Rituals inspire communication, recognition, establish memories, confidence, safety, and respect. A ritual my grandfather, Steve "Reno" Dupuis started was Sunday night pancakes. A simple dinner that could easily serve his family of 8 after a long day. In the South, Sunday Dinner (lunch) is the big meal served after church. So, pancakes were a way to eat a meal together on a budget with little prep time.
My mom carried on this tradition, and all of our childhood friends knew it! On Sunday nights, the Jones house was the place to be. The more Mom learned of nutrition, the more the pancakes evolved. What was once was Bisquick became whole grain. Then came additions of mashed bananas, blueberries, oats, oat bran, and flax. Aunt Jemima turned to Cane syrup and now Maple syrup.
As our family grew older, our family grew larger, and our tastes and dietary needs changed. Now one sibling needs gluten-free, one needs dairy-free, 2 egg allergies, some are picky eaters, and some are just unhealthy eaters. Since this family meal was one the healthiest meals some ate all week, it was important to pack it with nutrients like antioxidants, omega-3 fats, fiber, protein, Vitamin C, maybe some Vitamin A, and be allergy-friendly. I now live far away from my mother's pancakes which makes me realize how those quick consistent evenings were as important as the ever-evolving ingredients. For a long time, my favorite recipe was a Teff Banana Pancake recipe from Whole Life Nutrition blog, and while that recipe is still great, my life has changed a bit. We come home at 6PM (if we are lucky) with hungry kids after a long day on the river or biking, and I have to make something fast. Which is how we came up with "Magic Pancakes," using Pamela's Pancake Mix. It's a gluten-free pancake mix, mostly with Almond Flour. I use Oat milk as the liquid, and I substitute flax for egg (because I'm allergic). I then add a colorful fruit or vegetable to each batch to make them brightly colored and appealing to my kids. Works every time.
1 cup Pamela's Baking & Pancake Mix
2/3 cup Oat milk (unsweetened)
1 T flax seed
1 cooked beet OR 1/2 cup blueberries OR 1 handful of spinach OR 1 ripe banana
1 T coconut oil
Optional Toppings: maple syrup, coconut mana, berries, yogurt, granola, almond butter.
Place all the wet ingredients in a blender, and blend until well blended. Add Pamela's pancake mix and pulse until well combined. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto a pre-heated, lightly oiled griddle on medium-low. Flip once. Serve hot.