Piled high, wild strawberry pancakes are best served stuffed with strawberries and topped with more still.
Wild strawberries are elusive. We’ve been hunting them for years. We become hopeful when we see their bright red runners. We grow excited to see their delicate white flowers, low to the ground. Once, Jack found a handful of these diminutive berries and generously shared his find with me. One taste of a wild strawberry and I was hooked on the hunt.
Conjure up the best tasting strawberry you can imagine. That strawberry is juicy, sweet and packed with an indescribable flavor that can only be called strawberry. Now take all that this imagined big berry has and concentrate it into a tiny little package, about the size of my pinky fingernail. When you pop that bright red package into your mouth, you will experience a strawberry flavor explosion.
I was thinking about how perfectly powerful and rare these strawberries are. It make me also think about ideal days and how perfectly powerful and rare those are. I’m always surprised and pleased how many of these days occur when we are on the road, like we are now.
A normal day on the road starts snuggled up in our cozy camper. We whip up a quick breakfast of cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit and a cup of hand-poured coffee. With cameras at the ready, we follow our nose, advice of fellow travelers, or suggestions of helpful visitor center volunteers. On this normal day, we went north on the “Bighorn Highway.” After seeing a large herd of elk, many birds, and a small group of bighorn sheep (really close), we decided to stop at a pullout to stretch our legs. A huge patch of diverse northern flowers caught my attention. I grabbed my camera and began documenting flowers I have yet to learn.
I stood up to see where Jack had gone and I saw him heading off with a container. Maybe he was going to collect wild chamomile for tea? “Where are you going?” I asked. “Follow me and see,” he replied. I caught up with him as he stooped over and picked a tiny berry. Wild strawberries! I was expecting a small patch where we would both be lucky enough for a handful. This was not a small patch. It was the motherlode! I had never seen so many wild strawberries in one place in my life. We both knew we may never see a large patch like this ever again. It was one of those moments we know to slow down and enjoy sampling a few warm, sweet berries while collecting more to cook with.
At the end of our picking, we wound up with about two cups of this precious fruit… that is hundreds of strawberries. Don’t worry, we left plenty for the bears and other creatures to feast upon. I decided to take my honey wheat oat banana pancakes recipe and swap out the bananas for wild strawberries. All I can say is Wow!
These tiny beauties are as delicate as they are sweet. We agreed that any squished berries had to be eaten immediately!
A perfect day ended in a little campground next to a river in the heart of Alberta, Canada. A stack of wild strawberry pancakes for each of us with a chicken apple sausage on the side served on a picnic table next to a roaring campfire. The birds singing around us and little red squirrels trying to share our bounty. This ideal day was a wild strawberry day.
Wild Strawberry Honey Wheat Oat Pancakes
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups wild strawberries, separated
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
- Chop oats finely by using a blender or a nut chopper.
- In a medium bowl, soak oats in buttermilk for 10 minutes.
- Mix egg, 1 cup strawberries, butter and honey into oat mixture.
- Mix flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt into oat mixture.
- Heat pan over medium heat.
- Lightly oil pan.
- Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto pan. Cook until bubbles appear on surface, then flip. Continue cooking for another minute until pancake is golden brown.
- Serve topped with remaining cup of strawberries and maple syrup.