Recipe of the Week:
Healthy Pancake Mix
With this whole-grain mix on hand, you can enjoy homemade pancakes on busy weekday mornings. This is also a great item to pack on camping trips. Be sure to refrigerate or freeze the mix as flaxseed meal is highly perishable. Others have also used almond milk in substitution for the cow’s milk and have had great results.
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
6 cups pancake mix (makes 18 servings, 2 pancakes each)
2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup buttermilk powder, (see Note)
5 tablespoons dried egg whites, such as Just Whites (see Note)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup flaxseed meal, (see Note)
1 cup nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup wheat bran, or oat bran
1. Whisk flour, buttermilk powder, dried egg whites, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir in flaxseed meal, dry milk and bran. Makes 6 cups pancake mix. To make pancakes:
2. Combine 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk, 1/4 cup canola oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a glass measuring cup.
3. Place 2 cups pancake mix in a large bowl. (Refrigerate the remaining pancake mix in an airtight container for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 3 months.) Make a well in the center of the pancake mix. Whisk in the milk mixture until just blended; do not overmix. (The batter will seem quite thin, but will thicken up as it stands.) Let stand for 5 minutes.
4. Coat a nonstick skillet or griddle with cooking spray and place over medium heat. Whisk the batter. Using 1/4 cup batter for each pancake, cook pancakes until the edges are dry and bubbles begin to form, about 2 minutes. Turn over and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes longer. Adjust heat as necessary for even browning. Makes 6 servings, 2 pancakes each.
Tips & Notes
Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate the dry mix in an airtight container for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 3 months.
Buttermilk powder, such as Saco Buttermilk Blend, is a useful substitute for fresh buttermilk. Look in the baking section or with the powdered milk in most markets.
Dried egg whites are convenient in recipes calling for egg whites because there is no waste. Look for brands like Just Whites in the baking or natural-foods section of most supermarkets or online at bakerscatalogue.com.
**You can find flaxseed meal in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets. You can also start with whole flaxseeds:
Grind 2/3 cup whole flaxseeds to yield 1 cup.
272 calories; 13 g fat (2 g sat, 6 g mono); 8 mg cholesterol; 27 g carbohydrates; 12 g protein; 5 g fiber; 471 mg sodium; 336 mg potassium.
Fitness Tip of the Week: The Stability Ball and Your Abs
The stability ball, an extra-large inflatable orb designed to improve balance while targeting specific muscle groups, has grown vastly in popularity since its introduction in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The stability ball can be adapted for a vast number of uses. Some include improving posture, facilitating stretching as well as many others. Thanks to the interest of fitness professionals, the stability ball have been incorporated into several exercise programs developed for just about every need, desire and body part.
Much of the exercise that people do focuses on the lower body with very little attention paid to the trunk, or core, of the body. The muscles of the core, the abdomen, chest, and back, stabilizes the rest of the body. We must remember that the core links the upper and lower body together and having a solid core creates a foundation for all activities, especially when adding weights to your workout. It’s important to create a balance between the muscles of the abdomen and the back. Many people will have a muscle imbalance naturally between the abdominal muscles and the lower-back muscles. However, if these muscles are not correctly strengthened and developed a muscle imbalance can later present itself. Using a stability balls can help develop and strengthen these muscles as well as prevent and in some cases correct muscle imbalances. By using the stability ball to strengthen your core, your posture will improve and you will find that you are generally more balanced and aware of your movements.
Here are three examples of exercises that can be performed with a standard stability ball that target all three major sections of the abdominal muscles:
Spine Trunk Curl:
Start with the top of the ball between the center of the back. Your feet should be flat on the floor. Press the lower back into the ball and tighten the abdominals as you curl the rib cage toward the pelvis. Slowly return to starting position.
Supine Oblique Curl:
Start with the top of the ball beneath the center of the back, then stagger your feet and rotate your hips to one side. Anchor the lower hip to the ball and move the rib cage in a diagonal direction toward the legs (for example, right elbow to left inner thigh). Make sure your neck and pelvis are stable.
Forward Transverse Roll:
Kneel on the floor and place your forearms on the ball, making sure your hips and arms form a 90-degree angle. From this starting position, roll the ball forward as you simultaneously extend your arms and legs. Contract your abdominals to help support your lower back, which should not be strained. Roll as far forward as possible without compressing the spine, drooping the shoulders or rounding the torso.
Stability balls can be found in just about any store that sells fitness equipment. It is important to buy the right size ball and maintain the proper air pressure. The firmer the ball, the more difficult the exercise will be. The softer the ball, the easier the exercise will be. If you are just beginning, overweight or an active older adult, you might want to consider using a larger, softer ball. When sitting on the ball your knees and hips should align at a 90-degree angle.
You can use the following guidelines for buying the right size stability ball:
• Under 4’6″ (137 cm): 30 cm ball (12 inches)
• 4’6″–5’0″ (137–152 cm): 45 cm ball
• 5’1″–5’7″ (155–170 cm): 55 cm ball
• 5’8″–6’2″ (173–188 cm): 65 cm ball
• Over 6’2″ (188 cm): 75 cm ball (30 inches)
Until next week, stay happy and healthy!