Berry Surprise Pancakes

In olden times, Mother’s Day traditions often included giving mom a bouquet or corsage of carnations and taking her out to dinner. Going out was important, because it meant she would not have to cook for the family, or be tempted to help out her incompetent tribe as they struggled to prepare, serve and clean up after the meal.

The tradition that has held up best is serving Mom breakfast in bed. This is still a classic moment in many households, complete with a tray holding a vase with a fresh rose, orange juice in a fancy goblet and a special breakfast treat. Berry Surprise Pancakes are the perfect centerpiece for this breakfast.

Pancakes in general are a good choice for inexperienced cooks and families where a wide span of ages is represented in a team effort. Making the batter is easy, requires no special equipment, and multiple hands can do the pouring and cooking. Pancakes are good for single-parent households, too. Mom can make the batter the night before and refrigerate it, allowing children to simply pour, fry, flip and serve a breakfast made with pride.

The “surprise” in these pancakes comes from the berries inside them. A topping made with two more varieties adds to the surprise. The use of three different fruits for this breakfast also creates a larger “bang for the buck” in the synergistic interplay that boosts the power of the health-protective phytochemicals unique to each type of fruit.

Replacing some of the less nutritious white flour with whole-grain wheat flour is another health bonus. Whole-wheat pastry flour, found in many supermarkets, gives a better result than regular whole-wheat flour. Its milder flavor tastes better than the whole-wheat flour most commonly found, which is mainly for bread-making. Whole-wheat pastry flour also produces a more tender result. For the same reason, look for buttermilk made without additives, just from milk and enzymes. Fat-free, light, or regular will be equally good.

Berry Surprise Pancakes - Makes 6 servings or 24 pancakes.

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg
1 large egg white
8 oz. fresh blueberries
1 small container fresh raspberries (about 1 cup)
1 lb. strawberries, hulled and cut up
Sugar (preferably superfine), to taste
Canola oil spray

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg and egg white until blended.

Pour liquid ingredients into dry ones, whisking just until blended. (Do not overmix, some small lumps are fine.) Stir in the blueberries. Set batter aside.

In a blender or food processor, purée raspberries and strawberries until smooth. Taste and, if too tart, gradually add sugar, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until lightly sweetened. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside.

Spray a large griddle or frying pan with canola oil spray. Heat until hot over medium-high heat. Using a 1/4 measuring cup, pour batter into pan, making 4-inch pancakes. Cook until tiny bubbles appear on top of pancakes and bottoms are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn and cook until pancake resists when pressed lightly in the center and bottoms are lightly browned.

Serve immediately with the puréed berries for a topping.

Per serving: 245 calories, 4 g. total fat (1 g. saturated fat), 44 g. carbohydrate, 10 g. protein, 6 g. dietary fiber, 404 mg. sodium.

Something Different” is written for the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) by Dana Jacobi, author of The Joy of Soy and recipe creator for AICR’s Stopping Cancer Before It Starts.

AICR offers a Nutrition Hotline (1-800-843-8114) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday-Friday. This free service allows you to ask a registered dietitian questions about diet, nutrition and cancer. AICR is the only major cancer charity focused exclusively on the link between diet, nutrition and cancer. It provides a range of education programs that help Americans learn to make changes for lower cancer risk. AICR also supports innovative research in cancer prevention and treatment at universities, hospitals and research centers across the U.S. It has provided more than $78 million for research in diet, nutrition and cancer. AICR’s Web address is www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

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