Yogurt Pancakes

Yogurt Pancakes

Yogurt Pancakes

“Best pancakes I ever had!,  Mmmmmm!”,  says Mr. D.      “Best pancakes I ever made!”,  says me.  No Kidding!!   These are the lightest, puffiest, thickest pancakes I have ever made,  they are absolutely delicious.  I used vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt, but I’m sure other flavors of yogurt would be equally delicious, and give lots of opportunity to vary the flavor of these.  Also you could add in other ingredients like blueberries, dried cranberries, banana, chocolate chips, etc.

The recipe makes 12 – 16 pancakes, and they can be frozen and reheated in a microwave on high for 40 – 50 seconds, so they are readily at hand for weekday mornings.  I really like it that they contain so much yogurt which provides 9 gm. protein in 2 pancakes yet so little fat–only what the two eggs supply.   This is a power-packed start to the day.

Makes enough extra to freeze.

Makes enough extra to freeze.

YOGURT PANCAKES 

Yield:   6 servings

Ingredients:

You will need 4 small cups yogurt to make 2 cups (16  0z.)

You will need 4 small cups yogurt to make 2 cups (16 0z.)

  • 2 cups all – purpose flour  (I used half white whole wheat flour.)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups ( 16 oz. ) yogurt, preferable non-fat (I used vanilla flavored yogurt.)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • optional add ins:  chocolate chips, dried cranberries, sliced ripe bananas, blueberries, coarsely chopped nuts

Directions:

1.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs, yogurt, and water.  Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.   Batter will be thick.

Air bubbles start to form when the baking soda reacts with the yogurt.

Air bubbles start to form when the baking soda reacts with the yogurt.

2.  Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot griddle coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle with optional ingredients if desired.  Turn when bubbles form on top;  cook until second side is golden brown.

Big, thick pancakes.

Big, thick pancakes.

Cook to golden brown,

Cook to golden brown,

3.  To freeze, arrange cooled pancakes in a single layer on baking sheets.  Freeze overnight or until frozen.  Transfer to a resealable plastic freezer bag.

4.  To use frozen pancakes:  place pancakes on a microwave-safe plate;  microwave on high for 40 -50 seconds or until heated through.

I served these pancakes with my blueberry sauce that I wrote about here.

Served with blueberry sauce.    Outstanding!

Served with blueberry sauce. Outstanding!

SOURCE:  Taste of Home

Peaches and Cream Popsicles

Peaches and cream popsicles

Peaches and cream popsicles

Aren’t sweet, juicy, ripe peaches wonderful?  They smell like summer to me.  I think fresh peaches are my favorite fruit.  So today I thought I would make popsicles featuring peaches combined with yogurt, almond milk and almond extract to make a frosty cool treat.

As we head toward the last official weekend of summer you might be wondering why I’m still making popsicles. In my opinion you can never have too many recipes for peaches, so this is one more little way of enjoying them while they are still plentiful juicy and sweet.  I have a feeling there may be a few more peach recipes popping up here before peach season is over, because I’m not done with them yet.   Just like I’m not done with summer yet, either.  There’s plenty of time before we get swept away by all the apples and squash starting to appear at the Farmer’s Market—-much too soon for me.

In the fruit bowl in my kitchen are some peaches bought recently at the market.    They are ripening quickly, so I decided to experiment with another flavor of popsicle.  That’s how I came up with this combination that features peaches mixed with almond milk, a little sugar, yogurt , and almond flavoring.  Not too sweet, I let the tanginess of the yogurt assert itself.  We found them to be very light and refreshing.

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Just a side note here:  I noticed just recently that a variety of popsicle molds are being put on clearance in some stores, now that the end of summer is near, so this is a good time to get one if you been thinking along those lines, but have hesitated, wondering how much you will really use it.  If you would like to try these, but don’t have a popsicle mold you might try pouring the mixture into paper cups.  Put them on a tray or in a small baking pan and freeze them.  When they are partially frozen, insert the sticks, and continue with freezing until firm.  To eat, just peel away the paper cup, or run the cup under hot water briefly until it slips off.

PEACHES AND CREAM POPSICLES

Yield:   depends on size of molds.  I got 8 with mine.IMG_4600

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium, ripe peaches
  • 1/2 cup 2 % Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup sugar, or your favorite sweetener
  • 1/3 cup  vanilla unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp, almond extract
  • 1/8 tsp salt.

Directions:

1.  Halve and pit the peaches.  Cut  into rough chunks and place in the blender container.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed.

3,  Divide the mixture evenly into the popsicle molds, or disposable paper or plastic cups.  Insert the sticks and freeze until solid, at least 5 to 6 hours.

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SOURCE:  a  Carolyn Original

Roasted Strawberry and Toasted Coconut Popsicles

Roasted Strawberry and Toasted Coconut Popsicles

Roasted Strawberry and Toasted Coconut Popsicles

Today is the beginning of July and it seems that everyone I know is going on vacation; going to the mountains,  going to the beach, or just sitting out by the pool chillin’ out.  Every one but me, that is.  I’d love to be going to the beach, but when you plan to be in a dance competition in August, you just don’t take a vacation until it’s over.  I have work to do.  That’s OK,  I’ll pretend that I’m there by looking at other people’s pictures and daydreaming.  When I sit outside on the deck I’ll slather on the sunscreen that smells of coconut, and eat my popsicles.

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Have you ever made popsicles?   maybe little ones in ice cube trays?  I’ve done that once or twice.  But what I’m proposing is to get yourself a really nice popsicle mold so you can make the real  things.  Popsicles are so easy to make I wonder why I haven’t done this before.

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Today I’m roasting strawberries.  Roasting them concentrates their flavor and brings out their sweetness.  I’m also going to toast the coconut while the oven is on.  Roast and toast is my new motto!

Once the strawberries are roasted, they go into the blender with a bit of lime juice and some sugar.  The coconut is combined with coconut milk, and the next thing that happens is a simple layering of the two into the popsicle molds.   Pop into the freezer and in about 5-6 hours you will have a frozen treat.

Let the others go on their vacations.  I’m happy sitting on the deck chillin” with my cold and frosty popsicle!

STRAWBERRY AND COCONUT POPSICLES

Yield:  Makes 10 – 12 pops  (With my mold I got 10 pops).IMG_4471

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1  pound fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • juice of 1 lime, divided
  • 1  (15-ounce) can coconut milk, well shaken (low fat is OK)
  • 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350*F.  Sprinkle coconut onto a rimmed baking sheet and toast in the oven until golden brown.  Watch it closely as it will toast quickly….usually in 3 – 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven and place in a small bowl to cool.

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2.  Place strawberries on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Place in the oven to roast until fragrant and soft, about 18 to 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and add the strawberries to a blender, or the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment.  Add 2 tablespoons sugar and juice of half a lime.  Blend until smooth.

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3.  In a small bowl stir together coconut milk, remaining lime juice, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and vanilla extract.  Stir in the toasted coconut.

4.   Place a spoonful of strawberry into the bottom of each popsicle mold.  Start by filling 10 molds in case you don’t have enough to fill 12 molds.  Stir coconut milk mixture and add to the popsicle molds, filling 2/3 full.  Spoon more strawberry into each mold and top with remaining coconut milk.

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5.  Add on the popsicle mold lid and then insert the sticks.  Freeze for at least 6 hours before serving.

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SOURCE:   POPS!  Icy Treats for Everyone by Krystina Castella

Sweet Apricot Breakfast

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Mornings that are this  sweet are lovely indeed, and don’t happen often enough–usually on a holiday, which this isn’t.  So I’m going to really enjoy it for its rarity.  I’m going to just take it easy, prolonging that first cup of coffee.  I’m feeling really mellow so maybe I’ll roast up some of those nice apricots and have them with some fruity yogurt and crunchy granola cereal.  Who says weekend mornings have to be about bacon and eggs, anyway?

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Would you like to come along while I make this breakfast?

The first thing you must do is turn on the oven.  to broil..  get it good and hot…Don’t worry, it won’t be on long.  Now cut a few apricots in half, and dip the cut sides into a little granulated sugar.  Arrange them on a baking sheet and place them under the broiler.  Hang around near the oven and keep an eye on them so they don’t get burned.  Once they’re browned and bubbly, take them out to cool a little.

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Now comes the best part:  place a few spoonfuls of fruity yogurt on a small plate.   (I’m using lemon). Top with the warm, roasted apricots and sprinkle generously with granola.  Top with fresh strawberries, or blueberries and enjoy!      Easy-peasy breakfast for a lazy morning.

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Thanks so much for stopping by today.   Excuse me now, while I put my feet up and have another cup of coffee.  Have a great weekend!

Banana Scones

Banana Scones

Banana Scones

Weekends are great for having a lovely leisurely breakfast (or brunch) so I’m getting you ready for the weekend with this recipe for some great tasting banana scones.  The flavor of banana is unmistakeable and enhanced by cinnamon and a little nutmeg.  A little like warm comforting banana bread but not so sweet.  I think they are perfect just as they are, but the original recipe I found included a Brown Butter Glaze to put on them after they are baked.  This could elevate them to a dessert if you are so inclined.  We enjoyed them plain, so no glaze for us, but I am including the full recipe here.

The scone dough is tender and lightly seasoned.  It includes mashed banana and yogurt as the moisture source in the dough.  The recipe produces a large yield ( I got 30 small-sized scones), but they freeze well, so you could bake half and freeze half to be baked at a later time, or just make half the recipe for a reduced number of scones.  If you do freeze them, remember to add about  5  minutes to the baking time.  You will have some lovely breakfasts to look forward to in the weeks ahead.

BANANA SCONES WITH BROWN BUTTER GLAZE

YIELD:  about 14 – 16 large or 25 -30 small scones

INGREDIENTS:

Just a few ingredients, including yogurt or sour cream.

Just a few ingredients, including yogurt or sour cream.

For the scones:

  • 2  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2  1/2 cups white whole wheat flour*
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 8 Tablespoons  ( 1 stick ) cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1  1/2 cup mashed banana  ( about 3 – 4 bananas)
  • 1 cup low-fat greek yogurt or sour cream
  • Buttermilk, if needed, plus more for brushing the tops

For the glaze:

  •  8 Tablespoons,  (4 oz.) butter
  • 1 1 /2 – 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons milk, plus more as needed

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Preheat the oven to 400*F.  Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

2.  In a very large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.  Whisk to blend.  Stir in the pieces of cold butter and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal and the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas.

Cut butter into the dry ingredients.

Cut butter into the dry ingredients.

3.  In a second bowl, combine the mashed banana and yogurt and stir to blend.  Add the banana mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients.

Fold banana mixture into dry ingredients.

Fold banana mixture into dry ingredients.

Fold together gently with a spatula until a dough begins to come together.  (Be careful not to over mix, as it will result in tough, dense scones.)  If some of the dry ingredients are not incorporating into the dough, add a bit of buttermilk 1 tablespoon at a time just until all dry ingredients are moistened and incorporated.

4.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Gently knead a few times to ensure even mixing.  pat the dough out into a slab about 3/4 -to-1-inch thick.  Cut out rounds of dough using biscuit/doughnut cutters  (about 3 1/2-inch diameter for large scones or 2 1/2 inch diameter for smaller scones.)  Place dough rounds on the prepared baking sheet at least an inch or two apart.  Lightly brush the tops with buttermilk.**

5.  Bake the scones until the tops are golden brown and scones are just set, about 16 – 18 minutes for large scones and 14 -15 minutes for smaller ones.  Let cool on a wire rack.

Don't they look tender and light?

Don’t they look tender and light?

6.  While the scones are cooling, make the glaze.  Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat.  Let melt and continue to cook, swirling occasionally, until the butter is a deep golden brown color,  being careful not to burn it.  Set aside to cool slightly.  Transfer the browned butter to a bowl and whisk in the confectioners’ sugar.  Whisk in the milk a little at a time until the mixture is smooth.  Spoon or drizzle the glaze over the scones and let set before serving.

Scrumptious with a little butter on a warm scone.

Scrumptious with a little butter on a warm scone.

*  I prefer using half white whole wheat flour in as many baked goods as is feasible, but you can use all all-purpose flour if you wish.

** At this point you can place the unbaked scones on a baking sheet, transfer to the freezer and freeze until solid.  Then store in an air-tight container and save for later.  To bake after freezing, just bake as normal but add a few minutes onto the baking time and check to be sure they are fully baked through.

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SOURCE:  Adapted from  The Kitchen, via Annie’s Eats.

Oatmeal Pear Scones

I went to the orchard recently to get some fresh apples and pears.  While there I noticed some recipes that were available using some of the products they were selling.  On looking through them I came upon this one for scones that included chopped fresh pears. Unusual, I thought, and worth trying out.  The recipe also called for ground ginger, but I knew immediately that I would put in some crystalized ginger, because pears need something with a little zing to enhance their flavor, and also just because I love candied ginger and use it whenever I can work it in. The recipes were free for the taking, so—I came home and soon began to bake these scones.  There is no rolling of dough or cutting involved.  They are simply dropped by the 1/4 cupful onto a baking sheet.  Quick. Easy.  Try them!

OATMEAL PEAR SCONES

YIELD:  Makes 10 dropped-style scones

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped crystalized ginger (optional, my addition)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup unpeeled, finely chopped pear

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.

2.  In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients, i.e. flour through salt.  Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

3.  In a small bowl, combine yogurt, egg and vanilla.  Add to dry ingredients all at once.  Mix until dry ingredients are moistened.  Gently stir in pear.

4.  Place  10  1/4 -cups of dough on the baking sheet, 2 inches apart.

5.  Bake for 17 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Serve warm.

Adding the crystalized ginger worked out very well.  It added an occasional sharp little bite to a very nice, not too sweet accompaniment  to coffee.  I’m so glad to have found this recipe.  I think you will enjoy it, too.

SOURCE:  Courtesy of Belltown Hill Orchards

Grab ‘N Go: Granola and Yogurt

Over the course of the last few years I’ve been moving away from buying ready made foods like cereals, soups, sauces, etc. and making more and more of these items myself.  My reasons are  threefold;  environmental:  less packaging to dispose of;  health:  I can eliminate all those unpronounceable ingredients, and have better control over what we are eating; and emotional:  I feel really good knowing I can make it as good or better than what’s in a package.  Granola is one of those packaged items that I have ceased buying and now make at home.

Granola is very versatile.  It can be added to foods, as in a crumbly topping on a fruit cobbler, put on foods to add crunch, like over fruits, or ice-cream, or eaten out-of-hand as a snack.  So with that said, I have been making homemade granola and  spreading it around  rather liberally.  My lunches consist, for the most part, of fruit smoothies, or yogurt with granola on top; and for my husband, I send him off to work with a nutritious salad for lunch, and a bag of granola for a mid-afternoon snack.  Each time I make it I vary the fruits and nuts I put in it, so it does not become boring.

For anyone who needs a quick “grab and go” breakfast, or who brings lunch to work, yogurt and granola is a delicious, good-for-you duo.  I like Greek style yogurt because it’s thicker than regular styles, and because it packs almost twice the protein, so you’re not as likely to get the mid-morning munchies.  You can also stretch your budget by purchasing the large size yogurt and putting it into smaller 8 0z. containers.  Likewise package your granola in baggies, so when you’re ready to leave the house, just grab one of each and  you will be on your way with a breakfast or lunch that is economical, delicious, and good for you.

Trail Mix Granola

Makes about 5 cups

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats


    Have all your ingredients ready before starting to assemble.

  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups add-ins, like dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, figs, raisins; coconut, nuts such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts.

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  Whisk together oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a glass measuring cup.  Heat briefly in microwave ( 1 minute at 50% power) to blend  and melt any sugar lumps.  Stir well,  then pour over oats in a  large bowl and toss to coat.

3.  Spread mixture on prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 5 minutes.

4.   Let cool slightly, then transfer back into large bowl and stir in add-ins.  Let cool completely before packaging, or store in air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

SOURCE:  Quick Vegetarian Pleasures

Herby Cucumber Salad

  We enjoyed the company and friendship of some  close friends at a picnic/cookout over the weekend.  After the parade we all gathered in the backyard of one family, and everyone contributed a side dish or dessert.  And  of course, the men were in charge of the grill and its designated foods.

Salads of all kinds are usually welcome, and easy to transport,  so this salad was my contribution. It is cool,  creamy and tangy, and comes together in a flash.  Make the dressing in advance, and carry to the picnic in a separate container.  Toss it with the cucumbers and onions just before serving, otherwise the cucumbers will release too much water.  This salad got rave reviews, so I thought I would share it with you.

  • Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup low-fat greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons  Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 5 1/2 cups thinly sliced cucumber (about 2 large)
  • 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion
  1. Combine all ingredients except  cucumber and onion, in a food processor or a blender, and process until well blended.
  2. Place sliced cucumbers and onions in a large bowl, drizzle with the dressing mixture , and toss to coat.
Serves 6-8.
Source:  Cooking Light Magazine