Celebrating National Dairy Month

I don’t know about you, but I am a HUGE fan of making homemade pancakes on Saturday mornings. However, pancakes are considered to be bread and thus are predominantly made of carbohydrates. But most of you will agree with me that they are so delicious! So we decided to do a little bit of a makeover on these delightful breakfast foods and amp up the nutrient content! Protein is an important component of a healthy diet because it helps keep you full, aids in muscle growth, and helps regulate hormones. With a simple addition of cottage cheese to the batter, the protein content increased significantly and we also added some calcium to this recipe!  And since June is National Dairy Month, what a great new way to add some dairy to your meal.

Also, since it is summer time and stone fruit is in season we used them to make a fruit syrup to put on top of the cottage cheese pancakes. Stone fruit is any fruit that has a pit in the middle (nectarines, plums, peaches, cherries, and apricots). These fruits have countless health benefits! They are high in fiber, have anti-inflammatory properties, a good source of antioxidants, and support heart health. These fruits pack a huge punch in preventing chronic diseases, and taste delicious a top these pancakes! The natural sweetness was the perfect combination with the pancakes and it helped keep the added sugar to a minimum. Go out and enjoy the wonderful stone fruits while they are in season and on sale. 

Let's start by getting our fruit salad ready.  Here's some of the fruit I used: peaches, nectarines, and cherries.  You will need sugar, water and lemon juice for the syrup. 
Mix the water, sugar , and lemon juice in a saucepan; simmer and stir until sugar is dissolved.
Pit the cherries (using a cherry pitter works best) and slice cherries in half.  Pit the remaining fruit in and chop into small pieces.  Place in a bowl; slowly stir in lemon syrup.  Set aside. 

Now let's make those pancakes.  Here are the ingredients you will need: vanilla, salt, milk, flour, sugar, baking powder, cottage cheese, baking soda, and eggs.

In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, vanilla and cottage cheese (you can also do this in a blender to achieve a smoother texture).  In a small bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients. 
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients; stir to combine.
Cook pancakes on a heated griddle. 

Top pancakes with fruit salad and enjoy!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes topped with a lemon-syrup fruit salad

Fruit salad with a lemon-syrup
5 to 7 pounds ripe stone fruit (We used peaches, nectarines, and cherries, but could also use plums and apricots)
¼ cup sugar
½ cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1.      In a small saucepan, mix sugar, water, and lemon juice and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar
2.      Remove liquid from heat and set aside. Let steep for at least 15 minutes.
3.      While syrup is steeping, wash and pit the fruit and cut into bite-sized pieces.
4.      Mix fruit in a large bowl and drizzle with the syrup. Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 1 to 2 days.
5.      Serve chilled and enjoy!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes
3 eggs
1 cup cottage cheese
½ cup milk
1 cup flour (or whole wheat flour)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

1.      Mix the eggs, cottage cheese, vanilla, and milk in a bowl. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
2.      Heat a griddle over medium heat. Spray the griddle with non-stick cooking spray. Using a small measuring cup, pour batter for four pancakes on the griddle. Allow the batter to cook several minutes until the underside of the pancakes are golden brown.
3.      Carefully turn the pancakes with a spatula and allow them to cook on the second side until golden brown. Remove pancakes to warm plates. Repeat the process until all the batter is cooked and then enjoy!
 adapted from themeaningofpie.com

Thanks to Aramark Dietetic Intern, Karleigh Jurek for today's blog post.

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