Since I started tracking our food waste nearly a month ago, I’ve been paying close attention to what we end up not eating, whether it be leftovers gone bad or “fresh” produce that we never got around to using. There has been blessedly little of the latter, likely because we’re just not buying much fresh produce right now; everything seems to be from Mexico or Chile this time of year, and I’m not willing to subsidize the transportation costs. As to the former, it happens more often than I like. I think I’ve found a clever way around some of it, though, thanks to my remember some helpful comments I got when I was wrestling with The Oatmeal Dilemma.
Now, this may seem painfully obvious to some of you, so bear with my sense of wonder as I walk you through my discovery. I make oatmeal for breakfast at least once a week, and overnight steel-cut oats once or twice as well. I tend to err on the side of abundance, making enough for six people when there are five of us, so there’s usually a portion left over. Usually I would tell myself that I’ll re-heat it later, and sometimes I would ; but often as not, it would languish in the back of the fridge until it was Time To Go. The results were both ugly and frustrating.
Then one Saturday, while I was preparing The Weekly Pancakes, I remembered something that Momof5 had mentioned in a comment on one of my earlier posts about breakfast, namely mixing leftover oatmeal into the pancake (or waffle) batter…as Gru would say, “Light…bulb!”
I decided to try it, substituting a portion of leftover oatmeal with raisins for 1 cup of dry pancake mix, using the same amount of water, adding another handful of raisins, and cooking as usual:
The results were, to say the least, impressive. I actually got more pancakes (20 vs. 16) out of a batch of batter, I used less dry mix (2 cups vs. 3), saved some leftovers from the peril of doom, and gave The Family a nutrition boost all at the same time! I felt like a heady mix of Michael Pollan and Donna Reed (sitcom, not “From Here to Eternity”).
Coming back from a weird mental space now….okay. We’ve landed.
Anyway, the Enhanced Pancakes were a big hit, and even better with a couple of old bananas mashed into the batter as well-although that version tends to stick to the pan more than I’d like. Pureeing the bananas first would probably help there. I wonder how big a batch I’d have to whip up to have leftovers.
Now I have to figure out a similar trick for dinner. I don’t think Chicken Soup Pancakes are going to work.