Writing a blog about food does strange things to my imagination. The curled gray matter of my brain has long been past fire code, so stuffed to the brim with characters and stories, it's a wonder I manage to take in any new information without some of my thoughts leaping from my ears, just to free up the space. And yet, writing this site makes me think about, talk about, and dream about food. Sure I might look busy, type type typing away at my desk or relaxing on the couch watching the day's 3rd episode of Law & Order, but no, if you could see the cogs of my mind a-spinning, you'd know really I'm wondering... If lemon zest tastes great in pasta, what about orange zest? What kind of fruit cobbler would pair up best with the chocolate peppermint I'm growing outside? Can I make a homemade veggie burger with the ingredients in my cabinet?
But now the, well, wonderful people at POM Wonderful have given me a new flavor problem for me mull over while you think I'm listening to you speak. (Well, that is, if your my parents or the secretary in my doctor's office...Just kidding parents! I always listen when you're talking! That secretary though... ) Since receiving a case of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice last week, my mind's been busily working out a plan for each and every bottle - that is, aside from the ones I have already straight up consumed a beverage. (I can't seem to drink it on it's own - it's too sweet and strong for my water drinking palate - but mix a few tablespoons it to a great big, ice cold glass of H2O and you'll have good, good stuff. So good, you almost won't want to cook with it. Almost.)
To me, the obvious thing to do with POM Wonder is make some kind of cake. Lemon-Pomegranate cake. Pomegranate poppy seed pound cake. Chocolate pomegranate cupcakes. Oh my. Sure it sounds decedent, really decedent, maybe too decedent, but if the 3 pages of information on the cancer fighting, heart healthy antioxidant proprieties of their juice POM Wonderful sent me along with their product mean anything, its that consuming this juice is good in whatever chocolatey package you hide it in. (So, I tell myself, and you, anyway...)
Still, at the time I received the POM juice, my fridge continued to harbor that 1234 Cake. I'm not going to debate the merits or demerits of having one to many cakes, but regardless, a stale cake is no ones friend. So with fear of wasting perfectly good cake, I was forced to be a little more creative than a typical sweet. Lucky for me, I had my new favorite baking & cooking inspiration to turn to....
Joy the Baker. I absolutely love her. I love everything about her site. It's so darling, she's so positive, her food is so delicious. And Joy loves pancakes. And I love pancakes. And POM Wonderful Juice. And so POM Wonderful Pancakes were born. They're so spectacularly delicious, I know you'll love them, too.
** While we're on the subject of breakfast food: Thanks to hottipper and generally great source of gluten-free information Denise of the Rasin Rack, I've become aware that Van's new brand of GF Pancakes and French Toast Sticks not only have barley in them, but are not being recalled. What? What, what? You heard right. Easy peasy toaster pancakes and french toast sticks sound wonderful - but please be cautious when buying these products; read the ingredients... twice! They plan on releasing new, reformulated, barley-less products, but for now, buyer be aware when it comes to the pancakes and french toast sticks.
But who needs Van's pancakes when you have these...
Pom Wonderful Pomegranate Pancakes
adapted from Joy the Baker's Chai Spice Buttermilk Pancakes
1 cup GF flour blend (I use Mr. Ritts, with xanthum gum already mixed in)
1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar (I bet brown sugar would be fantastic, too)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup of skim milk (I didn't have buttermilk, but I can't imagine how using it would be anything but delicious)
1/4 cup of Pom Wonderful juice + 1 table spoon
2 tablespoons earth balance, melted
cooking spray, butter, etc for frying (I used olive oil spray and was surprised at how normal it tasted)
Temper a beaten egg into melted butter, then mix in milk, juice, and vanilla. Next whisk in flour, (xanthum gum if you need it), salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar, and mix until smooth.
Joy reccomends you let your batter rest a few minutes - I trust her on this. In the mean time, I heated up a frying pan (I lack a cool griddle pan) and sprayed it with my cooking spray. Make each pancake about two tablespoons of batter and let cook until the pancakes start to bubble and set. Flip, cook a few more minutes, and then keep your pancakes warm in a 200 degree oven whilst you make the rest (to avoid eating them, mainly).
Makes 12 -14 small pancakes. Serve with cherries, yogurt, or Ohio made maple syrup.
...And speaking of syrup, POM Wonderful has a recipe for Pomegranate syrup - it looked amazing, and also like something I'd probably get in trouble for getting stuck to the inside of a pan. If you make it, let me know how it goes!!