Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes

Oct 12, 2019
Always Watching...

While working on my research with my historical fiction novel based around post WWII - I thought back to my Grandmother (Oma) who was from Germany. As a little girl, I always watched Oma from behind, usually peeking around the doorway. I never moved too quickly because I didn't want to startle her. She was so fragile and while I didn't understand exactly why at the time - I did know that she needed us to be gentle around her. Part of me was afraid to move too hard and fast or say the wrong thing, yet a bigger part of me wanted to run up to her and hug her tight. She was always mumbling to herself or seemed very lost in thought - which I couldn't blame her suffering such intense Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the war.

The kitchen was my favorite place to spy on her and how she appeared. All her quirky behavior paused when she was in the kitchen - it was the only place she seemed to be happy. Blueberries soaked in full fat milk with sugar, meats and heavily creamed foods remind me of her. Even to this day, when I read "whole milk" on something - I smile. 


As I continue to write my way through this novel - learning about Germany's cuisine has brought me into Oma's world a little deeper. They may not be known for their rich taste buds and vast variety of spices - but they knew a good slab of meat when they saw one! Oma liked to portion everything on my plate in small rations when serving me, but I now know that post WWII - she had it ingrained that she didn't know when the next meal would come. She learned to survive off very little food - instead of thriving off the excitement of new tastes or the enjoyment of preparation.

Yet, somehow, through it all - the kitchen remained her favorite place. It was like I was introduced to her each time she was in there. Perhaps it brought her back to the times she would be in there with her own mother.

"American berries are white in the middle. They are not deep blue like in Germany. They are still the same," her voice trailed off as she stared at me. I knew she wasn't with me anymore, so I didn't answer her that day, but I now know what she meant.

The wild European Heidelbeere and the American Blaubeere (blueberry) are almost identical. The only difference: in the European version, the healthy blue color pigment anthocyanin is present in both skin and fruit, while it’s only present in the skin of the larger American version. Both taste delicious and both are equally good for you.

Oma's words sat on repeat in my mind once I learned the difference in the blueberries - They are still the same. I remember her voice clearly, as those words slipped out of her mouth, trying desperately to convince her own self of it. 

Watching her in my hiding places each day resonated with something deep in my soul. I was just a child and had no idea why I feared for her and was fascinated watching her at the same time. I had no idea, then, how her family heritage and history was a part of my heritage. It was as if I were staring at part of myself, I didn’t know. Lost, yet wanting to be free.

Buckwheat Blueberry Pancakes


    2 cups Bob's Red Mill buckwheat pancake mix
  • 2 cups milk or more to thin batter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup blueberries fresh or thawed from frozen
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • maple syrup to serve


  • Pre-heat nonstick griddle over medium-high heat.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together pancake mix, milk, eggs, oil and cinnamon until smooth. If the batter seems too thick, add a little more milk.
  • Fold in blueberries then pour batter on hot griddle, 1/2 cup at a time. Cook until pancakes are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes on the first side and 1-2 minutes on the second side. Serve with maple syrup if you wish.
 Blueberries, Healing and Joy

My Oma was right! Blueberries may be different on the inside, but they are still the same because the NATURAL love that comes from them is in the anthocyane, a type of flavonoid with antioxidant effects. They offer anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-cancer benefits. The deeper the blue the more they give off this wonderful, natural benefit for the body and mind. Blueberries are the king of fruits for antioxidants and we all know that antioxidants are needed to protect your body from damage to your cells and lead to aging and disease.  Fresh blueberries can be eaten alone, prepared in smoothies or baked in muffins and so many more ways. I’ve learned a lot about the value of blueberries in healing the mind-body connection. I eat them daily in many delicious recipes! And blueberries are just one food source for healing stress, anxiety, depression and a whole host of other mental imbalances. 




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