Whole Wheat Pancakes

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Whole Wheat Pancakes: an activity for children of all ages. Wheat has three parts to it – the bran (which is packed with fiber), the endosperm (made up of mostly starch), and the germ (the nutrient-rich part of the seed). White flour is made mostly from the endosperm, while whole wheat flour uses the entire head of wheat. Using whole wheat flour instead of white flour reinforces learning about making healthier food choices. In this activity, children will be able to learn how to make homemade pancakes.

  • Supplies:
    • whole-wheat berries
    • Vitamix blender or other flour grinder
    • whole-wheat flour (if unable to grind your own)
    • bleached white flour
  • Read one or more of the following books:
    • Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola – recommended for children ages 3-7 (this book contains no words, allowing a child to narrate the story using their own words). (R)
    • Pancakes, Pancakes! by Eric Carle – recommended for children ages 3-7. (R)
  • Lay a handful of wheat berries on a table.
  • Examine the berries under a magnifying glass. What do you see?
  • Grind the flour if able.
  • Now spread a small handful of whole wheat flour (freshly ground if possible) next to a handful of bleached white flour.
  • Have your child compare and contrast the two. How does the color differ? The smell? The texture? The taste?
  • Discuss how each is processed, the differences in nutrients and the importance of choosing nutrient-rich foods.
  • Now, make some pancakes using only whole wheat flour!
  • Ingredients for Pancakes: makes approximately 14 small pancakes (see below on how to make Cinnamon Roll Pancakes)
    • 1 1/2 cup  (200 grams) whole wheat or whole white wheat flour – freshly ground if possible
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 1/2 – 1 3/4 cups (about 350 ml to 415 ml) almond milk (or reduced fat milk or other non-dairy milk as desired)
    • tbsp vinegar or lemon juice (white wine or apple cider combined with the milk will make a sort of buttermilk)
    • 2 tbsp maple syrup
    • 1 tbsp flaxseed and 3 tbsp water (ground in a high-speed blender) OR 1 egg
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil or cooking spray for frying
  • Wash hands thoroughly.
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Combine the milk, maple syrup, flaxseed egg-replacer (or egg), and vanilla together until blended.
  • Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the milk mixture into the well.
  • Stir with a fork until mixed and only small clumps of flour remain. Do not over mix the batter. The batter will be thick. Add 1-2 tbsp more milk to thin as desired.
  • Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add coconut oil.
  • Spoon 1/4 cup batter into a circle.
  • When edges begin to set and bubbles start to appear and pop on the top of the pancakes, turn over. Once flipped, cook 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked in the middle. If making Cinnamon Roll Pancakes, see below for further instructions.
  • Serve warm with desired toppings.

For Cinnamon Roll Pancakes:

*This recipe is adapted from a recipe found on midgetmomma.com.

  • Ingredients:
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or 1/3 cup brown sugar – if using brown sugar, increase butter to 4 tbsp)
    • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
    • 4 tbsp butter or 2 tbsp coconut oil (please note – the coconut oil doesn’t fully mix but is still tasty)
    • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
    • 2 oz cream cheese
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • chopped pecans (optional)
  • Cinnamon roll filling instructions:
    • Melt the butter.
    • Stir together the butter, maple syrup (or brown sugar) and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
    • Scoop the filling into a baggie, a squeeze bottle, or a small-beaked container and set aside.
  • Cream cheese glaze instructions:
    • Melt the butter over low heat in a small sauce pan.
    • Turn off the heat and whisk in the cream cheese until almost smooth.
    • Sift the powdered sugar into the pan and stir.
    • Add the vanilla extract and set aside.
  • When edges begin to set and bubbles start to appear and pop on the top of the pancakes, cut the edge of the baggie and swirl in the filling. Or just simply pour it in a swirl pattern using a small-beaked container.

  • Flip the pancake over.
  • On LOW HEAT, cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes or until the other side is golden as well.
  • Flip the pancake onto a plate, cinnamon swirl side up.
  • Drizzle the pancakes with the cream cheese icing and serve.
  • Top with chopped pecans as desired.