Since living on my own in Ukraine, I’ve discovered kefir. It’s basically fermented milk with those “live active cultures” (aka bacteria and/or yeast) that are all the rage in the U.S. and are supposedly good for the digestive tract. In Ukraine, kefir is the only completely fat-free dairy product I’ve found. That plus its happy-intestine bacteria prompted me to try it. It’s sour, but with a little homemade jam mixed in I can easily gulp down a cup of it.
UPDATE: I made these pancakes for the second time today — for breakfast with my friend Michelle, who slept over last night — and I made a couple additions. I added some cornmeal — thanks for the recommendation, L.D.! — and also threw in a ripe banana that needed to be used. The banana and cornmeal really lightened up the pancakes. They also almost tasted like my favorite raspberry-banana-cornmeal pancakes from Oberlin’s Black River Cafe, and brought back many fond memories of breakfasting there with friends and family.
Kefir is a great replacement for buttermilk. The recipe below made 6-8 pancakes, so double it for more than two or three people.
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4-1/2 cup cornmeal
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 cup kefir
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 1 egg
- optional: chopped walnuts
- the recipe also called for vanilla, but vanilla extract doesn’t exist in Ukraine so I left it out
- Mix the wet ingredients together in one bowl and the dry ingredients in another.
- Add the wet to the dry and mix. Batter will be slightly lumpy.
- Cook pancakes in an oiled pan on medium-heat. Enjoy with your topping of choice (mine include peanut butter, jam, nutella, apple, and/or raisins)