Every morning, my one-year-old daughter greets me with a smile and exuberantly exclaims, “mama, breakfast, pancakes!”. As you might have guessed, pancakes are truly the way to her heart and a staple for breakfast in our household.
In my pursuit to provide a wholesome, nutritious breakfast and simultaneously fulfill her request for pancakes, I’ve tested dozens of pancake recipes. While I love cooking from scratch, I’ve learned that sometimes it’s okay to take a little help from the store when you need it.
As a busy mom with a hungry child who hasn’t quite grasped the concept of patience, I can’t usually spare 45 minutes to prepare pancakes. So, I have actually found the best solution for a quick and healthy pancake breakfast is a combination of a prepared mix with a creative twist.
These “heart healthy” semi-homemade pancakes are made with whole wheat pancake mix, infused with cinnamon, and fashioned into heart shapes. Moms can be confident in the added calcium, fiber, and iron, while kids will love the fluffy texture, sweet flavor, and fun heart shapes, perfect for Valentine’s Day, or, just as in our house, perfect for every other day too!
Easy Heart-Healthy Pancake Recipe
• 2 cups of whole wheat pancake mix of your choice
• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
• 1 stick butter (or cooking spray)
• Heart-shaped cookie cutters
1. Preheat an electric griddle to 375 (or a griddle pan over medium-high heat)
2. Prepare the batter according to package instructions and mix in the cinnamon.
3. Grease the griddle and the cookie cutter(s) using butter or cooking spray
4. Place the cookie cutters onto the griddle and spoon about ¼ cup of the batter into the cookie cutter (amount will vary depending on the size of your cookie cutter. Also you might need to use the back of a spoon to even out the batter and push the batter into the edges of the cookie cutter)
5. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until you can lift the cookie cutter and the edges will retain their shape (i.e. batter will not run and the edges will be browned).
6. Remove the cookie cutter from the griddle (Caution: if using a metal cookie cutter, it will be hot)
7. Flip the pancakes and cook on the reverse side an additional 3-5 minutes
8. Serve with the syrup/topping of your choice (my daughter even eats them without any syrup!)
Mix your favorite fruit, like blueberries or bananas, into the pancake batter to add further flavor and extra health benefits!
What’s your family’s favorite healthy breakfast food??
Melissa is a Communication Studies graduate of Clemson University. She recently traded in her human resources job for the best and most challenging career of all, being a stay-at-home mom. She loves coffee, cooking, crafting, and watching football. Melissa is also a former National Champion baton twirler and currently teaches baton lessons and judges baton twirling competitions across the nation. She recently launched the Honeybee Homemaker blog about her faith, family, and fun kitchen endeavors.