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story.lead_photo.caption Blueberry-Oat Pancakes

Pancakes are a favorite weekend breakfast at my house. But when it comes to fueling up for the day, traditional pancakes are pretty useless. They lack protein and fiber -- keys to feeling satisfied and having a steady supply of energy.

But by tweaking tradition, nutritious and tasty pancakes -- emphasis on the tasty part -- are possible.

The secret, according to Nutritious Delicious: Turbocharge Your Favorite Recipes With 50 Everyday Superfoods from America's Test Kitchen is replacing most of the white flour with a whole grain.

A superfood is a nutrient-rich food considered to be beneficial for health.

Superfoods featured in Nutritious Delicious include blueberries, cranberries, cherries, pomegranates, apples, oranges, grapefruit, figs, dates, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, watercress, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, eggplant, avocados, tomatoes, beets, red bell peppers, artichokes, asparagus, mushrooms, onions, green beans, edamame (immature fresh soybeans), beans, lentils, salmon, anchovies, sardines, trout, white fish, tofu, tempeh, eggs, white meat poultry, grass-fed lean beef, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), oats, quinoa, whole grains including red, brown and wild rice, plain yogurt and dark chocolate.

This recipe contains two: oats and blueberries.

Oats are packed with beneficial soluble fiber (more than any other grain) and plenty of protein.

But the blueberries make these pancakes special, and not just because they're rich in anthocyanin antioxidants. They, along with a few tablespoons of sugar, add just enough sweetness that these pancakes don't need a lot of syrup.

This recipe is also a great way to use up leftover buttermilk. And although buttermilk isn't included in America's Test Kitchen's superfood list, the low-fat, cultured dairy product claims its own super abilities when it comes to leavening and tenderizing, not to mention adding a pleasant tangy flavor.

So how do these pancakes compare to traditional pancakes in terms of flavor?

The oats give them a pleasant chewiness as well as a slight nuttiness, and the blueberries are sweet, juicy bursts of flavor.

My husband scoffed at them for being like "whole-wheat pancakes," but then proceeded to eat four. So I'd say he liked them.

Astute readers may notice that this recipe contradicts what I wrote a couple of weeks ago about when to use buttermilk and when to use regular milk with leavening agents. Here, because it takes more oomph to lift oats than wheat flour, the guideline of using a combination of baking powder, baking soda and buttermilk isn't practical.

Blueberry-Oat Pancakes

2 cups buttermilk, divided use

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats, divided use

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

Generous pinch ground nutmeg

2 eggs

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups blueberries

Butter and maple syrup, for serving, optional

Heat oven to 200 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup of the buttermilk and 1 cup of the oats. Stir to mix well; set aside for 15 minutes.

Place the remaining oats in a blender or food processor and buzz until ground to a fine powder.

In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, ground oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, remaining cup buttermilk, oil, sugar and vanilla extract.

Whisk buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture; stir in the softened oats.

Heat a large nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Spoon batter, about 1/4 cup per pancake, onto hot skillet/griddle. Sprinkle evenly with blueberries. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until edges are set and bottom is golden brown. Gently flip and cook 2 minutes more or until second side is golden brown. Transfer cooked pancakes to oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining batter.

Serve hot with butter and maple syrup, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving (without butter or maple syrup) contains approximately 350 calories, 12 g protein, 12 g fat, 48 g carbohydrate (14 g total sugar; 6 g added sugar), 65 mg cholesterol, 390 mg sodium and 5 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 3.

Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen Nutritious Delicious: Turbocharge Your Favorite Recipes With 50 Everyday Superfoods

Food on 03/14/2018

Print Headline: Super pancakes packed with protein, fiber

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