I put weird stuff in pancakes.

It started innocently enough with rolled oats, grated apple, and cinnamon. Seems harmless, right? It’s a traditional combination and makes a nice foil for maple syrup. We’d start making those in fall when the blueberries ran out.

Pecans and cranberries make sense, too, don’t they? A little orange zest added to that makes it smell like Christmas. Grated zucchini was pushing the envelope, but you can go either sweet or savory with that, packing in the squash like there’s way too much of it in the garden (which there always is) and serving it up as a side dish or adding cinnamon and keeping the flour content up to breakfast proportions.

Then I read this book on health and fitness sent to me for review. It had lots of compelling evidence about how bad our typical food is for us. We should have lean protein, fruits, vegetables, nuts, green tea… that’s all. Read the grams of sugar and fat if it comes in a package (check out skim milk for a surprise) and put it back if it has much.

I started making pancakes with egg whites and nonfat cottage cheese. A little canola oil, baking powder, enough whole grain flour and milled flaxseed to make it act like a pancake — this is a light, tender pancake. Once you get used to it, the old kind of pancake tastes wimpy.

Liquid is an issue, though. In order to make a nice thin cake, you need some. If you’ve given up skim milk, you need something else. Water doesn’t really work, but I found that tea does. I assume this is because of Chemistry.

Tea gives your pancakes a pretty color, something you lose if you remove the sugar. It revs up the phytochemicals.

Not a bad fit with the maple syrup either.