A Little Known Fact and Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes

These pancakes have a story behind them, and in order to tell you that story, you’ll need to know a little known fact about me:

I am an outdoorsy freak.

I’ve done some really weird stuff in my day, including but not limited to spending a month in the Alaskan mountains hiking, camping each night, and hangin’ out with the bears. I also spent that same month without a single shower, a toilet, a mirror, and barely a change of clothes. I told you… weird.

I can put on heels and a dress, but I am just as happy in hiking boots with a super cool waterproof Timex watch strapped to my wrist.

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That’s part of my group in Alaska. I did a NOLS trip after my freshman year of college. It was by far the most intense experience of my life. If I had known how crazy it was going to be, I don’t think I ever would have done it. In fact, my ankles were so ruined after the month, that the doctor told me I couldn’t workout for 6 weeks. And see that tape on my ears? That’s because we all got some weird skin rashes throughout our time there, so you know, we just threw on some masking tape and life went on.

I’ll never forget the first day when they went through my backpack that I had brought. I thought I had brought very limited clothing according to the packing list. But they quickly started tossing half of my stuff out.

“you won’t be needing this, or this, or this, or this”

Let’s just say they left me with two pairs of underwear and one sports bra for an entire month. I know, gross. The whole experience was absolutely insane, but one of those experiences I will never ever forget.

I’ve never worked my body or my mind so hard.

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I’ve also done a crazy amount of hiking.

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This is me in my happy place. Exhausted after a hike.

My Dad and I have a goal to hike a part of the Appalachian Trail in each of the states it passes through. We’ve done about 5 or 6 at this point (out of 14), and have created so many incredible memories along the way.

Put me on a trail with a backpack, some trail mix, a couple water bottles, good hiking shoes, plenty of blister bandaids, a fleece, and I am one happy camper… literally.

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I’ve also been convinced to go ice climbing. For someone who hates the cold, this was not my ideal sport, but I have to say it was REALLY cool. Being able to jam your spikes into some ice and literally climb up it was a very cool feeling.

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I’ve also played around a lot on ropes courses and taught the ropes course at my camp a few summers ago:

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And done my fair share of rock climbing, both indoors and outdoors:

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I think I have my very first boyfriend to thank for a lot of this. He was the kind of boyfriend who bought me a climbing harness as a birthday present and was SOOO excited about it. I guess he saw a little adventurer in me at a ripe age of 16, and for the past 10 years, that spark has never died. I am in love with the outdoors.

So what does this have to do with pancakes, you may be asking?

WELL, in Alaska, during that month that still makes me shudder, we had to cook all of our own food.  A plane would come each week and literally drop us bags of food. Looking back on how ridiculous this was now makes me laugh!

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And of course, being the foodie I am, some of my most vivid memories from the trip are of the food we ate. One of my favorite meals was these cornmeal pancakes that we made.

We had to eat a ridiculous amount of calories when we were there. I probably ate between 3000 and 4000 calories each day just to keep up with the rigor of the hiking. We spent our entire days climbing mountains, paving our own trails, and wading through rivers flowing with glacier water.

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The rivers were my favorite part. I loved the challenge of slowly getting from one side to the other, knowing that at any moment you could be easily swept away. The adrenaline rush was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

Anywho, back to the pancakes!

So, we made these cornmeal pancakes and coated them in TONS of butter because, well, we needed all of the calories we could get. We had to get creative in our cooking because we were given basic materials (flour, oats, cornmeal, dried milk, etc.) and had to just come up with our food.

I’ve actually never made cornmeal pancakes for myself before, but it’s always been in the back of my mind that I’ve wanted to recreate these. Yesterday was the day. These taste a little like cornbread in pancake form, but don’t have all of the unhealthy butter that cornbread has.

I used a little bit of butter to coat the pan, and used whole wheat flour with the cornmeal.

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Aside from the butter, these are vegan. I made them with almond milk and didn’t use any eggs.

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The experience of eating these in my pajamas was a little different than out on the mountains as we geared up for another 8 hour hike straight up a mountain while doing bear calls to avoid getting eaten alive.

But other than that, the experience was pretty similar 🙂

Whole Wheat Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup + 2 T almond milk or regular milk
  • 1 t honey
  • 1 t lemon rind (optional)
  • 1 t baking powder
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 1/2 T butter

1. Mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder. Add lemon rind, honey, salt, and milk. Mix all together.

2. Heat up a skillet and use butter to coat. Pour mixture onto pan, flip the pancakes once they’re bubbling slightly.

3. Add a little more butter when done, and syrup on the side.

Enjoy! 🙂

Are you an outdoor lover? What do you like to do??

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9 thoughts on “A Little Known Fact and Lemon Cornmeal Pancakes

  1. Jamie! You’re ridiculously brave and crazy adventurous! I never would have guessed since you live in NYC 🙂 I also love the outdoors – hiking, biking, you name it – but I need to have all of my modern-life essentials at the end of the day. I’m going to have to give your pancakes a try this weekend. Cornbread is one of my husband’s favorite foods!

  2. I know, NYC doesn’t really cater to my outdoorsy spirit which is frustrating at times! Central Park is my new Alaska. I agree– as I get older, the modern life essentials are more impt than when I was younger!

  3. Wow, I’m seriously jealous of your adventures! I love the outdoors as well – I grew up sailing every summer, skiing every winter, and taking numerous trips hiking & biking as a child, also went away to camp! But growing up in cities and now living in NYC definitely does *not* cater to that!
    Those pancakes look amazing – I love cornmeal pancakes, and love how simple they are.

  4. Jamie, wow what a great post! Not sure who your mysterious “first boyfriend” is, but he seems pretty rad. Also, after reading the post and looking at the pancake pictures, I’m confident that even though its a well known fact that literally EVERYTHING tastes amazing when your backpacking, these pancakes will taste just as amazing this weekend.

    You rock (climb).

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