Tag Archives: blueberries

Blueberry Pancakes

Every so often we get that craving for pancakes on the weekend. But trying to watch the carb and calorie intake makes it tough. This recipe only has 4 grams of carbs per serving! No joke. And they are actually very good! I know many of us have tried the “Atkins” pancake mix, or other low-calorie low carb mix over the years and they were all just a little on the bland side. Not this recipe, which I got from “George Stella’s Livin’ Low Carb” book. I actually use this cookbook quite a lot. This coming from a true carb hound. The recipes are great! This recipe I actually had all the ingredients so we tried them out. It actually calls for heavy cream and I didn’t have any so we used half-and-half instead and it was great. The other minor ingredient I actually did not have on hand was baking powder! So I found my ‘substitution’ chart and made my own! Just combine ½ teaspoon cream of tartar and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda. Voila, baking powder. And since I only needed ¼ teaspoon of baking powder it was perfect. Also, usually we have the sugar-free syrup in the house for the pancakes and waffles we sometimes have, but this time we used the amber agave nectar!

Delicious and so much better for you! We also have the light one as well. Found it cheap at Marshall’s! Go figure!

INGREDIENTS:

Cooking spray or butter (for pan)

2 large eggs

½ cup heavy cream (I used half-and-half and it was fine)

¼ cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup soy flour

2 tablespoons sugar substitute (Splenda recommended)

1 tablespoon wheat or oat bran (I used wheat)

¼ teaspoon baking powder

½ cup fresh or frozen(thawed) blueberries

DIRECTIONS:

1. Grease a griddle or large skillet with cooking spray or butter and heat over medium heat for at least 5 minutes. The griddle should be very hot so that the pancakes don’t stick.

2. Mix all the ingredients except for the blueberries in a blender or food processor for about 15 seconds. Stop and scrape the sides and mix for another 15 seconds until well blended.

3. Pour about 12 little cakes onto the hot griddle (they should be about the size of the bottom of a soda can). Wait for the pancakes to bubble and then sprinkle with a few blueberries on each of them. Cook for a little longer, then flip with a spatula and cook for a few more minutes, until both sides are slightly browned. Serve hot with melted butter and syrup of your choice! You may have to do this in a couple batches.

Makes about 12 small pancakes. You can use other berries also just make sure you cut them up small enough to about the size of the blueberries.

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Buying Fresh Fruits & Vegetables at Their Peak (Part 1)

Like most of our local supermarkets we can usually get any kind of fruit or vegetable year round. Transportation improvements and storage facilities have aided in this. But if you want to get the most nutritional value and flavor from a fruit or vegetable it’s best to choose at the peak of their freshness. But what is fresh at what time of the year? I know when I lived in New York strawberry season was usually at its peak in June. But here in Florida it’s March and April. Different regions of the country have different growing seasons therefore some peaks of freshness may vary. I have put together a list of fruits and vegetables and when the best time is to enjoy them at their best! It’s a big list so I am going to break the list down to two posts. I hope this information helps out when you’re shopping. Another thing when you are buying items at their peak they are usually the best price as well. So keep that in mind as well! This list will tell you which months are best for the freshest products and also what to look for when choosing your produce.

  • Apples:  September-May: Look for good color; firm to touch. Avoid those that are soft & mealy.
  • Apricots: June-July: Should be golden-yellow; plump; firm. Avoid pale yellow or green, very hard or soft, shriveled and wilted ones.
  • Avocados: All Year: They should yield to gentle pressure; vary in size, shape and color from green to black. Brown markings on skin do not lower quality.
  • Bananas: All Year: They should be firm; yellow touched with green. If needed, ripen at room temperature.
  • Blueberries: June-August: Should be firm; plump; full-colored; bright, clean, fresh appearance.
  • Cranberries: September-December: Should be firm; plump; full-colored; bright, clean, fresh appearance.
  • Strawberries: March-July/June-August: Should be firm; plump; full-colored; bright, clean, fresh appearance. Only strawberries should have hull (stem cap) attached when mature.
  • Cherries: May-June: Should have a fresh appearance; firm; good size for type of cherry.
  • Coconuts: September-March: Should be good weight for the size; milk inside still fluid. If no milk, coconuts are spoiled. Avoid ones with moldy or wet-looking eyes.
  • Figs: July-September: Should be fairly soft to touch. Use at once, spoils quickly. Sour odor indicates overripe fruit.
  • Grapefruit: October-June: Should be firm; well-rounded; heavy for the size; smooth textured. Avoid coarse, puffy, rough-skinned fruit.
  • Grapes: June- December: Should be fairly soft; tender; plump. Well-formed clusters with green, pliable stems. Darker varieties are free of green tinge; green grapes have a slight amber blush.
  • Kiwi: June-August: Should be soft to the touch, like avocados. Sometimes called Chinese gooseberries.
  • Lemons: All Year: Should be fairly firm; smooth and glossy-skinned; heavy for size.
  • Limes: May-October: Should be heavy for size. Green variety are more acidic than yellow.
  • Mangoes: April-August: Should be solid and not too soft to touch. Can vary in size from a plum to an apple and in color from yellow to red. Smooth skin often speckled with black. Green mangoes are sometimes used in cooking.
  • Cantaloupes: May-September- The color and aroma are best guides. Delicate aroma; thick netting that stands out; yellow-tinged skin under the netting. No evidence of stem at blossom end.
  • Casabas: July-October: Buttery-yellow, wrinkled rinds, lengthwise furrows.
  • Crenshaws: July-October: Yellow-gold rind; pleasant aroma.
  • Honeydews: February-October: Creamy, yellow rinds; pleasant aroma.
  • Persians: July-October: Thick webbing; gray-green to brown skin under webbing.
  • Watermelons: May-August: Dull surfaces with cream-colored undersides; symmetrical shape.
  • Nectarines/Peaches: June-September: Should be plump; fairly firm depending on type. Skin color white or yellow with a red blush.
  • Oranges: November-June: Should be heavy for size; firm; skins not too rough.
  • Papayas: All Year: Should be greenish-yellow to full yellow in color; flesh gives slightly when fruit pressed in palm of hand.
  • Pears: August-May: Should yield to gentle pressure at stem end. Color ranges from creamy yellow to russet. Ripen at room temperature.
  • Persimmons: October-May: Should be firm; shapely; plump; orange-red color; attached stem cap. Handle gently. Looks like a large red tomato in shape and firmness
  • Pineapples: February-August: Should have “piney” aroma; golden-yellow; slightly soft. Ripe when leaf is easily removed. Green fruit may not ripen properly. Over-mature fruit may show soft-watery darker spots on the base or sides.
  • Plums: June-September: Should be plump; full-covered, soft enough to yield to slight pressure. Softening at tip is usually a sign that fruit is mature. Avoid shriveled and hard plums.
  • Pomegranates: September-November: Should be thin-skinned; bright purple-red; looks fresh.
  • Tangerines/Tangelos: November-January/January-October: Should be deep orange or yellow; glossy skin. Loose skin. Overripe fruit has puffy, dry skin.

**Coming Next Week: Vegetable Peak Months!

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