A mother-daughter conversation on food and cooking (mostly)

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Baby Pancakes

I make pancakes for me and Max at least one morning a week. Not big fluffy pancakes that you put syrup on — I'm talking thin, eggy, savory pancakes, often with vegetables in the batter. I guess you might call them fritters. 

When Max started eating solid foods, we read a lot about baby-led weaning and more or less did that — though not in any kind of dogmatic way. We sometimes fed him with a spoon, as it's pretty hard for a 6-month-old to eat soup or yogurt without one. We started with roasted sweet potato spears, and avocado, and steamed broccoli, and scrambled eggs, and worked our way on to other things. We kept salt to a minimum and thought strategically about non-choking foods, but were otherwise pretty open. 

In fact, the whole process was less about baby-led weaning than it was about eating real food. Above all, what we wanted to show Max is that food is about enjoyment, and family and friends, and health. So no puffs, no weird pouches with a nozzle, no rice cereal.
Pancakes are very good for babies learning to feed themselves. They're a good way to get eggs and vegetables into a baby. And I like them too.

You don't have to use any flour at all if you don't want to. These two-ingredient banana pancakes — just mashed banana and eggs — are quite tasty. But I like a little bit of whole wheat flour. You can mix in some baby oatmeal, which is basically finely ground oatmeal, for flavor and nutrition variation. 

My basic master recipe is:

2 eggs
1/4 cup or less flour (white, or whole wheat and white mixed), cut with baby oatmeal if you like
1/2 cup or less vegetable matter (optional)
pinch salt (a tiny pinch for tiny babies, more generous once they get older)

Mix to make a thin batter. Heat a little unsalted butter in a cast iron skillet, pour batter to make small (3" to 4") pancakes, flip when ready. Serves one adult and one baby, with a few pancakes left over for snacks. 

Here are my two favorite variations:
Zucchini Pancakes
2 eggs
1 medium or 2 small zucchini, grated, lighty salted and set in a colander to drain for a few minutes
1/8 cup flour
fresh mint OR 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg and some oregano
grated parmesan (optional)

Autumn Pancakes
2 eggs
1/2 can pumpkin OR leftover roasted acorn/butternut squash, mashed up
cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and ground cloves
1/8 cup flour

You could make baby pancakes with all kinds of veggies, I suppose, but things in the squash family to seem to work especially well. Also good: grated carrots, mashed banana (extra tasty with chopped walnuts or pecans added), cooked spinach or chard (cut it up with scissors so it's not too stringy). They're also just fine plain. 

I often eat them with a dollop of Greek yogurt on top. 


Kris said...

Excellent ideas! I might make more pancakes for our breakfasts--we gave up the sweet kind long ago.

climan Transportation said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TR Codex said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.