Breakfast of Champions: Olympic Ring Pancakes

I love the idea of using food to help teach my kids about life and culture.

My family recently learned about the history of the Olympics. The symbol of the rings, which is five interlocking rings on a white background, represent the "Five parts of the world, which were won over to Olympism and willing to accept healthy competition" in 1914.

According to Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who designed the infamous Olympic symbol, "The ring colors with the white background stand for those colors that appeared on all the national flags of the world at that time."

I also stressed to my children the importance of eating foods that are good for you and provide energy. After asking my kids what their favorite event was, we talked about how athletes need the best possible "fuel" for their bodies. Wanting to create a special breakfast for them in honor of the Olympic games, I thought all-natural whole-wheat pancakes was a great way to kick off these summer games.

For this recipe, I used an all-natural pure maple syrup and found it to be a great way to talk about the gold, silver and bronze medals.

Whole-Wheat Pancakes
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg, room temperature
1 cup low-fat milk (can use more if needed)
2 tablespoons raw (or organic) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt

Additional ingredients:
1 teaspoon cocoa
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Red, green, black, yellow and blue food coloring (I prefer gel food coloring)

*You can also add 1/2 cup of your favorite fruit to this recipe

Preheat skillet or cooking surface to 300-350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, add flour, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the middle of the flour and add egg, milk, vanilla and sugar. Mix all ingredients until just combined. If adding fruit try to add it right before you begin cooking.

After you have mixed the batter, remove 1/3 of it and add cocoa, 1 teaspoon sugar  and cinnamon. Combine. I add the cocoa to help achieve more depth of color without using too much food coloring. Plus, the kids like the idea of "chocolate" pancakes. I then divide the cocoa batter into two bowls, add red food coloring to one and black to the other.

Divide remaining batter into three bowls, and add yellow, blue and green food coloring. I used Indian Tree All-Natural Food Coloring.

Spray with cooking spray or use butter to prepare your surface. Place about 1/4 cup of batter onto surface and cook until edges are firm. About 1-3 minutes per pancake.

Amanda is a wife, mom, baker and creative force behind iambaker.net . She homeschools her four children, lives in the land of 10,000 lakes and is self-appointed president of the Committee to Get Ina Garten on Twitter. (Amanda tweets at @iambakertweets)

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