I don’t know what it is about running, but I feel like I have a little addiction to it. The funny thing about that is that I don’t particularly like to run. And I always seem to injure myself, which to me seems like a sign that maybe my body doesn’t like for me to run either. But I keep coming back, and every few months I get the urge to sign up for a big race to motivate me to increase my mileage. This time it started innocently enough, with registration for the Charlottesville Women’s 4-Miler on September 5th, which I run every year. From there it was easy to say “Hey! Why not go ahead and run the Pepsi 10K 2 weeks later?” And now, my crazy little head is thinking that maybe a half marathon isn’t all that bad, and the one in Richmond on November 14th is timed pretty perfectly...
Its enough to make a girl feel a little crazy - all this back-and-forth, love/hate relationship with running stuff. But you have to understand that I read some pretty inspiring blogs, written by some ladies who until the last couple of years weren’t runners but have still managed to run half and even full marathons. Add to that my over-achiever personality and the fact that I haven’t yet completed a “long” race even though I’ve trained for two, which doesn’t sit well with me. And the last motivator is, well, food. I eat a pretty healthy daily diet full of veggies, whole grains and limited animal products but, as you’ve seen here at bella eats, I also really like to bake. And I really really like pancakes.
Because Saturday mornings are reserved for the farmer’s market and a vinyasa yoga class, I’ve made Sunday mornings my long run days. This has been tough for me, as Sunday mornings have historically been leisurely, quiet and full of baked goods. I’m slowly adjusting, but have decided that recipes that can be started the night before (and the bloggers / chefs that share them) are going to be my new best friends. I tried my first last weekend, courtesy of the amazingly creative Vegan Yum-Yum blog, and was doubly motivated to finish my run in good time as I thought about the pancake batter coming to room temperature in my kitchen. Like a carrot being dangled in front of my nose, the promise of fluffy, yeast-risen pancakes embedded with slices of fresh-from-the-tree peaches kept me chugging along.
Once home I switched on the stove to heat my griddle, added some cooking spray and slowly ladled pools of the yeast-full batter I’d made the night before. As the batter set I added the peach slices and waited for the tiny bubbles forming on the surface of the ‘cakes to start to pop, then flipped them over to reveal the golden brown surface below. I woke Brian, who quickly went to get us coffee (since I broke our french press carafe last week, sob), and we settled around the table no later than usual. The only difference this Sunday morning had to those of our past was that post-run, an indulgent Sunday breakfast is so much more satisfying.
One bite in and I knew that these were the best pancakes I'd had. Ever. Light and fluffy, with a nice yeast-y tone, they were complimented beautifully by the sweet peaches and real maple syrup. We had leftovers, and they kept very well in an airtight container in the fridge until I re-heated them in the oven for breakfast this morning.
adapted from Vegan Yum-Yum
makes (12) 4-inch pancakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1-1/2 cups milk (I used plain almond milk)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup milk, for thinning if desired
- Mix together the dry ingredients.
- Add the milk (not the 1/3 cup), vegetable oil and egg and mix until combined well.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next morning, thin the batter if needed. Let sit on the counter for 30 minutes before making pancakes.
- Heat your non-stick pan over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray or rub with butter.
- Using 1/3-cup measure, begin making pancakes. I laid peach slices in mine once the batter was set, but feel free to add apples, bananas, dates, etc. If you'd like to add blueberries, currants, chocolate chips (anything small) I usually add them directly to the batter in the bowl.