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(Written for The River Current Publication January 17, 2013)
My youngest returned to college yesterday.  As I sit here at my laptop, I am still in awe of the utter silence that now surrounds me!  He was home for over a month.  During that time, it was a whirlwind of friends, food and laughter; make that lots of laughter.   I shall now reluctantly re-adjust once again to my empty nest.

Most days I busied myself in the kitchen; because for me, love is something I can share through my culinary offerings.  When you are cooking for teens, you must be aware that the hour of their rising will not often be any sooner than 10 a.m.…at least when they are home for a holiday break.   

So for me, that meant whirling into the kitchen around 10:30 a.m. to start the preparation of a very late breakfast (rest assured I had been sipping on coffee for hours before their awakening and was always ready to roll out the pans).  The joy of presenting a very late morning meal is that you can scoot on through the day with the next meal preparation not being necessary until dinner time!

Breakfast has always been a favorite meal of my youngest, so during this long winter break I quickly ran through my repertoire of his favorite breakfast dishes.  We had pancakes, waffles, French toast, oatmeal, eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, cinnamon rolls and coffee cakes.  You name it, we had it.  I even took the easy way out one late morning and picked up his favorite donuts from the little grocery around the corner,  Thoman’s IGA.

As I continue with my nutrition studies, I am now painfully aware of the good and the bad of what I am now putting on a plate for his consumption.  Because he is a growing young man, calories are never a problem.  Good nutrition however is something that I now hope to share with him; with the hope that he will not only enjoy, but learn to respect as well.  The trick is to present healthy foods to him in disguise!

My hidden secret last week:  flax buttermilk pancakes.  In my kitchen (which I also call “my office”) I mixed and created a bubbly batter.  Once the pancakes were golden brown, I hesitantly sat his plate upon the table.  Proudly sitting there were four fluffy pancakes (with a plethora of vitamins and minerals all hidden inside), some turkey sausage links, a bowl of his favorite fruits tossed with fresh orange juice and a sprinkling of cinnamon…..and of course, local organic maple syrup.  (Maple syrup is loaded with minerals!)  

I headed back to the kitchen and poured some more of the batter onto the sizzling griddle and anxiously awaited his response.  Guess what?  He loved them!  He ate them all, leaving not a morsel behind.  

After cleaning up the kitchen, I noticed things seemed unusually quiet, so I went to see what my Zacher was now up to.  And there he lay on his futon, already sound asleep.  He looked like a contented puppy with a full tummy…a tummy full of healthy good stuff.  Mission accomplished!

¼ cup organic milled flax seed
1 cup organic whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. raw sugar
½ tsp. sea salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 whole egg
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
(Please note that I will always suggest using organic and natural products in my ingredient list.  Feel free to use what you have on hand. Hopefully, you will feel encouraged to slowly add these products to your ‘healthy eating pantry’.) 

1. Combine flax, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt in a large bowl.            
2. In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg and oil.
3. Add liquid ingredients to flour mixture; stirring just until moistened.
4. Heat griddle that has been lightly coated with coconut oil.   
5. Pour batter onto hot griddle and cook until golden brown. 

*Nutrition Profile: 
Calories 181.7, total fat 4.6g, cholesterol 48.7mg, potassium 261.3mg, total carbohydrate 28.3g, dietary fiber 5.7g, sugars 3.1g, protein 9.2 g, calcium 43%, iron 13 %, magnesium 12%, manganese 57%, phosphorus 30%, selenium 32%, zinc 8%

*There were too many vitamins and minerals to list.  I made sure to share the ‘big guys’ with you! 



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