#WholesomeAutumn

Whole Wheat Fuji Apple Pancakes with Easy Salted Caramel “Pan Sauce”

In a recent perusal of my blog, I happened to notice a bit of Rich & Decadent theme starting to dominate my postings.  So, in an effort to clean up my image a bit, I’m taking a seasonal vow and christening October as my #WholesomeAutumn movement.  My recipes this month will feature less sugar, less butter, and no meat, yet all the flavor and deliciousness will remain — we’ll call it Responsible Decadence.

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The first meal requiring re-vamping, was Tom’s and my Sunday morning post-run brunch.  Following a nice long run in the rain, I wanted to make us something warm, comforting, and autumnal.  Instead of the diabetic hyperglycemic crisis I normally make, I opted for fresh apple pancakes.  One of my go-to hacks for “healthifying” my food is to fill it out with fruits and veggies — not to “hide” these wholesome ingredients, rather, to highlight & embrace them.  These keep-the-doctor-away flapjacks feature one LARGE Fuji apple to lend sweetness and moisture to the pancakes without employing melted butter or a ton of oil.  I like Fuji for these pancakes because they’re crisp and juicy, without turning to watery mush when cooked.

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So, with a fresh apple, whole wheat flour, and just a splash of canola oil on-board, I figured I had the Responsible part of my vow satisfied.  Now, for the Decadence…salted caramel sauce (and frozen yogurt).  YOLO.  But, that being said, if you want to stick to Responsible Responsibility, top your stack with unsweetened applesauce, a dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt, and a hearty sprinkle of cinnamon — still delicious, just a bit less indulgent.

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Whole Wheat Fuji Apple Pancakes

Serves 2
1 large egg
2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
Pinch nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large Fuji apple, grated (keep that skin on for added nutrients & fiber!)
1/2 tablespoon canola oil + 1/2 tablespoon butter
Vanilla frozen yogurt
Easy Salted Caramel “Pan Sauce” (below)
Whisk together egg, almond milk, canola oil, and vanilla, for ~1 minute.  Fold in both flours, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon, JUST until no dry streaks remain.  Fold in grated apple using just a couple of [Taylor] swift movements.  Cover with plastic wrap, and let sit 15-30 minutes in refrigerator.
Remove batter from fridge.  In a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat until melted together.  Swirl pan to coat, then dollop desired batter amounts onto hot pan — I made 4 medium-sized pancakes, but you can make a bunch of silver-dollar-sized pancakes if you like.  Reduce heat to medium-low, and let cook until edges appear set and tiny bubbles appear on the top surface.  Flip pancakes, flatten slightly with a spatula, and let cook an additional 2-3 minutes, checking bottoms for golden-brownness.  Transfer to two plates.

Easy Salted Caramel “Pan Sauce”

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
6 soft caramel candies, unwrapped
Pinch coarse sea salt
In the same skillet in which you cooked the pancakes, add the almond milk, increase heat to medium-high, and use a wooden spoon or heat-safe spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan (unearthing any residual apple-y flavor, as you would do when making a traditional pan sauce).  Once milk starts to steam (~30 seconds after you added the milk to the pan), add the caramel candies, and stir constantly, until caramels have melted and sauce appears thickened and bubbly.  Pour over pancakes and fro-yo.  Sprinkle with the salt.
[P.S.  Cold fro-yo + hot caramel sauce = Nirvana]

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