Healthy Mediterranean Cooking at Home

Tag Archives: blueberry pancakes

It’s morning, you’re in a rush, and you’re craving carbs but want to eat sensibly. Do you grab toast, a croissant, or a muffin at a coffee shop? Consumer Reports’ experts rated the nutrition of nine breakfast breads and found the winner was whole-wheat bread, which rated very good for nutrition, with 110 calories, a half-gram of fat, and 5 grams of fiber per slice.

Worst of all, with a nutrition rating of poor, was a heavyweight blueberry muffin with 610 calories, 32 grams of fat, and 40 grams of sugar. That’s more than a quarter of a day’s calorie limit for most people, about a half-day’s suggested intake of fat, and the equivalent of about 10 teaspoons of sugar.

You can make your own healthy breakfast breads and package them in individual portions for a quick “grab and go” breakfast.  Healthy breakfast breads are low in fat but utilize whole grains, fruits and nuts to give them taste.

Try some of the recipes below.  The Strawberry Muffins in the first recipe are a big hit in my family and no one ever suspects that they are only 140 calories.

Fruit Muffins

12 Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup whole-wheat flour or 2 cups Eagle Ultra Grain flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or 1/4 cup light sugar mixed with Stevia)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 4 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/4 cup diced strawberries other fruit in season
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds or other nuts

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray  a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir to mix evenly.

In a separate bowl, mix the egg substitute, oil and orange juice. Add to the flour mixture and blend just until moistened but still lumpy. Stir in the chopped fruit and half of the nuts..

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, filling each cup almost to the top.  Sprinkle remaining nuts onto each muffin and bake until springy to the touch, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cinnamon Yogurt Scones

Hershey and King Arthur make cinnamon chips. If you cannot find cinnamon chips in the baking section of your supermarket, add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and an extra 1/4 cup of nuts in place of the chips.

8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour or Eagle Ultra Gain flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter or Smart Balance Blend, chilled, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup cinnamon chips
  • 1 6 oz. container Light Vanilla Yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, optional 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl add the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix lightly with a whisk.  Add the butter and use a pastry cutter or your hands to mix in the butter to make a coarse meal.  Add the cinnamon, chips and nuts (if using)  and stir to combine.  Add the yogurt and milk and mix just until the dough begins to come together.  

Turn out onto a lightly floured board or counter.  Pat the mixture together to make an 8 inch circle.  Use a bench scraper or long knife and cut into 8 wedges.  Place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 14-16 minutes or until the scones are lightly browned, crispy and a tester comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack.

Yogurt-Zucchini Bread with Walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped (4 ounces)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or Eagle Ultra Gain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (instead use a light sugar; half regular sugar and half Stevia)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup coarsely grated zucchini (from about 1 medium zucchini)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325°. Coat a 9x5x3-inch metal loaf pan with cooking spray and flour the bottom of the pan.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a medium bowl, mix the sugar with the eggs, vegetable oil and fat-free yogurt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients along with the grated zucchini and toasted walnuts and stir until the batter is evenly moistened.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the loaf has risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the loaf cool on a rack for 30 minutes before removing from baking pan and serving.

Tips:

To toast the nuts: Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and bake in a 325 degree oven for about 8-10  minutes

The zucchini loaf can be wrapped tightly in plastic and kept at room temperature for up to 4 days, or frozen in plastic and foil for up to 1 month.

Quick and Easy Cinnamon Coffeecake

Serve this cake with fruit salad on the side.

Yield: 12 servings.

Spelt (Triticum spelta) is a grass, one of the ancestors of modern wheat (Triticum aestivum). It originated in southeast Asia and is probably the “wheat” that was used around the Mediterranean 9,000 years ago. It came to Europe with traders from the Middle East and remained a favorite grain there until the 19th. century and the development of modern strains of wheat. It contains more protein, fat and crude fiber than wheat but it is very soluble (i.e. will dissolve easily), and thus is easy to digest. Because of its greater amounts of protein and fat, it is known as a high-quality energy source for athletes or anyone needing long periods of stamina.

It is not a gluten free flour as some people think.

In baking, spelt behaves like whole wheat flour and has a wonderful nutty flavor. It can be used just as you would whole wheat flour and substituted for the same in any of your favorite recipes. It can also be used in combination with other flours or, like the recipe below, it can be used on its own.  Spelt flour should be stored in the refrigerator.

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

  • 1/3 cup (5 1/3 tablespoons) soft butter or Smart Balance Blend
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Lightly spray a 8- or 9-inch square cake pan with cooking spray.

Cream the butter and sugar together. This is a very important step to keep the cake light.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is fluffy. Stir in the milk.

Combine the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and add to the wet ingredients. Mix until blended.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool before cutting.

Drizzle the top with a powdered sugar glaze if you have a sweet tooth.

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon buttermilk or whole milk

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle over the top of the cake.

Flaxseed Blueberry Pancakes

Buckwheat flour is Gluten Free, leading people with gluten intolerance to seek it out as a flour alternative. Many grocery stores carry buckwheat flour and buckwheat blends.

Individuals with gluten intolerance should be careful about where they purchase their buckwheat flour. It is often made in facilities which process wheat, and contamination is possible. It may also be blended with wheat as a filler, so be sure the buckwheat flour you buy is clearly labeled as “gluten free.” Plain buckwheat flour can be used in an assortment of foods including pancakes and noodles.

Although buckwheat is treated like a cereal crop, it is actually a plant, not a grass. The fruit of buckwheat is what is harvested and eaten after the hard outer husk has been pulled away.  Two things that have made it a popular choice of crop around the world are that the plants thrive in poor growing conditions and mature quickly. In addition to making buckwheat flour from the buckwheat harvest, it is sold in a cracked form for groats that can be steamed or boiled for puddings and porridge. Buckwheat is also planted as a cover crop for beekeeping, since it produces a high volume of flavorful nectar.

Buckwheat, whole wheat, flax seeds and blueberries combine to form a breakfast that’s high in fiber, protein and B vitamins. Buckwheat’s nutty taste combines with the sweetness of blueberries and honey to make delicious pancakes so good you’ll forget that they are healthy.

Flaxseed is high in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and phytochemicals called lignans. Both flaxseed and flaxseed oil have been used to help reduce total blood cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or “bad”) cholesterol levels and, as a result, may help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Makes 6 servings.

Note: For gluten free pancakes replace the whole wheat flour with a gluten free alternative flour, such as, potato starch or almond.

  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour 
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup skim milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups blueberries (rinsed and set aside), plus extra to sprinkle on top of the cooked pancakes
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Maple Syrup

Directions:

In large bowl combine flours, flax seed, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl mix together buttermilk, skim milk, eggs, oil and honey.
Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients and stir just until batter is lightly mixed together. (If the batter appears too thick, add a bit more skim milk to thin.) Lumps are okay and over mixing makes for tough pancakes. Fold in blueberries.

Preheat large skillet over medium heat. Spray skillet with cooking spray. Use 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes per side on medium-high heat. The pancakes are ready to flip when bubbles start to appear. Turn over only once.
When serving the pancakes, top with extra blueberries and maple syrup

Any leftovers can be refrigerated with waxed paper in between for a mid-week treat. Reheat in the oven or microwave.



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