22 December 2012

Christmas Pancakes...with Spinach Trees!

I'm going to ask you to suspend your disbelief.
The pancakes are having their own Christmas party. you know what we do when we don't get invited to pancake parties?
We eat all the partiers.
There is spinach in these Holiday Pancakes. Real, raw, and beautiful spinach.

But as far as you're concerned, there are actual miniature Christmas trees in these pancakes.
There is no spinach taste (really!). There is only holiday cheer...and a bit of healthy.

Even the spinach texture gets lost. I promise.

So ask not if you will be able to handle the minor fact that there is something as strange-sounding as spinach in your pancakes (you will).
I never thought decorating a Christmas tree with butter would be so easy
Rather, ask yourself how you will get your children/suspicious boyfriend/picky husband/fussy mother to believe you.

You can think while you cook, just hurry up! Christmas is just around the corner!

Healthy Holiday Pancakes...with Spinach!
Ingredients
Dry

  • 3/4 cup white flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or any flour, really)
  • 1 1/2 cup oats, ground to "flour" in food processor*
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2-4 large spinach leaves

  • Wet

  • 2 cups milk 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or tart plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 tbs EVOO, nut oil, or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbs honey (or sub. 2 added tbs sugar in dry ingredients)
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (or 8 drops peppermint oil)**
  • *If you don't have oats or just don't feel like using them (but they're so healthy!), feel free to substitute with flour, but start off with 1 1/2 cups of milk instead of two and add more as necessary to reach desired batter consistency.
    **Peppermint in pancakes may sound strange, but it really helps to give these a Christmas-y feel. If your're still nervous, wait to add it. Make a few regular pancakes, then add it to the rest of the batter (reduce amount proportionately)
    The ornaments are not a garnish. Do not eat the ornaments.
    Directions
    Whisk dry ingredients (minus the spinach) together in one bowl, whisk wet in a different bowl. The honey will be annoying, but don't fret. It'll all work out in the end.

    Make a well in the dry mixture and slowly pour in the wet while whisking to combine. Don't overmix. It's fine if there are still small clumps.

    Let sit for 10 minutes

    Meanwhile, cut your Christmas trees! Using a sharp knife, you can trace the outline of a tree as though you're popping the shape out of a mold, or you can take the more meticulous route of cutting strips of spinach and piecing the tree's outline together (you might want to have tweezers handy to help you get the pieces into place).

    When ready, preheat a nonstick pan to medium heat. Add just enough butter or oil to form a minuscule layer on the pan. Pour about 1/2 cup of the batter onto the pan and after about 30 seconds, begin to assemble your tree.
    You think I don't have time to make Christmas tree stencils out of spinach leaves? Oh, I have time. And I'm just throwing this out there, but I think a certain Mr. S. Claus is going to be preeeetty happy with me.
    Once the exposed side starts showing an air bubble or two (2-3 minutes), the pancake should be ready to flip. Have a peek and go for it if it's golden on the bottom. Be gentle so you don't mess up that hard-earned tree shape.

    Cook the other side for 1-2 minutes, or until golden brown.

    Repeat the process with the remaining batter, garnish with something red if you're feeling up to it (apples, pomegranate seeds, craisins...whatever.) and maybe some powdered sugar (it's like snow--next level, here we come!)

    If you want to ignore the salivating elves surrounding you and serve the pancakes at the same time, preheat the oven to 200 F and keep them in there until you're finished.
    I'm doing my best give you as a present to the whole world
    The Savings: It's no secret that pancakes are super cheap and easy ways to feed a crowd. Or to feed just a few people who can eat a lot of pancakes. I like things like that. Don't you? This recipe gives you savings in the realm of reduced guilt and increased nutrition: Oats, yogurt, reduced sugar and added honey all make the body feel good. Subbing some whole wheat flour for white flour is a great idea to make this meal (and any other other meal involving flour) more wholesome.

    Unfortunately, what you're not allowed to save on is syrup by using fake "maple syrup" (which is often just high fructose corn syrup in disguise). If you don't want to support real farmers and an age-old tradition by buying real maple syrup, go for honey or agave. 

    One more thing: If you want to get real crazy, use cookie cutters and go Christmas overboard. Santa won't know what hit him.
    Plates gone wild!! There is Christmas sentiment everywhere!!
    Hey...is that the Star of David up there trying to get in on the action?? Yeah religious harmony!

    For more sometimes healthy, sometimes strange ideas, sign up to receive Chowgypsy updates in your inbox!

    Happy Holidays!!

    5 comments:

    1. Oh my, we may need to add these delights to the breakfast of bangers on boxing day! Christmas Cheer! Sukie and David xoxox

      ReplyDelete
    2. Wow, I love the creativity :) & Merry Christmas you guys!

      ReplyDelete
    3. Thanks ladies, we're going to have to think up some more spinachart for future pancakes!

      ReplyDelete
    4. It is wonderful how so many have popped up and given advice and tips - that is a really lovely thing. I am sure that you will have the most lovely time - we have only been abroad with the children twice - prior to that it has always been skin flint camping holidays. As always it is the simplest things that are so often the best and most appreciated spanje vakantie playa daro

      ReplyDelete
    5. When i was in Spain these day i am taste this kind of snacks... These are really yummy and wonderful. i Love this..... thanks for this kind of post i remember my holiday of Spain........

      http://www.clubvillamar.com/findAllVillas.php?region=Costa+Brava

      ReplyDelete

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