BUTTERMILK POLENTA PANCAKES WITH CINNAMON TOPPED WITH BLUEBERRY COMPOTE


Article courtesy of Donna Hargrove, D.O., Nutrition Editor

Pancakes from scratch are just as easy as taking a mix and adding milk or water to it. If you can use a measuring cup, you can make these pancakes. Mix the dry ingredients together the night before to save time and the compote can be made a day or two ahead of time. Better yet, in the “mother batch” mode of cooking, if you have the cooking time, double the recipe and make extra for the freezer. Allow the extra pancakes to cool, place wax paper between them and place in a freezer bag, labeled with food and date. I usually put a serving in each bag. On the day you want to use them, pop them frozen in the microwave or oven to warm (removed from the freezer bag and wax paper), then serve. The compote can also be frozen and reheated.

Serves 4

Equipment: Medium  and small mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, griddle or large cast iron or non-stick frying pan, spatula/turner.

Ingredients:

1 ¼ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

¾ cup coarse yellow cornmeal (polenta)

1 tbsp raw sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg or ground nutmeg (see Note at the bottom)

cinnamon sticks, whole nutmeg and allspice

1 tsp baking powder, double acting

½ tsp baking soda

1 tsp flax seed

¼ tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs, beaten

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup water

Method:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil and water with beaten eggs. Whisk the liquid ingredients into the dry, leaving small lumps, just before cooking.

Set a griddle or skillet over medium high heat and spray with vegetable oil (peanut is best). When the pan is hot, spoon ¼ cup mounds of batter in the pan and spread to form 4 inch rounds. Cook the pancakes until the bottom is browned and bubbles start to form on the surface, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until browned on the bottom, 1-2 minutes longer. Serve warm with blueberry compote.

(Note: Fresh grated nutmeg has a much bigger flavor than ground nutmeg found in the spice department. You can find whole nutmeg in many places that you buy organic or bulk dry items. It is worth the trouble.)

BLUEBERRY COMPOTE

Equipment: Medium saucepan, spoon, measuring cups and spoons.

Ingredients:

2 cups frozen blueberries

¼ cup dark rum

¼ cup raw sugar

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

½ tsp vanilla extract (not flavoring)

1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

Method:

Combine 1 cup of blueberries, rum, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the berries pop, about 10-15 minutes. Add the remaining blueberries and cook another 15 minutes. Cover and cool. If you would like them a little thicker, they can be simmered on low until reduced to the desired thickness. They will thicken some as they cool. Serve warm over pancakes.

The compote can be made up to 3 days ahead and kept in the refrigerator.

Serving size = 3 pancakes. Nutrition Information per serving: Calories: 414, Fat: 18 gm, Carbohydrates: 54 gm, Fiber: 4 gm.

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