Growing up I loved Sunday mornings. My parents would make eggs, bacon, toast, and quite often my mother would make surprise muffins. We spent time together and enjoyed a good breakfast. This was so special to me because my parents were, and still are, self-employed, which means their work days were far longer than your standard 9-5 gig. As a family we did our best to have dinners together at the table each night, but let’s face it some nights it’s just not realistic. Work runs late, sports run through dinner time, and to be frank, at the end of the night we are all human, we’re tired, and we're just not always up to conversation nor able to give our best sharing and caring selves. As we got older Sunday mornings became hectic, we were either at a horse show, goat show, or all catching up on overdue work or rest. Before long Sunday morning breakfasts were few and far between.
When my husband and I had children, his work schedule was trying to say the least. most days he left home about 430-5am and wouldn't be home until 6-630 pm, there were some nights he was working as late as 730pm. He did this Monday through Friday and then Saturdays would work from 6 am until 4 pm. With such a hectic work week, Sundays became our day. We did our best to keep Sundays work free, drama free, and as relaxing as possible. With that in mind we wanted to bring back Sunday morning family time. It would give us all a chance to connect and catch up as well as plan for the day.
Most Sundays became filled with waffles, casseroles, french toast, muffins, cinnamon buns, and oh so many other delicious breakfast specialties. Depending on that week’s food budget we would have a super special, extra delicious, extra fattening breakfast delicacy. Those who know me, know I have been a heavy person my entire life. I think about food and I gain weight (just writing this I’m going to have to put in an extra workout). With all this extra splurging, Sunday morning breakfast was putting a real challenge on my weight. (Quick side note overall, we eat healthy, following the classic everything in moderation rule, for my kids and husband a once a week splurge doesn’t affect them the same way it does me.)
Over the last several months I have been putting a lot of focus on my health, so far, I’ve lost about 30 pounds which is great, but Sunday mornings were just not as fun. I had been making everyone else these delicious meals, and then I’d sit down with my, not so exciting, plate of veggie egg whites. My husband and oldest son felt bad that I was putting in so much effort without getting to enjoy with them. They started suggesting we simplify breakfast, after all it's about spending the time together, but I was determined to be able to have it be special treats and be healthy. Part of my goal with all these lifestyle changes is to set an example of good choices for my kids. I want them to be able to grow with a solid foundation and understanding of healthy choices. By involving them and making changes as a family, when they start making their own choices, hopefully, they won’t have to experience the struggles that I’ve had with weight my whole life.
One of my family’s favorites is pancakes. I mean c’mon who doesn’t love a nice hot stack of pancakes with fresh butter and a drizzle of fresh maple syrup. Now I spent a lot of time researching recipes. Let me tell you, there are everything from just gluten free, sugar free, to mock pancakes and quite a few that claim to be healthy but really aren’t. We tried THIS recipe, it uses just eggs and bananas, while they aren’t terrible, they aren’t great either. We tried Bob's Red Mill oatmeal pancakes, these were delicious, but as far as pancakes go they were time consuming to make and left behind a pile of dishes. We tried an almond flour pancake, these too were good (we altered the recipe slightly) but the cost of almond meal made these too expensive to feed a family of five. Then Finally, I found it! the most delicious, the easiest, quickest and healthy pancakes. Banana Oatmeal Pancakes! These delicious pancakes are whipped up in a blender, yes, a blender, then poured right out of that same blender into your pan. They take just a few minutes to make their way onto your plate. Now I came across several recipes for them, after some trial and error. This is what I came up with that is just right;
· ½ cup unsweetened coconut almond milk
· 2 eggs
· 1 egg white
· 2 tablespoons REAL maple syrup
· 2 teaspoons baking powder
· ¼ tsp of salt
· ¼ tsp cinnamon (optional)
· 1 tsp vanilla extract
· 1 very ripe banana
· 1 ½ cups McCann’s quick cooking Irish oatmeal
Add all ingredients to blender in listed order, blend until smooth. Heat pan or griddle over medium heat, lightly coat with your preferred non-stick option (we like to use butter infused olive oil). Cook for 2-3 minutes flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Top as desired! This makes about 12 pancakes.
Now this is just the basic recipe. You can get really fancy if you desire. One of the popular ways to have these in our house is to dice up an apple, toss it in a mixture of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. After pouring the batter into the pan and letting the pancakes cook for a minute or 2, we sprinkle the apple mixture on top, flip and finish cooking. We serve these with warmed spiced maple syrup.
Some other topping ideas; Fresh berries, berry puree, banana slices, and if you have the wiggle room in your calorie/diet plan chocolate chips are tasty too.
Note: You can substitute the coconut almond milk for plain almond milk or regular milk. We preferred the flavor of the coconut almond milk, and it kept the calories and fat low. You may also substitute the whole eggs for just egg whites by upping the egg white to a total of 5.
Approximate Nutrition information;
serving size 2 pancakes; Calories 140, calories from fat 20, total fat 2.5g, cholesterol 60mg, total carbohydrates 24g, Dietary fiber 3g, sugar 5g, protein 5g.
I'm a baker, a crafter, a personal concierge, a website builder, and above all else, I am a mom to 3 rowdy boys. I'm not a stay-at-home-mom, I'm a Homemaker.
Living on a shoestring and making the most of the lemons
Life is not easy, we all know this by now, but life is what you make it, no matter how corny that sounds (rhymes and all). Some days you can't wait for them to just be over and others, why can't they last longer. So let's make the most of it, make the shoe string budget as long as you can and make the best darn lemonade you've ever had!
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