Have you noticed just how perfectly food changes with each new season?
In the Winter, as our body needs warmth and fights against colds, citrus, greens, hearty squash, and filling potatoes are plentiful.
During Spring, a fresh new season of strawberries, rhubarb, and asparagus are enjoyed.
In the Summer, our body yearns for hydration, coolness, and protection from the penetrating sun, melons, berries, and juicy peaches abound.
Finally Fall, with rustic flavors of grapes, pumpkins, apples, pomegranates, brussels sprouts, and pears delight the senses.
One of the greatest blessings of eating real food has been learning to enjoy food as a seasonal affair. Contrary to what the big name grocery stores would like us to believe, broccoli doesn’t grow all year round. It just doesn’t. In order to receive a year round supply of broccoli to keep customers happy, stores must ship in the same produce from all over the world. Produce which looses flavor and nutritional value. Seasonal eating has been one of the greatest losses we have experienced in a processed food, have-it-now culture. Food just isn’t special anymore. Why celebrate the harvest of each new season when we can enjoy the same produce all year round with a quick trip to the store.
When we get back to real food and cooking in our homes and reaching out to local farms, co-ops, and farmer’s markets to source our food, suddenly a new world of seasonal food is discovered. The glorious taste of fresh, in-season food that come and go as quickly as the seasons. It all sounds so romantic described that way, but let me tell you, it can be so scary! There is a real comfort in finding the same food always in stock. Suddenly, when faced with shopping seasonally new problems arise:
What in the world am I supposed to make with all these greens?
Carrots are grown in colors other than just orange?
This is a pear?
What do you do with persimmons? Eat ’em? Cook ’em?
Trust me, friends. Those questions describe my thought process weekly! Shopping in-season and locally is like visiting a foreign country and not understanding a single word. It’s scary and confusing, but I am here to tell you, it’s doable. Soon, doable becomes enjoyable and dare I say, even exciting!
Granted, I could never be a sole seasonal, local eater. One reason–I love bananas and always have them in the house. But other than my great banana passion, eating in-season and branching out has expanded our family’s taste-buds and allowed me to develop some of our favorite family recipes. Recipes which come and go with each new season.
The recipe I’m sharing today is one of those seasonal recipes. A recipe made with ripe in-season pears and the classic spices of Fall: cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Seeing that my kids love anything that is topped with pure maple syrup, this recipe is one everyone in the family, adults and kids alike anticipate at the very first site of pears at our local farmer’s market and co-op.
What you will need:
- 2 cups whole wheat flour or sprouted whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder (where to buy)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole milk (I use raw)
- 1 cup whole milk yogurt, not Greek yogurt (learn how to make)
- 1 TB Black-Strap Molasses (where to buy)
- 2 TB melted pastured butter
- 3 TB raw honey
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 ripe pears
- 2 TB pastured butter
- 1 TB raw honey
- sprinkle: ground cinnamon and nutmeg
You have two options with these pancakes, you can soak them (read more about soaking grains) with plan ol’ wheat flour or you can skip the soaking and use sprouted wheat flour (for the same soaking benefits). You can also use a regular wheat flour without the soaking stage, if you desire.
In the instructions I’m going to walk through soaking the pancakes, however, if you skip this step simply mix together the wet and then dry ingredients. I’ve found, the non-soaked pancakes produce a much fluffier pancake than the soaked version. Your preference. They all taste yummy!
The night before, combine the flour and milk and yogurt in a bowl. Cover and let sit overnight.
In the morning, combine the dry ingredients together: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a small bowl, beat the remaining wet ingredients together: molasses, eggs, honey, and melted butter.
Add all the ingredients to the milk, yogurt, and flour mixture. Whisk together.
I like to use a griddle (this is the one I have), however, you can easily make these in a skillet.
Heat up the griddle.
Once ready, grease the griddle with a bit of butter or ghee and cook the pancakes until bubbly. Then flip and cook for a couple more minutes.
While the pancakes cook, slice three pears. More or less depending on how many people you are feeding. Three is perfect for the two adults and two children I feed.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter or ghee in a skillet (I prefer cast iron). Once the butter is melted add the pears. Cover and allow the pears to cook until soft (about 5 minutes).
Once the pears are soft, drizzle with 1 tablespoon honey. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Allow to cook a minute longer.
Remove from the heat.
Serve the pancakes warm with a big dollop of pastured butter, sauteed pears, and your choice of raw honey or pure maple syrup.
Fall time is served.
Gingerbread Pancakes with Sauteed Pears
- The night before, combine the flour and milk and yogurt in a bowl. Cover and let sit overnight.
- In the morning, combine the dry ingredients together: cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a small bowl, beat the remaining wet ingredients together: molasses, eggs, honey, and melted butter.
- Add all the ingredients to the milk, yogurt, and flour mixture. Whisk together.
- Heat up the griddle.
- Once ready, grease the griddle with a bit of butter or ghee and cook the pancakes until bubbly. Then flip and cook for a couple more minutes.
- While the pancakes cook, slice three pears.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of butter or ghee in a skillet. Once the butter is melted, add the pears. Cover and allow the pear to cook until soft (about 5 minutes).
- Once the pears are soft, drizzle with 1 tablespoon honey. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Allow to cook a minute longer.
- Remove from the heat.
- Serve the pancakes warm with a big dollop of pastured butter, sauteed pears, and your choice of raw honey or pure maple syrup.