Sunday, September 19, 2010

Whole Wheat Greek Yogurt Blueberry Pancakes with Strawberry Syrup

Do you like waffles? I don't really, I'm a pancake kind of gal.

I've been in a season of incredible busyness for over a year now, but am finally starting to get settled into my new job and shed of my other time consuming side jobs. Life is settling down and feeling a bit more manageable. I'm just barely starting to feel like a normal person. I've been craving this for so long now. God provides.

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,

7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,

8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

9 What does the worker gain from his toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him.

—Ecclesiastes 3: 1-9

I can relate to so many of these 'times' right now—I'm sure many of us can. I find it so encouraging that God knows the times we go through, he's created these 'times'—hard and simple. It's easy to look at the hard times as bad and the simple as good, but I know that's not right at all. We go through those hard times for two reasons, I think. First, because God created us to have seasons of life. Sometimes life is busy, sometimes slow, sometimes happy, sometimes hard, sometimes full of laughter, sometimes full of angst, but that's okay, because that's life. Second, because it's during those hard times that we learn more about God and his grace and mercy. We depend more solely on him and exercise a level of faith that's often challenging to act out when things are 'well'. And each one of these faith exercises is a step toward honing our everyday dependence on God.

As a result of some of my new found extra time, I'm starting to make time for homemade weekend breakfasts (among other wonderful things like reading and eating dinner with friends). Pancakes have been on the menu for the past two weeks—this post will cover last week's recipe—Whole wheat greek yogurt blueberry pancakes with (super simple) homemade strawberry syrup. These pictures were all taken with my new HTC Evo phone! I've been loving having a relatively nice phone camera...however, I pulled out my fancy camera today and was quickly reminded of the vast difference between my phone camera and the nice camera.

Strawberry (or any berry) syrup:

This is a really versatile syrup recipe and so incredibly simple! You can really choose whatever flavor you want—blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, blackberry...maybe peach? mint? lemon? All you need is honey and your flavor of choice (e.g. strawberries, blackberries, peaches...) I've always used frozen fruit, and imagine really ripe fresh fruit/berries would work alright too.

You can also make as much or as little as you need. I never measure when I do this, so feel free to eyeball it yourself. In theory, you might want to use about equal parts honey to berries, but that's really up to you. For this syrup I used about 3/4 c strawberries with 1/3-ish c honey. I knew the strawberries would cook down and get small and liquidy really quickly, so I measured my honey off of that fact. For blueberry syrup, I follow more of a 1:1 ratio since they don't cook down very much. I always thrown in my fruit frozen, you could definitely do it thawed as well.

Simmer/boil for about 10–15 minutes, or until the berries have broken down to your likeness. I wanted my strawberries to be as mushy and syrupy as possible, so I let this cook the whole time I was preparing and cooking the pancakes. Turn off the stove with enough time to cool a bit before you are ready to eat though, the syrup will be hot!

After about 7 minutes of cook time.

After about 15 minutes of cook time. 

The pancake recipe is based off of this one from (never home)maker, which is definitely one of my favorite foodie blogs—all health-food related. I don't always find the flavor of the recipes on this blog to be top notch, but I definitely get inspired by the recipe concepts, which are a good jumping off point. I've cooked quite a bit from this blog, and certainly will continue to do so. 

To that recipe I added 1T sugar and sprinkled some super healthy blueberries onto the batter once it was on the pan. Look at those perfect golden pancakes...

Top with your homemade strawberry syrup and enjoy!