Pancakes are a staple breakfast when we go camping. This soaked whole grain version makes the fluffiest pancakes ever. Not to mention you can make a huge batch. Let your kids help prepare the batter at home and cook them while camping. The whole family can contribute. Then top them with real maple syrup or sorghum syrup (a healthier sweetener).
One of my goals last winter was to find our family’s “go-to” pancake recipe. We had pancakes we enjoyed, but I never had a standard, don’t-even-have-to-think-about-it recipe that I could grab…well…without thinking, you know? If you have some of these recipes in your cache, you’ll know how reassuring it is.
It was important to me that our favorite pancakes also be healthy, which caused a problem at times. Cardboard. Sometimes whole wheat pancakes taste like cardboard. Other times they become too floppy, a little like those gel toys that kids like to throw at walls and they stick. The ones all mothers have nightmares about? Not so good in pancake form either.
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Imagine my glee when I found a recipe that was 100% whole grain, 100% healthy, super easy, soaked to reduce phytate problems, AND was divinely delicious. I started with the recipe at The Nourishing Gourmet, but because I don’t have dairy allergies in my family, I altered it a bit.Print
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour*
- 1 c. buttermilk or milk or yogurt**
- 1 c. water
- ¼ c. apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil (use the code STEWARDSHIP for 10% off at that site!) (can add this in the morning if you’d rather melt your coconut oil in the pan you cook your pancakes in)
- 4 lightly beaten eggs
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- Mix flour, buttermilk/milk/yogurt, water, vinegar and coconut oil
- Leave on counter for 12-24 hours to soak
- Just before cooking add eggs, baking powder, baking soda and salt
*This recipe works with all regular whole wheat, is much better with half whole wheat/half pastry flour, and is best with all pastry flour. Pastry flour is more expensive, so I like to go 1/2 and 1/2 most of the time.
**Because you’re adding vinegar to the milk, it’s a “fake” buttermilk of sorts and hasn’t had a problem sitting on my counter overnight. Raw milk would be safest for this though if you choose to use milk. You can also use the dairy choice in place of the water for even richer pancakes. i have tried all three options, and I think the milk is the best one, but I often use homemade yogurt.
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These pancakes are so thick, yet light and fluffy, probably because of the bubbly reaction between the vinegar and the baking soda. You can’t taste the vinegar in the final product, by the way, just the pancake-y goodness.
Here’s how they look on the griddle:
I told you last week in my camping menu plan that I was test-driving these as a camping food for the first time. I made up the soaked portion (half a batch) the morning we left in a glass jar and stored it with our dry goods overnight.
- I pre-measured the dry add-ins, and we always pack eggs anyway for our famous camping breakfast sandwiches. I added the remaining ingredients in the morning plus a little water to thin it out and shook the batter up in the jar.
They were, of course, better than ever. Everything tastes better when you’re camping! (See more pictures of our trip here.)
If you don’t have a tailgating grill like this, you could also make pancakes on a griddle and rack over the fire. We just took the easy way out this morning (hungry kids = faster method).
Gluten-Free Pancake Version Available!
UPDATE: I’m super thrilled to share this new gluten-free version of our favorite pancakes. It works for camping, too, and it doesn’t use a lot of starchy flour, which is great.
For the best camping pancake disaster ever, you’ve got to read this gluten-free camping menu plan post though. Hilarious!
Thankfully I was the one doing the cooking. I got to show my kids what it’s like to experiment and make mistakes with food. Nowadays my kids are the ones experimenting in the kitchen.
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What is Soaking Grains?
It’s almost unfair to be posting soaked recipes before I’ve covered why I’m “soaking my grains”. I know some of you know exactly what I’m talking about, but many of you are lost!
At a later date, I’ll go in depth into the science behind soaking grains and give you some Monday Missions on this subject, but for now, suffice it to say that it’s a healthier option to make your grains more digestible. It breaks down phytic acid, a compound that draws minerals out of your system and hinders the absorption of the minerals in your grains.
UPDATE: Here is the post on Why Soak Grains?
Completing the Camping Breakfast Menu
Pancakes, of course, need something on top. If you’re using real maple syrup (and you should be!), here are 5 Easy Ways to Stretch Your Real Maple Syrup, since it can be pricey. For some high-nutrition protein next to your pancakes, try the Best Scrambled Eggs Ever.
If you’re looking for more breakfast inspiration as you get into the routine of school time, Musings of a Housewife also posted on healthy breakfast ideas last week, and see the Breakfast Ultimate Recipe Swap at Life as MOM.