Readers know that I’m not generally one to hand out recipes. There’s always someone out there who knows more or figured it out more scientifically.
But I find that I’m becoming, quite to my surprise, a pancake expert. I add things to pancakes: Bananas. Applesauce. Carrots. Zucchini. Yams. Wheatgerm. Flaxseed. Ground oats. Ground almonds. I think only one experiment was an unredeemable disaster but I can’t remember which one. Although, in an uncharacteristic turn of discipline and documentation, I usually write down the recipes while the bots are making them disappear, and I usually write them down accurately.
This morning, faced with half a sixteen-ounce container of spinach from last week’s Costco run (do you KNOW how much a pound of spinach is? It’s roughly a billion servings. More when I’m the only one eating it. Eating it alone was not the plan), I decided that I would no longer eat my spinach alone.
So I got out my trusty Joy of Cooking, the one with fifteen different variations scribbled on the “pancakes” page. If I had been in charge of naming this book, it would be called The Necessity of Cooking: Striving for Gratification. As I’ve mentioned (see Muffins McBot, Or, You’re Stepping On My Habit), I enjoy baking much more; it’s zennish, except when it’s punctuated with battle cries and calls for Dora bandaids.
Pancakes fall somewhere between cooking and baking. They’re cakes, but they’re cooked in a pan. What makes them a good target for slipping in nutritious, vitamin-filled ingredients the bots have shunned in other contexts is simple: sugar. I add honey–preferably local honey, because it’s supposed to help with allergies. Makes sense to me. Then I dab them with Vermont maple syrup. Which isn’t supposed to help with any allergies but really, who cares?
Even A.A. Milne wrote a poem about eating peas with honey. If he’d thought of it, I’m sure there would be a follow-up verse about spinach with chocolate.
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- About 1 1/2 cups fresh spinach (or 1/3 cup frozen), cooked & pureed (as my nut grinder has coffee beans in it and my food processor is too big, I just used a pizza cutter to slice-’n'-dice the hell out of it).
- 2-3 T honey (or brown sugar)
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour (these proportions can be varied)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- a few dashes cinnamon
- a handful of chocolate chips
Stir together the liquid ingredients, stir in the dry ingredients. Heat griddle on medium-low with a tiny bit of butter on it. Ladle the batter on, then drop 4 or 5 chocolate chips onto each pancake. When bubbly, flip and cook for another minute.
These don’t even need any syrup. Gbot’s review: “I yuv dese pan-cakes.”
After breakfast, I pile the leftovers into stacks of four and freeze. They reheat fabulously in the microwave. And leftovers are my new favorite food. Look ma, no cooking!