Blueberry, Orange, and Cornmeal Pancakes

melting pot adventures in food

It was not that long ago when I could tuck into a plate of syrup-laden pancakes for breakfast and never bat an eye. In fact, there was a recent time in my life when I could eat all sorts of things, at all times of the day, and never feel like there was a redwood tree-sized sugar crash coming my way. Times, I am sad to say, have changed.

Which is not to say that I don’t still enjoy the pleasing treat of a pancake breakfast. It’s just that now, entrenched in my mid-thirties and apparently mired in the swamp of responsible eating, I find that I have to pick apart my favorite breakfast treats and then put them back together in a way that befits the good health of someone approaching middle age. You’d think this task would make me want to hide myself in the pantry and cry a little, but the surprising thing is, I think making pancakes with more grains and no refined sugar actually made me like them more.

These pancakes are hearty, sure, but not in a stomach bomb sort of way. They are sturdier fare than your average pancake, but they are also more satisfying. Instead of eating a couple of pancakes and then wishing I could take a nap, eating these pancakes simply makes me feel satiated, not sleepy. With a flatter, crisper profile, in lieu if a puffy and spongy one, these pancakes are also less prone to sucking up every last bit of maple syrup they come in contact with, a definite plus for those of us who prefer our syrup to act as more of a light sauce than a direct pancake component.

I know I am making these pancakes sound rather stodgy and responsible, but don’t be fooled. They are still pancakes, dotted with plump blueberries and adorned with as much maple syrup as you please, and they are still a great breakfast treat for a quiet morning. The difference is, when you’re done eating these pancakes, you’ll feel more prepared to face the activities of the day, and less prone to face-plant directly into your pillow for an after-breakfast nap.

Blueberry, Orange, and Cornmeal Pancakes

As if I hadn’t purged these pancakes of enough sins, here is the point where I admit that I actually enjoy eating these pancakes with a dollop of yogurt on top rather than a waterfall of maple syrup. Of course, the pancakes are great with maple syrup, but if you’re feeling a little less sugar tolerant in the mornings these days (as I find myself), the yogurt topping really does dress up the pancakes quite nicely.

¾ cup unbleached, all-purpose white flour
¾ cup stone ground cornmeal
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ¼ cup fresh or frozen blueberries (unthawed)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vegetable oil. Add in the orange juice and whisk to combine. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, barely stirring to combine. Continue adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in this manner, barely stirring, until the flour mixture is just moistened and incorporated. There should still be lumps in the batter.

Heat a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat. When a drop of batter placed in the skillet sizzles, your pan is sufficiently heated. Pour batter into pan in ¼ cup increments, dotting each pancake with a few blueberries immediately after the batter has been poured into the skillet. When the tops of the pancakes appear dry at the edges and bubbles on top begin to form and pop, flip each pancake and cook until the bottoms have turned golden brown.

Serve pancakes immediately, or keep warm until ready to serve by setting pancakes on a rack placed on top of a baking sheet in a 200 degree oven.

About the contributor:

Elizabeth Miller is a freelance writer who runs Savory Salty Sweet, a food and kitchen appreciation website. She also writes the Melting Pot column here on Indie Fixx, which appears bimonthly on Fridays. Read more about her on the contributors’ page.