Switching from refined grains to whole grains is really a no-brainer for health. Unlike refined grains (think bread and pasta made with white flour), whole grains contain all the naturally-occurring parts of the grain. That means more protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals–and according to research, maybe even a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes (plus a healthier body weight).
In honor of Whole Grains Month, I’m participating in the Whole Grains Council’s “Make the Switch” recipe contest, along with 15 other bloggers. Our task was to create a delicious recipe starring a whole grain. So my intern Hannah and I created this recipe for Spiced Johnnycakes With Apple Compote, which are a fun, seasonal alternative to regular pancakes. They feature whole grain cornmeal. (We used Arrowhead Mills Organic Yellow Cornmeal.)
2 cups fine-ground yellow or white whole grain cornmeal
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1½ teaspoons of salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups boiling water
½ cup milk (estimated)
Butter (for the pan or griddle)
3 cups chopped apples
2 tablespoons water
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
pinch of clove
pinch of cinnamon
In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, brown sugar, spices, and salt. Pour in boiling water and mix until you form a paste. Let batter sit for one minute.
Gradually add in milk one tablespoon at a time and stir, stopping occasionally to check the consistency of the batter. It should feel like thin mashed potatoes.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a cast-iron skillet or on a griddle. Using a measuring cup, pour ¼ cup of batter onto the skillet for each johnnycake, spreading them out to about a 4-inch diameter. Cook on each side until golden brown, about 3 minutes each side. Re-butter griddle or skillet for each new set of johnnycakes.
For the compote, core and roughly chop apples. Place water and apples in medium saucepan and bring water to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover. Allow compote to simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until apples have softened. Add lemon juice, syrup and spices.
Serve Johnnycakes warm with apple compote and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Turns out, Hannah and I are facing some stiff competition in this contest. Check out the other recipes and be prepared to start pinning:
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