Positive nutrition messaging emphasizes the importance of whole foods. Meaning? Unprocessed or minimally processed foods are whole foods. Whole foods don’t contain salt or sugar. Fresh fruits and vegetables are whole foods that are most healthy when consumed whole. Unpolished grains and beans are other examples.
Healthy, balanced diets rely on whole grains, and these days, they’re more widely available than ever before. And they taste better than ever. Take, for instance, this whole grain pancake mix. The cozy comfort of pancakes with the added benefit of healthy whole grains is enough to tempt you to eat pancakes for more than just breakfast.
Benefits of Whole Grains
Whole grains provide protein and carbs. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals, which may boost the immune system and prevent disease. As suggested, you should shoot for at least three servings of whole grains a day. This target is essential since it is widely suggested they reduce cancer and heart disease risk.
Healthy whole foods may also aid with weight maintenance and loss. Natural fiber in fruits, vegetables, and grains can fill you up without adding calories. No wonder their popularity has increased, especially with the tasty options available today. Let’s take a longer look at the benefits you might gain from a diet rich in whole grains.
Three components make up the whole grain kernel. These are bran, germ, and endosperm. Health-improving nutrients are contained in each segment. The outer, fiber-rich layer known as the bran contains antioxidants, phytochemicals, B vitamins, iron, copper, zinc, and magnesium. Plants naturally contain chemical molecules called phytochemicals, which have been studied for their potential to prevent disease. The germ, the center of the seed where growth takes place, is a rich source of phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamin E, and healthy fats. The inner layer, known as the endosperm, is where carbohydrates, protein, and trace levels of several B vitamins and minerals are found.
These elements affect our body in a variety of ways:
- Bran and fiber prevent rapid rises in blood sugar by reducing how quickly starch is converted to glucose.
- Fiber helps move waste through the digestive tract and lowers cholesterol.
- Additionally, fiber may assist in preventing the development of tiny blood clots that can result in heart attacks or strokes.
- Whole grains contain phytochemicals and important minerals, including magnesium, selenium, and copper, that may help prevent some malignancies.
Since the advent of industrialized roller mills in the late 19th century, how we process grains has changed. During milling, the bran and germ are eliminated, leaving only the endosperm, which is tender and easy to digest. After the bran’s rough outer layer is removed, the grain is easier to chew. Since the germ contains fat, it is removed to increase the shelf life of processed wheat products.
The nutritional value of intensively processed grain products is significantly lower. The process of refining wheat removes nearly all of the fiber, 90% of the vitamin E, and more than half of the B vitamins, which are then used to make fluffy flour that is used to make light, airy bread and pastries. Fortification can replenish some nutrients, but it cannot replace whole grains’ other health-promoting components, such as phytochemicals.
Family Fun With Whole Grain Pancake Mix
One of the first things I made with my kids in the kitchen was pancakes. It’s a fun and easy way to let them help and get them interested in cooking. You can make it even more fun when you make silly shapes using your whole grain pancake mix. There are a few ways to do this, depending on your artistic talent. I’m creative, but I still chose the easier way!
You can purchase a set of cookie cutters fairly cheaply. They come in both metal and plastic. Mine are metal, but plastic should do just as fine. Decide which cookie cutters you want to do and spray them with cooking spray. Once you’ve mixed your whole grain pancake mix, play the cookie cutter on your heated surface and pour the batter into the cutter. You only need a little bit. Halfway full should do the trick. Then, watch the magic happen! The batter will expand within the cookie cutter. Flip it when it’s ready, and when it’s fully done, it should come out of the cookie cutter with ease.
This is a great way to work on letters and numbers with your child or make a special birthday breakfast with shapes they choose!
If you’re more artistic, you can skip the cookie cutter method and make your own molds from foil, or you can add your whole grain pancake mix batter to a squirt bottle and freestyle your design.
Where Did Pancakes Come From Anyway?
Pancakes are legendary – most people have grown up with them and enjoy the variety of toppings you can experiment with, not to mention the additions you can add to your whole grain pancake mix. You might wonder how long pancakes have been nourishing us, and the answer might surprise you.
The pancake has a long history, dating back hundreds of years. The same delectable meal that you have now was also popular in medieval times. From crepes to Dutch pancakes and flapjacks, there are innumerable variations on the pancake. Many of these are influenced by the place in which the pancake is being cooked, the culture there, and the ingredients that are available.
The first recognized pancake recipe was created in the sixteenth century when a Dutch cook created the recipe. The most similar pancakes to those we know now originated during the Medieval Age. Depending on what they had on hand, people began preparing them with cornmeal, flour, or even potatoes. For flavor, many would also add fruit or another sweet component. A baking stone was used to make the pancakes of old. They would use a fire or stove to heat the cooking stone.
Over time, pancakes arrived in America. Some evidence suggests that Native Americans had their own pancake recipe. They employed comparable but different components. However, all of these variations have evolved into the pancakes we are familiar with today. Now, you can find pancake mixes to fit every diet, including vegan.
Every culture has its unique take on pancakes all around the world. It is referred to as a crepe in France. Similar to the flapjack, a variation is produced in Scotland. They’re frequently served as dessert instead of breakfast in Australia. They are eaten with soup in Germany, sliced into strips. The Swedish are famed for topping their pancakes with fruit and whipped cream and baking or frying them.
The history of pancakes spans several different eras. Originating in the Middle Ages and extending all throughout the world, the pancake is incredibly simple to make from its most basic recipe. The most basic ingredients in a recipe are flour, baking powder, eggs, and buttermilk. The beautiful thing about pancakes is that you can easily alter the recipe to suit anyone’s preferences.
Many variations are available to help you save time as well. Lehi Mills has a variety of pancake options to keep you enjoying them for many breakfasts to come. From their whole grain pancake mix to the blueberry pancakes, you’re bound to find something scrumptious for everyone in the family. They also offer waffle mixes and so much more!
Favorite Pancake Toppings
Pancake toppings are just as varied as pizza toppings. Some might like plain maple syrup, while others enjoy fruit and whipped topping. Whatever your family enjoys, it’s fun to experiment with a variety. You could even create your own Pancake Bar, taking votes on the favorite toppings. Continue reading to find out some of the most popular topping options.
Maple syrup: Coming in at number one is maple syrup. It’s the go-to option for your warm fluffy stack of whole grain pancakes. Whether you simply take it out of the pantry or warm it up first, syrup is usually a hit with everyone.
Fresh fruit: Want a cool garnish on hot pancakes? Why not try some new fruit?
Fresh is the essential word here. Your pancakes will soar to new heights when you use the most recent, ripest fruits! It doesn’t matter which fruit you choose. Fruits and pancakes are a classic combination. You can try bananas or peaches, but strawberries are my favorite. You can even branch out and try fruits your family might not typically have, such as kiwi or mangos.
Chocolate Chips: What goes better with a warm stack of pancakes than chocolate chips? You can mix them in with the fresh fruit, and your family will come back for more than just seconds. They do add a bit of sweetness to your pancakes, so go easy on how many you use. But remember, chocolate in moderation is great for your health!
Nutella or Hazelnut Spread: You can go wrong with either of these options, but know that you are adding calories you might not want if you’re trying to stay on the healthier side. Both options have benefits despite their calorie count, though, as hazelnuts are packed with antioxidants and omega-3 nutrients.
Whipped Cream: You can’t forget another standby pancake topping. Whipped cream adds a bit of airy lightness to your pancake bar. You can create your own or opt for a store-bought version. It adds in nicely with both chocolate chips and fresh fruit as well. There are some people who prefer whipped cream over syrup as they think syrup is a bit too sweet.
Fruit sauce of compote: You can try a strawberry or blueberry sauce to top your stack. You can even purchase fruit-flavored syrup, although making your own coconut cream syrup will have your family swooning for more. If you opt for a compote, all you need is the fruit, sugar, water, and lemon juice, and about ten minutes, and you’re good to go.
Ham, cheese, or eggs: If you’re looking for a savory option to top your pancakes with, try either of these three or all three together. The saltiness of the ham mixed with the creamy cheese might be the taste bud revolution you’ve been waiting for!
As you can see, there are a variety of toppings you can add to your whole grain pancake mix. This list is just the tip of the iceberg. You can even create two classic favorites with cheesecake and pancakes and top them with the fruit of your choice! The sky’s the limit when it comes to creating your own pancakes for your family to enjoy.
Breakfast for Dinner
The phrase breakfast for dinner warms the hearts of many, especially since so many of us are too busy these days to truly enjoy a hot breakfast. With the workday out of the way, you can let your breakfast-loving side go wild. Create that pancake bar, add in some sausage and bacon, or even scrambled eggs. Once you’re finished cooking, you can sit down and enjoy your evening while your family enjoys a home-cooked meal.
For many, breakfast for dinner is quick, easy, and healthy for the budget. Depending on your spread, it may be lower in calories as well, especially if you’ve added fresh fruit. Because breakfast foods typically contain a variety of nutrients and minerals that help you burn calories throughout the day, eating breakfast for dinner helps you get through the rest of the day with an extra boost of energy. This is essential since most of us have a long list of things to do after dinner before we can go to bed.
Now that you’re ready for some pancakes, consider Lehi Mills’ whole grain pancake mix, or try one of their other delectable products. With 100 years of experience, Lehi Mills is tried and true regarding its ingredients and customers.
Pancakes have been around for hundreds of years, and for most of us, all of our lives. Mixing up an old favorite is fun, and you get the coziness of comfort food at the same time.