Whole grain oat nut pancakes

February 8th, 2010

Whole grain oat pancakes vertical by lkwm on dRc

There are a few things in life I hold sacred. This pancake recipe is one of them. During my graduate counseling practicum, completed at an inpatient hospital psychiatric unit, one of the long serving psychiatric nurses was retiring, and the behavioral medicine crew threw her a casual goodbye party held in the ubiquitous, stark white, staff/snack/coffee/break/lunch/locked off from all the patients – room.

Whole grain pancake ingredients in ramekins by lkwm on dRc

Ironically, it was the retiring nurse who brought the food for everyone. Apparently, she had gained quite a reputation for a certain oaty, nutty, whole grain buttermilk pancake recipe, and it was tradition for her to tote in gigantic bowls of raw pancake batter and cook up some homey, bathed in sunlight, pancakes, right in the middle of that cramped, cold, and barren psych unit break room.

Oat nut pancake ingredients in ramekins by lkwm on dRcOat nut pancake ingredients in ramekins vertical by lkwm on dRc

But I was suspicious. I can try to deny it, but in fact, I’m a bit of a pancake snob. Great pancakes need distinct flavors and texture, they must be moist – yet light, and most importantly (of course), they cannot remind me in any way of the texture or imagined taste of cardboard.

Almonds, pecans and oats by whole by lkwm on dRcAlmonds, pecans and oats by whole by lkwm on dRcAlmonds, pecans and oats ground by lkwm on dRc

Boy, were my suspicions unfounded! These pancakes were amazing, incredible! I had to have the recipe. You can imagine my disappointment and frustration when, upon asking for said recipe, I was told, “Oh, it’s a whole grain pancake recipe off the internet – I don’t know which one.”  No! I needed to be able to recreate it to perfection, and I am not one for ambiguity.

Pretty little egg by lkwm on dRcWhisking dry ingredients into wet by lkwm on dRcWhisking dry ingredients into wet by lkwm on dRcWhisking buttermilk and egg by lkwm on dRc

However, with a bit of poking around, I found a promising start. But there were some issues – the leavening proportions were all wrong (I want to taste pancake, not baking soda), I didn’t like the nut combination, there was an unduly amount of oil and sugar, and I preferred white whole wheat flour to standard whole wheat. But I persevered, because I knew getting this recipe right would be worth it. And it was. These pancakes have layered flavor from the whole wheat, oats and buttermilk, and a wonderfully satisfying nutty texture. Plus, they are full of dietary fiber and protein. I hope they become a household tradition for you and your family, as they are for mine, and that perhaps you will wake a few minutes early this Sunday and make something that will warm both the hearts and the bellies of those you love most, on Valentine’s Day.

Sizzling pancakes by lkwm on dRcOat nut pancakes in pan by lkwm on dRcWhole grain oat nut pancakes by lkwm on dRc

Whole grain oat nut pancakes

3/4 cup rolled oats, ground (oat flour is not a good substitute – I’ve tried)
3/4 cup white whole wheat or standard whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
scant 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
2 Tablespoons natural cane sugar
3 Tablespoons finely chopped or ground pecans (1 oz.)
3 Tablespoons finely chopped or ground almonds (1 oz.)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (plus or minus 1-2 tablesoons. depending on preferred thickness)
1 egg
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
salted butter for cooking

Grind oats and nuts (or you may use pre-ground nuts) to a powdery consistency in a mini chopper, leaving a few small bits for texture. In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk egg until pale yellow, then add oil and whisk to combine. Add buttermilk to the egg and oil and blend. Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Allow batter to sit for 10-15 minutes to give the leavening time to react and thicken the batter. Preheat a large skillet or griddle over medium high heat, grease with salted butter, and turn heat down to medium. Ladle 1/4 – 1/3 cup batter onto pan for each pancake. Pancake batter should sizzle a bit when poured into the pan, but not smoke. Turn heat down to medium low and allow to cook until edges just start to dry and bubbles appear throughout the pancake, then flip and cook until set in the middle. If pancakes are over-browning, and not cooking through, turn the heat down on the pan and increase the cooking time. Cooking time on the second side will be less than on the first. Repeat with more butter and batches, until batter is finished. This makes about 9-10 four inch pancakes. Serve with maple syrup, butter, and fruit, if desired.

Variations:  try it with a mashed banana, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 cup brown sugar subbed for natural sugar, or unsalted butter rather than vegetable oil.

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Posted in Breakfast | 26 Comments »

26 Responses to “Whole grain oat nut pancakes”

  1. Kitchen M says:

    What a great recipe! It’s healthy and actually sounds really good. I liked your story behind it too. What a great nurse!

    • laura says:

      Kitchen-em – Thanks! I always feel like I’m cheating when I make these pancakes – is it really okay for pancakes to taste this great and be good for me? I think these pancakes achieve that balance. And yes, I am deeply indebted to that nurse, and she doesn’t even know it!

  2. GodShot says:

    I’ve gotta say love this recipe! I’ve been looking all over for pancakes that had this specific texture and taste. Absolutely delicious, healthy pancakes.

    • laura says:

      GodShot – You must be a fellow espresso lover, eh? Nice to meet you. I’d love to know how the pancakes turn out when you give them a try!

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog–yours looks great.
    These pancakes look phenomenal–I LOVE pancakes and get so excited by every new recipe for them I see. I will definitely give these a try!

    Fantastic pics, too.

  4. Joy says:

    Whole grain oat nut pancakes? WOW I am loving this recipe. You have some really great pictures here as well Laura!! Beautiful :)

    • laura says:

      Anna – I can’t stop experimenting with different pancake recipes – they are addictive! Thanks for visiting dRc!
      Joy – Thanks so much – I’m still learning my new camera and having a great time in the process!

  5. Karine says:

    Your pancakes sound delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Cherine says:

    These pancakes look so tempting!! Love the photo!

  7. These pancakes sound amazing. I need to try this. I am always looking for a different way to make pancakes for my class. Nice pics!

    • laura says:

      Karine – Nice to meet you! Thanks for visiting dRc.
      Cherine – Thanks so much! Great to meet you.
      The Teacher Cooks – I hope your class enjoys – let me know how it goes!

  8. Sommer says:

    Now I know what we’re having for breakfast this Saturday morning! Can’t wait!

  9. Liz says:

    I love twists on pancakes, especially when it means they’re more healthy!

  10. my spatula says:

    now i know what i’ll be having for breakfast this weekend! your pancakes look fantastic.

    • laura says:

      Liz – Thanks – the healthy factor helps me feel much better about my addiction to these pancakes!
      my spatula – Thanks for visiting dRc! Please let me know how they turn out!

  11. Rean says:

    I do not understand how you measure a tablespoon of nuts and then grind. Did you mean 3 Tablespoons ground nuts?

    • laura says:

      Rean – I roughly measure out 3 Tablespoons each of whole pecans and then separately of whole almonds, and then I grind them in my mini chopper. You may also use 3 Tablespoons each of pre-ground nuts (6 total between two different nut types or of one type if you prefer), or 1 ounce each (2 ounces total of nuts) of pecans and almonds. I hope this clarifies! Thanks for visiting dRc – I will try to clarify in the recipe and I would love to know how they turn out if you give them a go!

  12. Rean says:

    I made them this morning. They were excellent. The leftovers were also good cold, later in the day, with bananas. I should have tried nut butter and bananas. Thank you so much. I will definitely use the recipe again.

  13. Catherine says:

    Laura, I took your advice and made these this morning for a lovely Valentine’s Day brunch, and they were wonderful; whole grain, nutty, but light….yummy!

    P.S.Do you have your own recipe for pico de gallo? I know there are alot of different ways to fix it, but do you have a favorite? I like to make it homemade, but haven’t settled on a favorite way to do it yet. Sorry, this is off the subject. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • laura says:

      Catherine – so happy to hear you enjoyed the pancakes! I do have a delicious pico de gallo recipe you may wish to check back mid summer for when all our wonderful garden tomatoes are in season – in the mean time, this looks like a promising start!

  14. grace says:

    i LOVE pancakes (i totally share your pancake snobbery) and this recipe looks like it yields some fantastic results! i’m excited by the presence of the ground nuts–that’s a unique component and i’m sure it adds so much. great, great recipe and post, laura!

    • laura says:

      grace – Thanks for sharing in my snobbery! – I like to think it spurs me on towards new and finer pancakes with each experimental batch!

  15. Jean says:

    Laura, just today got around to making the nutty oat pancakes. They were the best I have ever tasted. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us. I don’t often do pancakes simply because of the carbs and calories … but these just taste so healthy. I will definitely make them again and again.

    • laura says:

      Jean – thank you so much. I make these pancakes about once a week – I’ve gotten so used to the process I don’t even think about it anymore – glad they turned out well for you!

  16. Julia says:

    What a beautiful breakfast idea – thank you!


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