About three or four years ago, I used to make oatmeal pancakes for our breakfast on a regular basis. We had a school bus-riding foster child then, and since I needed to be up anyway to make sure she didn’t slip out of the house with her tongue ring still in, I went the extra step and made a hot breakfast for everyone. Along with Dutch puff, oatmeal, Farmer Boy pancakes, scrambled or fried eggs, egg casseroles, and Cream Cheese and Blueberry French Toast Sandwiches, I made oatmeal pancakes.
Everyone likes oatmeal pancakes better than plain oatmeal (c’mon, there’s syrup involved!), and they are fairly simple to assemble, though because the oats soak in a yogurt-water mixture overnight, you do have to remember to start them the night before. I’ve been trying to make them all week now, but somehow always ended up going to bed before setting the oats to soaking. Until last night, that is. Then I finally remembered. (Seeing as last night was Tuesday night, I guess I’m not doing so bad.)
Soaking oats (and other grains) in yogurt or buttermilk is recommended by the health experts because the enzymes in the cultured dairy products help to break down and neutralize the phytic acid, thus improving the food’s nutritional benefits. (I got so smart by reading Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions.) But we all know I’m no health freak (I’m a freak in other ways, yes, but not in healthy ways), and even so, I choose to soak my oats. Why? Because they taste good! The oats plump up till they are swollen and tender (and about the same consistency of cooked oatmeal), and they develop a slight hint of sourness (use less yogurt for less sour; more yogurt and the sourness becomes more intense) so that the final product tastes more cultured (in a sophisticated sort of way).
So this morning after spending some dark morning quality time at my computer, I set the griddle on the stove top and went about adding flour, spices, oil, and a handful of eggs to the bowl of soaked oats. The Baby Nickel joined me and hijacked my spatulas.
The final pancakes are tender and chewy (but not gummy) with a hint of cinnamon. Served with lots of butter and homemade maple syrup, they make for a deliciously hearty breakfast.
We ate a bunch of the leftover pancakes for lunch (after we finished off a loaf of bread, some chicken salad, lentils and brown rice, and spinach-chicken quiche), reheated and spread with butter and grape jelly.
Oatmeal Pancakes other ways:
Molly’s Oatmeal Pancakes
Mama Pea’s Oatmeal Pancakes
Adapted from Simply in Season
A double recipe feeds my family most generously and still leaves a couple pancakes for later snacking.
Variations: Add a grated apple, chopped dried dates, or blueberries to the batter.
2 cups rolled oats
½ cup yogurt or buttermilk
1 ½ cups water
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup oil, or melted butter
½ cup flour
2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
The night before:
Stir together the oats, yogurt, and water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (or a shower cap) and set it aside on the counter. Go to bed.
In the morning:
Stir together the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
Add the eggs and oil to the soaked oats. Stir in the dry ingredients.
Melt a pat of butter in a frying pan and spoon some of the batter into the pan. The batter is thick, so you may need to use the back of a spoon to spread the batter out a bit. Fry the pancakes until they are golden brown and no longer wet inside.
About one year ago: A child’s blessing.