thick oatmeal.  I put a little bit of sugar (just depends how sweet you want it) and a little splash of canola oil in the bowl and stir it all up.  Then I microwave the bowl for about a minute and a half.  The oatmeal should be thick - not soupy.


While the oatmeal is cooking, I heat up a skillet and put a tiny bit of canola oil in the pan.  Not a lot at all - just a little to coat the pan.  You could also probably use canola oil spray.  You just don't want the pancakes to stick to the pan.  Once the oatmeal is done, I plop spoonfuls of it onto the pan.  They aren't going to ooze and spread the way normal pancake batter does so you don't need to worry about them running together since the oatmeal is thick.  But you should leave maybe an inch or so between each pancake while they cook so you have room to flip them.


I smoosh them flat a little bit and let them cook for a few minutes before flipping them.  It depends how high you have the heat and how crispy you want them to be.  They are technically already cooked so again, you cannot mess these up!  I like them to be a golden brown and flip them usually after just a couple minutes on high heat.


I cook them for about the same amount of time on the other side, and then they are done.  It is insanely easy!


It is fun to play with this - I've added cinnamon, bananas, chocolate chips, blueberries.  I'm sure there's so much else you could try.  They also refrigerate really well and make great leftovers the next morning.  Another bonus!

My family enjoys these so much.  Everyone is happy when we have an oatmeal pancake breakfast.  Will loves them stacked with syrup drizzled on top, Gus loves them broken up into pieces.  Abby loves them completely plain and simple.  As a mom, I love that they are totally easy, somewhat nutritious and really delicious.


This pancake breakfast may be totally different from the one my mom made for me and my sisters when I was a young girl, but I know the impact on my kids is absolutely one and the same.  I can see it in their eyes, hear it in their laughter.

We make good memories around our breakfast table.  Memories that will help shape and define us.  It's so simple.  And so wonderful.

6 comments:

Great idea, Jess! I love oatmeal and pancakes, so it sounds like a perfect breakfast to me. BTW, about the chocolate avocado mousse, I think you'd be totally fine without the almond extract. It just gives it a different flavor. Maybe try additional vanilla extract. I think you have to just play around with it.

That a really touching story! And thank you for sharing a super easy, healthy recipe! I'm going to try those out this weekend. :)

Sarah
www.thinfluenced.com

Yum! Those look delicious and easy to make. I bet my son would love them too. Thanks for sharing!

I don't have food allergies, but anything that requires about two steps = winner in my book.

Ah, great idea.

I do hope you will share more food ideas with us.

So funny, I have the same fin memories :-)
We also LOVE pancake breakfast over here. Not will safe and not so easy, but deeeee-licious! I'm really into making buckwheat pancakes lately!
I keep hoping one of these days I'm going to find n electric griddle just like the one mom used for ever!
Great post Jess! I'm going to make these fr the kiddos in the morning :-) then pack them in the bob and boogie :-)

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