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Breakfast of Champions: Whole Wheat Pumpkin Flax Pancakes

I remember there was a time where I would wake up at my own leisure after a blissful night. I would slowly make my way to the kitchen, make myself some ‘chai’, as per my daily morning routine. Slowly sipping away, I would either read, or chat with my husband, or just reminisce about life itself while staring out the window at the calmness of the morning. Fast-track five years and it seems like that time was surrounded by a beautiful cloud, in a different world, and I was a completely different person.

What ended up changing? More than I could have imagined. Alhamdulillah, by the Grace of Allah subhana wa ta’ala, I now have children. I no longer wake up after a blissful un-interrupted night. Now my nights are usually marred by disruptions bad dreams, going to the bathroom, teething, growing pains, or just generally wanting mommy for whatever reason. Waking up in the morning, I usually try to get up extra early to complete whatever is humanly possible before the munchkins stir awake. Often, it seems like they know that their mother is concocting plans to work, and they wake up even earlier immediately asking for ‘shee-wo-wo’, or ‘cereal’, as put by my two year old. I am now being ‘schooled’ in Motherhood…literally.

With a growing family now, the first thing on my mind in the mornings is no longer having my cup of chai and relaxing, but what to feed my family. I am always looking for breakfast ideas that consist of the following: (a) healthful and nutritious, (b) is filling, and (c) takes 20 minutes or less to prep, cook, and serve (Dare I say eat also? I’m obviously pushing it!).

One such regular on the breakfast table that fits the bill are pancakes. I am not talking about your run of the mill ‘bisquick’ pancakes, I am talking about pancakes from scratch and yet they still fall right into my breakfast criteria (see above). Keeping healthfulness in mind, I opt to use alternative flours and strategies to keep on top of the health game, or rather, to make myself feel like I am somewhere on top!

Our favourite pancakes are Whole Wheat Pumpkin Flax Pancakes. Packed with a punch of whole grains, vegetables, and protein, these are an excellent breakfast for even the pickiest of eaters. Serve with a side of fruit, real maple syrup or unpasteurized honey, and you have a breakfast made for little champions!

Ingredients:[lists style=”check” color=”#1e73be”]

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or canned).
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cups milk (more if the consistency of the batter is too thick)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or any vegetable oil)[/lists]

Method:

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground flax seed, and spices into one bowl. In a separate bowl, add all the remaining ingredients and whisk together. Once the wet ingredients are thoroughly mixed, add them to the bowl with dry ingredients. Mix all the ingredients together until just combined. The key is to not over mix, but combine.

Lightly grease a non-stick skillet, place on medium heat, and pre-heat for five minutes. Take ¼ cup of the mixture, pour into the pan, and lightly level it out into a round shape. Flip the pancakes over when you see the top bubbling (approximately 3 minutes), and cook on the other side for another 1-2 minutes. You can alternatively make larger pancakes or smaller silver dollar pancakes, adjusting the cooking time accordingly.

NOTE: If you are making a larger batch, you must grease the pan each time you place a new batch of pancakes in. I find cooking spray coats the pan best and cooks the pancakes evenly.

One would think that after the hundreds of night wakings, the potty training and bathroom adventures, the crying, tantrums, sibling fighting then loving, mothers would want their old, simpler lives back. This is quite the contrary, whereas even though I feel like my life is a rollercoaster at times, I would want never give up my life which has now turned from ordinary to an extraordinary adventure, Alhamdulillah!

Usama b. Zaid relates:
“The Prophet would put me on one knee and his grandson Hassan on one knee and, suddenly embracing both of us, he would say, “My Lord! Treat them with your mercy, because I am also merciful to them” (Bukhari, “Adab” 21).

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