Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Food Desert Project - Easy Tasty Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Last year, Sparky took his first standardized test.  Choosing breakfast foods that are rich in whole grains, fiber, and protein while low in added sugar may boost kids' attention span, concentration, and memory Knowing that a good breakfast is even more important in such a mentally stressful situation, and that protein is particularly important for kids who struggle to pay attention, I researched a number of high-protein, low-fat breakfasts and found this new favorite:  Oatmeal Cottage Cheese Pancakes.

This recipe could not possibly be simpler, and has the advantage of being whole-grain, high-protien, low-fat, low-sugar and gluten-free - and it tastes like a cross between creme brulee and pancakes! 

1/2 cup oatmeal (instant will make a more custardy pancake, rolled oats will make a more rustic one)
1/2 cup non-fat cottage cheese
2 eggs, 4 egg whites, or 2 eggs worth of nonfat egg substitute
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Dump all ingredients in the blender, blend on high until smooth.

Pour in small dollops on a pre heated, well-greased skillet, turn when you can slide a spatula underneath easily, and serve (the bubble trick doesn't really work for these, check the underneath with your spatula.)  Cooking does take a tiny bit longer than regular pancakes, when they pouff in the center, check for doneness with a finger, they should spring back slightly - these custardy pancakes are a real delight eaten with syrup.  Makes about 6 -8 pancakes, serves about 2 people.  Nutrition information (Using whole eggs instead of eggwhites or egg substitute adds 2 grams of fat and 211 mg of cholesterol)

...however, why would we want to stop there, when we can make these into a truly decadent, but still healthy treat?  After you pour the mixture into the skillet, dot with frozen fruit mixture of your choice (frozen is preferable to canned, because there is usually less added sugar - but use what you got.) 

Flip, finish cooking, and serve with the top lightly drizzled with a little heated Nutella (don't put a Nutella container in the microwave - it will melt - put it in a microwave-safe container and if you need to thin it more, add some milk.)

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