Pregnancy Superfoods: Blackberry Oatcakes

As you may have noticed (or not!), I haven’t been posting much for the past few months, but I promise there is a good reason for my absence. I have been working on getting our baby boy to grow! Our son, Holden David Lew, was born on April 19th and decided to show up about 5 weeks early. After two weeks spent in the NICU, he came home weighing only 4 pounds 6 ounces (that is a preemie gown he is wearing and it’s too big):

Holden at 2 weeks old


Now, just three months later, he is a healthy, chubby baby and growing faster every day!

Holden at 3 months old



Once he started eating, he decided that he wanted to eat every two hours, around the clock. Not that we minded, we were just glad that he was finally eating on his own and growing, but it didn’t leave much energy for anything else in life. I did try to get back to blogging a couple of weeks ago but, perhaps due to my sleepless state, I dropped my camera while taking pictures and completely busted it. Therefore, the next few posts will have photos taken with my husband’s iPhone. Please excuse the poor quality and try to imagine that the food looks better than it does in the pictures! 🙂


Now that things have settled down, I’m excited to get back to blogging and finish up my series on pregnancy superfoods. Although I am no longer pregnant myself, I know there are lots of you out there trying to eat healthily for two. Also, these are foods that we should all be eating more of, and I like finding new ways to incorporate them into our family’s diet. I decided to tackle the category of berries this week because we took our annual family trip to the Happy Apple Farm to pick apples and, most importantly, blackberries! All berries are a good source of folate, vitamins and fiber but, by some accounts, blackberries are especially nutritious. Besides, there is something about the flavor of blackberries that reminds of sunshine and fresh air. I love berries of all kinds, but blackberries have a sour, musky depth to their flavor that is especially appealing. Which I why I chose to use them to add a burst of flavor to my favorite recipe for oatmeal pancakes. I have tried many, many different recipes for oat pancakes over the years and found that many of them are disappointing. They are either too heavy and dense, or have an unattractive, mealy texture. After experimenting with several different recipes, I formulated one of my own that avoids these pitfalls. I’ve decided to call them “oatcakes” rather than pancakes because the texture is quite different than pancakes (or because it sounds like something out of Beatrix Potter). These are dense, but with a sweet lightness that makes them quite pleasant. The ratio of oatmeal to flour is quite high making these an excellent source of fiber and whole grains. I decided to use canola oil in place of butter to make the recipe lighter and healthier, but butter does add a nice richness if you aren’t concerned about fat content. You could also use any kind of berry in this recipe; in fact, I plan on making it with frozen blueberries during the winter months when blackberries are scarce. However, I truly think blackberries are the perfect complement to the dense sweetness of the oat cakes. I’d love to hear about your favorite blackberry recipes (I still have two pints of them sitting in my fridge!), so please leave a comment if you have a favorite berry recipe to share with me!  Here are some other berry recipes I enjoy:

Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups, Berry Applesauce, Strawberry Vanilla Breakfast Shake, Breakfast Couscous with dried berries, Blackberry Cobbler


Frying Oatcakes

Oatcake Batter

Blackberry Oatcakes

Blackberry Oatcakes

Makes 8-10 cakes


1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons real maple syrup

1 cup low fat buttermilk

2 Tablespoons canola oil plus extra for cooking the cakes

1 large egg

1 pint blackberries

warm syrup and powdered sugar for serving


1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (Flour through salt).

2.  Combine the buttermilk, syrup, oil and egg in a small bowl and whisk until well mixed. The batter will be a little bit wetter than typical pancake batter (see photo above). Gently fold in the blackberries.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the medium bowl with oat mixture and stir together with a wooden spoon, just until moistened.

4. Heat a griddle or large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Brush with a thin layer of canola oil. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle. Once batter begins to bubble, flip the cake over and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining batter to make about 8 oatcakes. Keep cakes warm in a 250 degree oven while finishing up. Serve warm, dusted with powdered sugar, with maple syrup on the side.