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Monthly Challenge: Nix the Pancake Mix

We’re more than half-way through January. I have almost worked through the last of the snowman sugar cookies stashed in my freezer which means a couple of things:

  1. The holidaze have come and gone
  2. I’m most likely looking fat-tastic (that is not actually a good thing)
  3. It’s time to start my New Year’s Resolutions

Wait, “start” my resolutions you ask? Yes, you heard me right. A wise sage (ok, a former boss) got me turned on to the idea of starting life improving changes in February, instead of the ever-so-clichéd New Year’s Resolve. First off, there are (usually) only 28 days – making it three days easier, if you’re trying to do something for a month.  Second, all the holiday victuals and goodies are likely out of your kitchen by this time of year (and in my case, onto my thighs providing some serious motivation.) Besides, it’s really too much to ask to start dieting (or self-improving) when your kick off date is technically a holiday. That’s just not right, people.

Which blissfully brings us to February – the month to recommit to everything you committed to do a month ago! And yes, I recognize it’s not technically February, but I want to give us some wiggle room before kick-off.

Whatever you’ve resolved to do: diet, stop smoking, be nicer to your kids, crochet sweaters for the family, etc etc. I say go for it. While you’re on the self-improvement ladder, might I suggest in adding one more rung on your ladder to the top?

My monthly challenge: ditch your pancake mix (and why not the waffle, muffin and biscuit ones while you’re at it). I know it sounds a little ridiculous, I mean this is supposed to be about sustainable living right? So perhaps you were expecting me to offer the challenge of replacing your light-bulbs, recycling your glass bottles more diligently or resolving to only eat organic produce. While all wonderful things, opting out of the Bisquick/Krusteaz/whatever other variety you’ve grown accustomed to is a much tastier way to move your family in a more sustainable direction.

First, it’s getting you into your own kitchen and out of the food-scientists concoctions and food-plants. Second, you control the ingredients – no added soybean or corn derivatives, inert gases to keep things fresh, or words you can’t pronounce. Third, it’s a great chance to get in the habit of cooking from scratch (and easy to do with kids); and since you most likely already keep the ingredients on hand, you’ve got less packaging which is usually a greener choice. (I’d say ‘always,’ but speaking in absolutes scares me.)

At our house, we use Mark Bittman’s “Everyday Pancakes” recipe, and often substitute whole-wheat flour for all-purpose flour, though the result is obviously more light and fluffy when using the white-stuff. Just six ingredients and less than twenty minutes. This will be one of the most delicious resolutions you keep!

Do you have a quick-and-easy from-scratch recipe for pancakes, waffles or muffins your family loves? Do tell, do tell!


  1. I think I’m going to work my way through all the recipes posted here to determine which one my family thinks has sticking power. And I do love the idea of making them and freezing extras for later.

  2. I’ve wanted to mix up my own pancake mix for a while. It’s such an easy thing to do and so much cheaper and better tasting! I sometimes make waffles from scratch but it would be so nice to have the mix ready to go! Thanks to everyone for sharing the recipes – now I just have to decide which one to try!

  3. Every Sunday morning we make pancakes in our house. My husband will only do them out of a box but when I it my turn I always make them ‘from scratch’. He very much disagrees with me but they do not take any longer and the definitely taste better. I use a buttermilk pancake recipe from Company’s Coming Cooking for 2 – for our little eaters it makes the perfect amount. We have tried a number of different recipes but always come back to this one.

  4. Just made a batch of pancakes from scratch over the weekend and was delightfully suprised at how easy it was. Plus we froze the left over pancakes for those hurried school mornings! Not using mix for pancakes again.

  5. We use a pancake recipe that I clipped from Parents magazine awhile ago. Mix 1 1/2 c. white whole-wheat flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp each baking soda & salt. In another bowl, blend 1 egg, 1 1/2 c. buttermilk, and 1 Tbsp each honey and canola oil. Stir into dry ingredients. Love it!

  6. We make homemade waffles & pancakes in triple batches. Then, we always have pancakes and waffles on hand in the freezer for weekday breakfasts. They beat Eggo’s anyday.

  7. Yes, we are in this club too. It’s really so easy to mix up a few extra items to make a yummy homemade mix. In fact, that might be a great idea for dinner tonight!! :)

  8. I use 2 different recipes for pancakes, depending on what is on hand.
    This first pancake recipe originally did not use the oil and the waffles did, but it didn’t seem to hurt the pancakes so I left it in so I could make both at once. This is the one I use most, but we like them both equally.

    Pancakes/Waffles from Cooking for Two cookbook

    2/3 cup flour
    1 ½ tsp sugar
    1 ½ tsp baking powder
    ¼ tsp salt
    1 egg
    ½ cup milk
    1 tbsp oil

    Preheat griddle to 300 degrees.
    Mix dry ingredients. Add egg, milk and oil. Mix until almost smooth. Some lumps are fine. Pour 1/3 cup per pancake onto griddle. When bubbles start to pop, check for a light golden brown color on the bottom. Flip to cook the other side.

    For waffles, preheat waffle iron, pour the amount called for with your waffle iron and cook to desired crispness.

    The other one you can find online here (it’s fabulous!):

    1. We made these this morning (though I substituted honey for the sugar and added a little vanilla). I couldn’t believe how fluffy and light they are!

  9. I never use a pancake mix. I ran across this recipe years ago: 1 c. of flour, 2 tbsp baking powder (yes, 2 tbsp!), 2 tbsp granulated sugar – mix together. In a separate bowl, lightly beat one egg, add 2 tbsp vegetable oil and 1 cup of milk and stir. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and you have amazing pancake batter.

    And muffin mix? Never!

    Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

    In a large bowl, mix together 1 c. white flour, 1 c. whole wheat flour, 3/4 c. white sugar (I use less), 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp baking soda, pinch of salt, 2 tbsp of ground flax (optional)

    In another bowl, mix together: 1 c. of mashed banana (I keep overripe bananas in the freezer for just this reason), 1/2 c. vegetable oil, 1/2 c. of plain yogurt or sour cream, 2 eggs.

    Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. You can add a cup of walnuts or chocolate chips. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 22-24 min. Makes 12 muffins.

    I have a plain muffin recipe too but I haven’t memorized that one. :-)

    1. You and I are on the same page Rhonda. And I love muffin recipes…I have a basic one I use as well, and just adjust from there depending on what fruit, etc I have on hand. But I am def. giving your banana-chocolate-chip recipe a try. YUM!

  10. I love home made pancakes! Especially after reading the ingredient list on the mixes. Why is there partially hydrogenated oil (trans fat) in mixes? Can’t find a cake mix without it either. There are tons of recipes out there in the net for pancakes. I use either white whole wheat flour or unbleached all purpose flour rather than whole wheat flour and they are quite fluffy.

    1. Ugh, I know right? Trans fats, HFCS, and the list goes on and on…and seriously, there seem to be plenty of “ingredients” to chose from.

      I’m going to give your white whole wheat flour a try too…I wonder if whole wheat pastry flour would work too. Hmmm….

      Thanks for the comment.

  11. My family loves the Alton Brown “Instant” pancake mix. I keep the dry ingredient mix on hand at all times so we can have pancakes at a moment’s notice. It’s really as easy as using a boxed mix and tastes so much better.

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