Kefir Yeast Pancakes – extra fluffy from yeast, slightly tangy from kefir. Unique recipe for pancakes. Perfect for a lazy weekend.
I’ve been writing this post in my head for weeks now. You see, I was supposed to glow for the past few months, but apparently my body didn’t get the memo. That’s not entirely true, I glowed a few times in the middle of the night, changing yet another t-shirt, glistening and glowing with excess perspiration – glorious and unknown at that time to me side effect of pregnancy.
Other unexpected bonuses included terrible vivid nightmares, so bright and colourful that my husband had to wake me up because I was screaming in the night. Once I woke up from a particularly scary dream where I was fighting someone and used everything that I could to get away from the person including biting. I woke up because I bit myself, my arm bore red bite marks and I couldn’t fall back asleep for a few hours.
The glowing skin that I expected delighted me with angry little red spots over my face that still keep popping up every time I look at the mirror, just like mushrooms after a long summer rain. And hunger, oh hunger! So intense that I didn’t think it was possible to ever be this hungry half an hour after eating breakfast. The moment this hunger strikes I can’t wait for half an hour, 20 or even 10 minutes – I have to eat now, right this second. I think I’ll be able to survive for weeks just eating all the food I have in my drawers at work and in my purse.
And all this is coupled with nausea. At 5 months, I am still experiencing morning sickness. And by the way, whoever called this “morning” sickness needs to be punished. For me it’s a 24-hour sickness. It’s not as bad as it was in February when I couldn’t move or think. But it’s still there. Two weeks ago I decided to try and go off my special anti-nausea pregnancy pills. I got sick right on the street in front of Roy Thompson Hall – how classy! Well, there was a choice between a concert hall and a church, I chose the former. So, I’m back on the pills now.
It’s much better than before. I’m almost back to normal, although I doubt I’ll ever go back to the pre-pregnancy me. I’m tired a lot (where is that 2nd trimester energy?), I have little interest in food. I eat all the time, but I’m not thinking about food like I used to before. I hear rumours that it’ll only get worse and I won’t be able to sleep well or cook or blog or do anything for the next five years. I hope not.
These Kefir Yeast Pancakes were one of the first recipes I made since I got better this month. I started cooking occasionally back in April, but mostly just eggs, vegetable salads, and french toast (thankfully my husband stepped up and fed us over the past few months!). Kefir Yeast Pancakes are for long lazy weekends as they need time to ferment and rise. They remind me of my childhood. My mom rarely used yeast, so yeast pancakes were always a special treat for me. I modified the recipe a little bit, reduced the amount of sugar and used Kefir instead of milk, just because I had kefir in my fridge. Yeast and kefir give these pancakes a characteristic sour, tangy flavour that pairs really well with thick maple syrup. They are extra spongy and fluffy.
Kefir is a Russian fermented dairy drink, similar to drinking yogurt, but still different. It used to be sold only at specialty Russian stores, but now it can be found at any regular grocery store (at least here, in Greater Toronto Area). I tried many different brands, but Liberté is my favourite. I’ve been buying their product for at least 10 years. Many also make their own Kefir, which is supposed to be really easy but I’ve never tried it. If you are interested to make it yourself, then Lily from Gastrosenses has a good recipe with lots of explanations on how to make it.
Kefir Yeast Pancakes
- 2 cups kefir
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- Pinch of salt
- Oil for pan frying
- Add kefir to a large bowl and warm it to slightly above room temperature. I used a warm oven since I don't have a microwave, but microwave would be easier. Just make sure not to overheat the kefir, otherwise it'll curdle and turn into Farmers Cheese.
- Once kefir is warm, add brown sugar, mix in an egg, then add yeast. Mix well.
- Add flour, salt, mix until the flour disappears, but mixture is still lumpy. Do not over mix.
- Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place for an hour or until the mixture rises, almost doubling in size and gets airy. I sometimes place the bowl in a sink filled with warm water or on top of the stove with the oven on.
- After an hour the batter should be ready.
- Brush the frying pan with a little bit of oil, place heaping spoons of batter and fry for 3-4 minutes on medium (or low-medium) heat on each side. Since the pancakes are yeasty, the batter will be thick, so the pancakes take longer to cook through.
- I usually make about four pancakes at a time and I keep the rest in a warm oven
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This post is NOT sponsored by Liberté, I had a couple of coupons for their product and I just genuinely love their kefir. Interestingly enough, I’ve never tried their yogurt.
I have had great success, and others have too, with ginger (any form you can get down you) for "morning" sickness. Even motion sickness. My niece hadn’t eaten anything for her first 3 months but crackers and ginger ale when she could keep them down. When I got her some Gin Mins, she was able to eat her first good meal. If this works for you or anyone who reads this, pass it on to your friends. Candied, a bit of powder on the tongue if that’s all that will go down, hard candies, fresh ginger, ginger tea (don’t recommend ginger ale because of the sugar and other ingredients, plus not nearly enough ginger). I know there are folks with easy pregnancies, easy periods, easy menopause, but I am not one of them! Blessings to you.
Hi Windy – I know some people swear by ginger, but it didn’t help me at all unfortunately. I tried ginger ale, pickled ginger, and those special travel ginger candies – nothing worked. Lemon did help a tiny bit, but not much at all. Oh well, it’s much better now 🙂
Yes i took diclectin too but the normal dose of morning, noon and 2 at night before bed all through to the very last week of pregnancy. No gravol though, just tums and started off only eating mac & cheese (kraft) and then couldn’t look at it because my skin started to sweat cheddar …. i pretty much ate 3 fried eggs with bread and tea every morning and it really helped. I had to throw up bile every morning and my stomach and lungs foamed with mucous if i got off the diclectin and my body threw up anything i put in including water, it was awful, kind of like an allergy. Can totally relate about the brushing teeth too. See if you can get a teeth cleaning when you feel better because i am so busy now that i can’t even get to the dentist and the plaque piled up from not brushing due to pregnancy last year. Having some meal options lined up too for when baby arrives in a good idea too, i did a couple of freezer meal preps but had i felt better i would have done more, or if you have family and friends who can help out then thats fantastic. Your husband will be busy with the baby too but its so great that he’s been cooking and taking care of you. I regret not having more things prepared which is why i am telling you these things, hehe. Even the garden now is on my mind, i should have just scaled it down for a low maintenance next couple of years. Your job now is to take it easy, if you have friends and family wanting to help then put em to work. Hehe.
Yes, meal prep is on my mind too. I already asked my mom and grandma to make some food for me that I could freeze. Planning to ask my mother in law as well. Hoping to get a chest freezer too in the next little while.
I’m on only 1 diclectin a day now, but I really need it. I accidentally forgot to take it one evening last week and the next morning was pretty bad, I was barely able to make it to the office washroom. Haha
Diane Galambos says
Holy cow! Great news! I have missed you on FB and Instagram. Finally decided I needed to check your blog and was thrilled to see a recent post reflecting that you are alive and (sort of) well. At FBC2014 you often talked about kefir – no surprise it appears in this recipe – which I will try. I guess you’ll be home with baby during FBC2015. Welcome back! Diane from kitchenbliss.ca
Hi Diane – yes, I love love love kefir! The kind in this recipe I usually don’t drink and only use in cooking. There’s another kind, also by Liberte, that I can drink gallons 🙂
She is due to arrive at the end of September, just a month before FBC2016. My crazy idea is to still go. If everything is ok, if we are able to establish routine, then my husband would stay at the hotel with the baby and I’d be able to attend the conference. But apparently first time kids usually arrive later, so I have no idea what is going to happen.
The pancakes look delicious! Is it active dry yeast? If so i need to get some. And kefir too. Its funny how my fridge was stocked with kefir in my first trimester as it was all i could eat and now i haven’t had it since, need to get back to it and its healthy properties. Remember to keep probiotic in mind too as with me after all the vomiting my digestion never went back to normal l. I often feel like ive been punched in the stomach type of pain, maybe kefir will help now that ive slowly introducing cows milk back after baby looks to be over skin eczema issues. The third tri. Might be very active for you and now that the weather is nice i bet it feels good being out, i craved sunlight so bad in february to april that i desperately wanted to take a trip to cuba but i knew i would have food issues (needed my kefir!) The pills are a lifesaver! I also went through a subway phase but then could barely look at them a couple of days later. Life will not be the same but i promise it will be better and eventually you will be back to blogging ☺ its amazing how the morning sickness disappears immediately after birth, i was actually enjoying the hospital food!!!
Pregnancy is no fun for some of us but remember there are studies that say the sickness in us means a healthy baby!
Thanks, Bella! I always get mixed up with dry yeast. There are two kinds: one you are supposed to mix with liquids and the other with the flour. I never know which one to buy. I used both with the same results, but I think I prefer the one that you mix with the liquids, not with the flour.
What brand of Kefir did you drink? I tried many kinds and my favourite drinking kefir is Liberte (not the one I used for this recipe, but the one that is in a 500 ml tub). Surprisingly, once I was over the initial "can’t eat, can’t drink" phase, I was fine with eating most things. Couldn’t really eat meat, but that’s about it. The only problem was that nothing really satisfied my hunger. I was (and still am) constantly hungry and I need carbs. Now it’s better and I get to have veggies and fruits, but in the beginning I could eat a huge bowl of tomato and cucumber salad and feel like I didn’t eat at all. I needed my bread.
Were you also on Diclectin? I was on 6 Diclectins + 3 gravols a day for quite a long time.
Ksenia @ At the immigrant's table says
Thrilled to see you back, Julia. Hope that despite what everyone says, it WILL get better for you from here! And these kefir pancakes are a great step in the right direction.
Thanks, Ksenia! I am glad to be cooking again.
Amanda | The Cinnamon Scrolls says
Hooray! So happy that you’re getting back in the game, Julia. We’ve missed you! Congratulations on your pregnancy, even if it’s maybe not the best or fun time. You’ll get through it and you’ll have a new little lovable bundle on the other side. 🙂
Thanks, Amanda! I really missed this community too, so I am glad to be back.
What an exciting news! Congratulations!
Sorry your pregnancy is not easy at all and I hope you will feel better soon and will be able to enjoy it for a bit.
As a mom of 21 months old little girl I’ll tell you that your life will change but you sill will have it and might even be able to blog 🙂
I am going to make those pancakes for my little one and for all three of us. Sure they are delicious.
Irena – thank you! I hope to be able to continue being myself once the baby is born and keep doing the things I love even if not all the time. I hope you like the pancakes!
Janet @ the taste space says
Congratulations!! I can commiserate with you on the pregnancy front. Who are these crazy women who actually enjoy being pregnant??? I hope it gets better for you in the second trimester as you regain energy, appetite and yourself back. Good on you for still making some gorgeous food!
Thank you! It’s tough, I’m much better now, but not 100% myself yet. I also don’t know who those people are who enjoy pregnancy!
Wooooohooooo!!! You’re back!!! AND you’re preggy!!! I am so happy!!! As a mother of two and a no-BS kinda girl, I can tell you I despised pregnancy…I could never understand all my friends telling me how wonderful it was and how they were sad when it was over….WTF …all I wanted was the end result. Pregnancy is HARD, motherhood even HARDER… but at the end of a long day we get to kiss our babies while they sleep and for a moment we forget all the bad and revel in the good. You will get through this and you will be SPECTACULAR! ????
Thank you 🙂 I hear you! My body is under constant assault. I have no idea how people can enjoy the pregnancy, but I guess some have it much easier. None of my friends had it as bad as I did. I’m looking forward to it being over!
Samantha Dawn says
Beautiful photos and glad you’re on the mend. After morning sickness, birth, and life with twins for the last 3 years I can attest that your taste buds will be back. In some shape or form, but they’ll be there. Keep your head up and love the sound of these pancakes!
Thank you so much 🙂 Yeah, I’m looking forward to when I start obsessing about food again. It was a big adjustment in the beginning when I couldn’t even look at food, which meant no facebook, no pinterest, no instagram, no twitter for me.
Oh goodness! You definitely have it rough, just keep your eyes on the prize my friend! I remember gagging while brushing my teeth, not being able to handle cooking or smell cooking…I still joke that my daughter was ‘grown’ on subway turkey subs.
Hang in there. Things will get better!
Yea – I could hardly brush my teeth in February and March. Oh, and I had my first subway in at least 8 years too. Well, first, second, third etc 🙂
Mel @ The Refreshanista says
I so feel for you! I got sick in a parking lot when I was about 5mos pregnant, it’s not fun and it’s embarrassing but you’re not alone. I’m hoping it gets easier for you! As for the pancakes, they look delicious 🙂 the photos are so lovely and bright!
Thank you, Mel! Last few days were a bit worse. I’ve heard that sometimes morning sickness comes back in the 2nd trimester, but I hope it’s not the case.