Saturday, December 18, 2010

Whole Wheat Ricotta Pancakes

I love breakfast for dinner. Be it a hearty plate of pancakes or waffles or savory bacon and eggs, a big breakfast for dinner always feels like a treat. I'm still lucky enough to have a few jars of Perfect Blueberry Syrup that I made from farmer's market blueberries this summer and when I was puzzling over what to do with the leftover ricotta cheese from Healthy Macaroni and Cheese, I instantly thought of ricotta pancakes. I'm never going to order pancakes at IHOP and instant pancake mixes don't interest me, but I love special pancakes like these (and all the wonderful ones I've tried from Good to the Grain like the absolutely fantastic Pear and Buckwheat Pancakes). The ricotta makes these pancakes slightly sweet and wonderfully smooth and creamy and when topped with sliced almonds, more ricotta, and blueberry syrup feels you're getting away with having dessert for breakfast, even though these are pretty healthy (or you could go all out and add whipped cream, toasted coconut, chocolate chips, and almonds). Cheese pretty much makes everything better, so I'm not surprised I love these pancakes so much. If you want a quick and easy to prepare breakfast to impress your family on Christmas morning that fills them up but leaves room for the feasting ahead, this may be just the recipe for you.

Whole Wheat Ricotta Pancakes
adapted from Food and Wine
serves 2 to 4

1 cup part-skim ricotta
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons honey

Sliced, toasted almonds, for serving (optional)
Perfect Blueberry Syrup, for serving (optional)
Additional ricotta cheese, for serving (optional)

1. In a blender, mix the ricotta, eggs, egg whites, flour, oil, vanilla, salt and honey until smooth.

2. Meanwhile, heat a nonstick griddle over moderately low heat. Working in batches, pour 1/4 cup batter onto the griddle for each pancake, allowing enough room for them to spread slightly. Cook the pancakes until the bottoms are golden, the tops are slightly set and small bubbles appear, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden, about 1 minute longer. Top with additional ricotta cheese, sliced almonds, and blueberry syrup if desired and serve warm.

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