comfort foods: they can, in fact, be healthy!

image courtesy of kidscooking.about.com

on rainy days, i love to cook. instead of going outside and attempting to slosh my way through muddy puddles and crowded streets, i prefer to stay inside and enjoy some nice homemade comfort foods. speaking of comfort foods, many of us tend to associate comfort foods with unhealthy (but simply irresistible) dishes such as hearty mac n’ cheese, hot buttermilk pancakes, and decadent chocolate-y desserts. however, i realized that comfort foods don’t necessarily have to be bad for us if we are cognizant of the types of ingredients we use to make them. comfort food, can, in fact, be healthy! below is an awesome recipe i found for oatmeal pancakes and fruit syrup that i’m dying to try out for an early saturday morning breakfast. happy cooking!

~irin

oatmeal pancakes
serves 6

ingredients

2 cup organic rolled oats
2 cup nonfat buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled (or canola oil)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
canola oil for griddle

preparation
1. combine oats and buttermilk in a large bowl. cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.
2. add eggs and melted butter to oat mixture.
3. sift together sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. add to oat mixture.
4. preheat griddle. spread out batter with the back of the ladle. when bubbles appear, gently flip cakes and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. serve hot.

makes about 18 pancakes.

fruit syrup
serves 12

ingredients
3 cups raw fruit or berries* (pears, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries or other fruit), cored, peeled and chopped if necessary
1 tbsp fructose (or sugar substitute)
2 cup water

preparation
1. simmer all ingredients for 5 to 10 minutes.
2. cool slightly and blend in a food processor or blender.
3. screen out the coarse solids with a fine sieve.

*  the original recipe used ripe prickly pear, either raw, peeled and chopped, or canned purée. any highly flavorful fruit can be used. the amount of fructose may need to be adjusted if the fruit is very tart.

per serving: approx. 25 calories, trace protein, 4g carbohydrates, trace fat (0g saturated), trace fiber

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