Saturday, October 9, 2010

Oatmeal-Buttermilk Pancakes



My husband thinks he has the best wife in the world.

Of course this isn't true.  I have my fair share of flaws that surface daily--so how did I fool him?

Pancakes.  From scratch.

The husband is a carb-lover.  He admits that, if he needed to, he could survive on bread and water alone.  Although not a big eater, he can single-handedly polish off the complimentary bread basket at any dining establishment.  It's not uncommon that, at the end of the meal, the portion that receives the highest praise is the ______________________ (insert bread product here).

When he was training for his marathon a few years ago, I knew he needed to eat substantially more than he had been.  After his long runs with the Fleet Feet training group, he was spent: nutritionally and physically.

Before you go and commend me for being such a thoughtful wife, I must admit that there was an ulterior motive here.  A bit of background: the husband is thin.  Like, we weigh the same amount and he's 6 inches taller than me.  And the thing is--he can eat an exorbitant quantity of food without gaining weight.

Exhibit A: in high school, his efforts to gain weight included drinking cream instead of milk.  Gross.

Exhibit B: before he met me, he ate a #2 at Wendy's for lunch every day.  Later on, he would meet his friends at their favorite bar for bar food and drinks.  Did he gain weight during this time?  Nope.

Exhibit C: while we were engaged, he lived with my parents.  In my family, we have a problem with food: we always make way too much.  My mom also interprets someone with a clean plate as someone who is still hungry--so, when my fiance finished his plate, she would pile on some more.  After 5 months: no weight gained.

Why is this relevant?  Well, as I previously mentioned, the husband was training for a marathon.  Before this, he worked out once a week: Monday night basketball.  He was going from a sedentary lifestyle to one where he ran 15 - 40 miles per week.

So what was the problem?  I'm all for exercise.  My fear? He would lose weight.

I had to take matters into my own hands--so, I did what any wife would have done: I decided to make carbohydrate-rich food that I knew he wouldn't be able to resist.  While the husband typically has excellent portion control, he cannot resist bread products.  I mean, I limit him to 4  biscuits per meal.

Pancakes seemed like a for sure bet.  I wasn't disappointed--while Cooking Light recommends 2 pancakes as a serving, he polished off 5.  Five pancakes, or 2.5 servings.  Success!

Here's the best part: not only did he maintain his weight throughout marathon training--but he thinks that I'm the most stellar wife because I don't take magic pancake powder from a box and add water.  Because he sees measuring spoons and buttermilk out on the counter, he thinks it takes an extreme amount of effort to put these pancakes on the table.

It doesn't.  Let me share the secret with you, so that you too may be dubbed "the best wife ever.


Steps to making the carb-lover in your house happy:
1) Combine oatmeal, vanilla, and buttermilk--let it stand for 10 minutes to soften the oats.


2) Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.



3) Add egg and oil to buttermilk mixture; mix into dry ingredients.




4) Scoop onto hot griddle/skillet, and cook until golden brown.


And if you want to be like the Williams family over here--top your pancakes with some peanut butter.  They say you're supposed to have a mixture of protein, carbs, and fat after a run, right?  We're just following the rules.

Pros:
*Quick and easy!
*Hearty and filling
*Tasty
*Pantry ingredients (except buttermilk--but I always keep that on hand for buttermilk biscuits, of course)

Cons:
*oats soak for 10 minutes--hard to wait when you're hungry after a run!
*slightly different flavor than "regular" pancakes--not a bad thing, but just a heads up.


Oatmeal-Buttermilk Pancakes
The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook

Prep: 13 minutes
Cook: 3 minutes per batch

1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Combine buttermilk, oats, and vanilla; let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in oil and egg.

2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.  Combine flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Add oat mixture to flour mixture, stirring until smooth.

3. Spoon about 1/3 cup batter onto a hot nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet.  Turn pancakes when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 pancakes)

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 287 (22% from fat); Fat: &g (sag 2.1g, mono 1.7g, poly 2.2g); Protein: 10.1g; Carb: 45g; Fiber: 2.1g; Chol: 55mg; Iron 2.5 mg; Sodium: 509 mg; Calc: 116mg

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