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Pancakes With a Plus

By Renee Schettler
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 9, 2005; Page F04

With a slightly nutty flavor, a warm brown color and a surprisingly moist texture, these pancakes pack an unexpected nutritional bonus.

The intriguing flavor and texture come from a blend of readily available flours and meals made from whole grains. Any lingering concern over how these may compare to Mom's traditional recipe can be mitigated with maple syrup.

And, as luck would have it, the easy-to-make pancakes constitute a step toward incorporating more whole grains into one's lifestyle.

The revised federal dietary guidelines, released in late January, called on Americans to eat vastly more whole grains per day than most of us now consume: three one-ounce servings of grains a day, such as brown rice or oatmeal.

Most people now eat less than one serving a day, according to the Whole Grains Council. A serving of three pancakes comprises approximately one ounce of whole grains.

Though we know what grains we're supposed to eat, most of us are left wondering how. The easiest way is to rely on the multitude of packaged products, such as cereals, made from whole grains. But the choices can be confusing, the labels difficult to decipher and the flavor sometimes not quite what you want.

While breakfast cereal isn't a bad choice, it's no stack of hot pancakes.

Multigrain Pancakes

10 to 12 pancakes

These pancakes have a tender, slightly dense texture and are best served straight out of the skillet; if left to cool, they turn rubbery.

The dry ingredients may be combined in advance, portioned into plastic bags and frozen.

Because the recipe calls for no eggs or buttermilk, the pancakes are less fluffy than some but are vegan-friendly.

From "The Big Book of Vegetarian," by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley (Chronicle, 2005):

Generous 1/3 cup quick-cooking or rolled oats

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