Today is the day after Thanksgiving, known to the majority of the world as Black Friday but to my mother and I as Christmas Decoration Day. I know many of you have been listening to carols, decorating your homes and strategizing plans of attack for mall sales for quite some time now. But my mother instilled in me a great appreciation of Thanksgiving - quality family time, wonderful food and lots of laughter - and the importance of not letting the impending season of gift-giving and religious festivities overshadow this wonderful day. Meaning that the morning after Thanksgiving, I'm absolutely chomping at the bit to cover every inch of the house in holly, jingle bells and penguins wearing snuggly knit hats (an ironic choice of attire, when you think about it). And to start off Decoration Day, an equally festive breakfast is essential.
I make greek yogurt pancakes probably about once a week. And with very good reason! In the time it takes you to pre-heat a skillet, you can whip up this fabulously healthy and hearty batter, rich in protein and whole grains with practically no fat. It's the perfect base recipe into which any mix-in can be added....chocolate chips, frozen blueberries, freshly sliced bananas, chopped nuts, shredded coconut....you name it. But perhaps my favorite festive variety is Cranberry Almond Crunch.
In college, one of my roommates had an obsessive devotion to this cereal. While most would sit down to with a bowl of popcorn to watch a movie, she would invariably get cozy with a cardboard box of pre-packaged breakfast. Since I'd never been a big popcorn girl, it wasn't long before I'd picked up her habit as well (don't you hate how easy it is to do that?). Years later, it is still one of my favorite breakfast cereals.
But when it's cold, cereal isn't the most tempting breakfast. Cold cereal...nah. Warm pancakes...yes please! So I like to combine my favorite pancakes with my favorite cereal for a breakfast delight that is double the yum. Healthy, fluffy pancakes are riddled with tart dried cranberries, slivered almonds and crunchy bits of granola for a fabulous breakfast combo. Naturally, they must be topped off with even more of those delicious mix-ins and a drizzle of syrup. The hubs and I enjoy the mild sweetness of light agave nectar to accent the flavors and textures of the pancakes as opposed to maple syrup or honey. But by all means, feel free to use your favorite.
The perfect breakfast to start Decorating Day! Now on to covering every inch of the house with red and green bobbles....
Cranberry Almond Crunch Greek Yogurt Pancakes (serves 2)
- 6 oz fat free greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
- 2 egg whites
- 1/3 c + 2 tbs whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sugar (omit if using vanilla yogurt)
- dash of cinnamon
- 1/2 c granola (vanilla almond is great), plus more to garnish
- 1/3 c dried cranberries, plus more to garnish
- 2 tbs slivered almonds, plus more to garnish
Place a large grill pan on medium heat. Combine the yogurt and egg whites in a medium bowl and whisk together until well blended. Add the flour, baking soda, sugar (if desired) and cinnamon, then stir to combine. Add the granola, dried cranberries and slivered almonds and gently fold into the batter.
Spray the skillet with non-stick (or grease with a teaspoon of butter). Using a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop the batter into the pan. Let the pancakes cook 4-5 minutes, until browned, then flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes until set. Store in a warmed oven if you're cooking multiple batches. Serve warm, garnishing with additional granola, cranberries, and almonds. Drizzle with agave nectar or your favorite syrup.