Celebrate National Blueberry Pancake Day

January 28, which is Friday, has been considered National Blueberry Pancake Day! Pancakes are one of the oldest and most popular foods in the country. People all over the world have been making flat, deep-fried discs of dough since the Stone Age. Over the ages, the ingredients have changed drastically to healthier options. The ancient Greeks and Romans used basic flour, olive oil, honey and curd. Later, the English added spices, sherry and fruit. Today, the ingredient list can be traditional or contain substitutes for special dietary needs, such as gluten-free or even flour-free versions.

In this country, fruit has become a popular ingredient in pancakes. Blueberries contain an anthocyanin compound providing the blue color and a host of health boosting effects. Health benefits include lower blood pressure, better insulin response and reduced risk of cancer. The benefits don’t stop there. Blueberries contain iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, manganese, zinc and vitamin K. These nutrients are essential for bone health. Plus, the high vitamin C content promotes collagen production for healthy skin. A cup of blueberries provides 24% of your daily vitamin C needs.

Blueberries also provide cardiovascular protection. Fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, B6 and phytonutrients protect against heart disease. Likewise, the antioxidants in blueberries can inhibit tumor growth, decrease inflammation, and help prevent or slow cancers of the esophagus, lung, mouth, pharynx, endometrium, pancreas. , prostate and colon.

Adding these health benefits to those provided by pancakes is a win-win situation. Pancakes provide more than a third of the manganese needed each day, all in just one pancake. Manganese is part of many enzymes, some of which help you metabolize energy from the foods you eat. Pancakes are also a good source of riboflavin. Riboflavin is a B vitamin that also helps your cells produce energy. Additionally, it uses the amino acid tryptophan to make niacin in the body. Tryptophan and its metabolites regulate things like appetite, sleep-wake rhythm, and pain perception.

Fancy something different? Try these suggestions:

• Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes: Cornmeal and coconut oil add delicious flavor and a unique texture that is amazing.

• Blueberry Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes: Take it a step further by adding lemon juice and lemon zest and topping your pancakes with pure maple syrup. It’s like the flavors of a favorite blueberry muffin and lemon poppyseed muffin all in one.

• Blueberry Pancake Poppers: Using regular pancake batter, but made in mini muffin cups, these little treats can be easily put in your mouth anytime.

• Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes: Make things a little healthier (and gluten-free) by using oats, oatmeal, almond flour, or buckwheat instead of flour wheat.

Add blueberries to your favorite pancake recipe or this recipe to start your day off right.

Dr. Dianna Richardson has served Jefferson City and surrounding communities for over 20 years. She has worked in the health and nutrition field as a wellness practitioner for over 30 years. At the heart of her practice is the use of nutrition to improve health, vitality and quality of life. Richardson holds a doctorate in naturopathy, as well as degrees in nutrition and a master’s degree in public health education. It can be found at the Health, Wellness & Nutrition Center, LLC on Dix Road in Jefferson City.

BANANA AND BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

1 cup all-purpose flour (can be gluten-free)

1 tablespoon sweetener (sugar, beet sugar, coconut sugar)

2 teaspoons of yeast

¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 egg separated from the white, beaten stiff

1 cup milk or milk substitute

2 tablespoons of cooking oil

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 cup blueberries

Mix flour, white sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine egg yolk, milk, vegetable oil and bananas. In another bowl, beat the egg white until stiff. This gives a lighter and fluffier pancake.

Stir flour mixture into banana mixture; the dough will be slightly lumpy. Add blueberries. Incorporate the egg white.

Heat a griddle or lightly oiled frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour or scoop batter onto griddle, using about 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook until pancakes are golden brown on both sides; Serve hot.

These pancakes are naturally sweet, so test them before adding toppings.

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