Based on this post’s title, you might assume that I am a British four-year-old. Add 20 years to that age and replace “British” with “American” and you’re correct! Heh heh. But let’s be real – whether you’re four or 24*, breakfast for dinner is equally awesome. Last night I indulged in that time-honored excuse for eating sweet foods for dinner as a method for curing a mild case of the blues.
These are Whole Wheat Ginger-Apple Pancakes and Hell Yeah It’s Vegan‘s Chocolate Chia Pudding (barely visible in the background). During my post-work dinner-making, I put together the pudding first and let it gel in the fridge while I mixed the pancake batter. Then, while I cleaned up around the kitchen, I let my pancake batter sit in the fridge for fifteen minutes or so. Vegan with a Vengeance taught me that pancake batter does best when the gluten has a chance to rest. Once the gluten was relaxed, so was I, and I took the batter to its stovetop demise.
The act of chowing down on pancakes and trying my first-ever chia pudding (!) helped pull me out of the dumps, but the real restorative was the simple process of meal-making. I’m sure many of you can relate to the relaxing, cathartic nature of baking (and, often, cooking). Focusing my energies on mixing and measuring and mincing calms me down and quiets my mind. Following recipes gives my brain the chance to focus on a specific task, one with a set beginning and end (and a delicious result). And simply waiting for the disparate components of a recipe to cohere into a unified result is an exercise in patience, one I often need at the end of a busy or stressful day. In short, the kitchen can be a haven for me, as long as I’m mindfully making my meals instead of zipping through the steps, distracted and unfocused.
Food musing aside, let’s return to these pancakes. Would you like the recipe for them? Regardless of your answer, I’m going to share it with you.
Whole Wheat Ginger-Apple Pancakes
1/2 T ground flax + 1.5 T warm water
3/4 C whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 T baking powder
1.5 T vegan cane sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t ground ginger
3/4 C almond milk
1 T ginger syrup (optional; maple syrup is a fine substitution)
Scant 1 t very finely minced fresh ginger
1-2 T almond milk (as necessary)
1/2 medium-sized apple, peeled and diced
In a small bowl, mix together the flax and water and set aside. In a larger bowl, add all the dry ingredients and thoroughly mix. Add the remaining wet ingredients (except for the 1-2 T almond milk and the apple) to the flax mixture and stir until all the wet ingredients are incorporated. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just combined. If the batter seems a bit dry, add the remaining almond milk as necessary. If possible, let your batter sit in the fridge for ten or more minutes.
When you’re ready to make the pancakes, heat a nonstick pan on medium heat and fold the diced apple into the batter. Turn the heat down a bit (to medium-lowish). Pour half-cup spoonfuls onto the pan and cook until bubbles form on the upper side, then flip them. When you can easily slide a thin, nonstick spatula beneath them, they’re probably ready. Serve with maple syrup and enjoy!
These autumnal pancakes hit all the right notes for me; they pack a great gingery wallop and they made for an excellent relaxed Friday-night dinner. I was glad to use some of the organic ginger syrup I purchased a while back; it’s a great product but I always forget to use it!
I also loved the chia pudding – I’ve seen it around the blogosphere for years now, but I’ve been hesitant to try it. After buying a big ol’ bag of chia seeds at Costco recently, I knew I had to give it a chance. And I’m so glad I did, even if it’s not the most beautiful of foods.
Although having crunchy seeds in a pudding does take some getting used to, the consistency is really fun, and the chocolaty flavor in this particular recipe was amazing. I could only eat a few bites, though, so I saved the rest for this morning. Maybe I’ll follow breakfast for dinner with dessert for breakfast.
What do you make with chia seeds? What’s your stance on breakfast for dinner? Is cooking a stressor or a de-stressor for you?
* Help, I can’t stop writing using the Microsoft Manual of Style!