sage + squash pancakes

If you were hanging around the food blogosphere or Twitter universe anytime in October, you may have noticed fellow bloggers committing to eat unprocessed for 31 days. While I didn't participate in the movement officially (roughly 97% of my diet is already unprocessed), it happened to coincide with the week that I ran out of cereal.

Cereal is the one processed food I've never wanted to give up. I love it too much. It's crunchy, slightly sweet and pairs beautifully with milk. I even switched to almond milk on a whim this summer, which made me feel even better about my cereal habit. I used to eat the sugary stuff, like Frosted Flakes and Frosted Mini-Wheats, then gradually reduced the sweetness with Honey Nut Cheerios and finally, Multi-Grain Cheerios, which I found to be perfectly wholesome (you know, minus the corn, additives and ingredients I can't pronounce). I bought the giant pack at Costco that lasted me a month and savored my bowl every morning, and sometimes in the afternoon as a pre-dinner snack if I knew we'd be eating later. I really didn't think I could go without it.

When I ran out of my latest box, I purposefully didn't bother to pick up any more. I told myself I'd just see what happened over the next few days and that I could always run out for a box if I decided I couldn't survive. This maneuver forced me to consider breakfast differently, which was something I had been trying to avoid for the longest time.

As someone who works full-time, I always felt like breakfast in the more elaborate sense was reserved for those at leisure: people who made their own schedule or could saunter into work at 9:30 am. Breakfast Monday-Friday was not for me. But I think I've made some progress. I happened to have a bag of buckwheat flour and tried an Ellie Krieger pancake recipe that I loved immediately. I froze everything we didn't eat over the weekend, stored them in plastic bags, and just like that, breakfast was ready after spinning around for a minute and a half in the microwave. I alternated with oatmeal made with almond milk and a dash of cinnamon, and occasionally some toasted bread with ricotta cheese and honey. Lately I've been feeling rather proud of myself. I can only hope my willpower remains in tact during our next Costco visit...


Recipe from Martha Rose Shulman, New York Times

These particular pancakes, more of the savory variety, I first served for dinner accompanied with Greek yogurt and smoked salmon, but they're equally delicious in the morning with maple syrup. They're just right for the season, combining traditional fall flavors with whole grains that will keep you full until lunch time.


1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 pound butternut squash, steamed and pureed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon slivered sage leaves

Sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. In another bowl, beat the eggs, then whisk in the buttermilk and pureed squash. Add two tablespoons of the oil and whisk together.

Heat remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat in a small skillet. Add the sage and fry about 10 seconds, until they begin to crisp. Remove from heat. Allow the oil to cool slightly, then quickly add the sage and cooking oil to the batter and whisk to combine.

Heat a griddle over medium heat and ladle just under 1/4-cup of batter for each pancake. Cook until bubbles appear, flip and cook until lightly browned on the other side.