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Pancakes are great, but pancakes dotted with juicy, nutritious blueberries are even better — that’s why we celebrate National Blueberry Pancake Day on January 28. Did you know blueberries are super rich in antioxidants and are one of the only native North American fruits that we still eat today? These little wonders are packed with nutrients and have been linked to health benefits including lower blood pressure, improved insulin response, and reduced risk of cancer. When combined with pancakes, blueberries can take your breakfast from decent to delicious. Try dropping some into the batter as soon as it hits the pan, and complement the pancakes with some butter, homemade blueberry syrup, and freshly chopped berries.
History of National Blueberry Pancake Day
Pancakes are one of our nation’s oldest and best-loved foods. Around the world, humans have been making fried, flat dough disks since at least the Stone Age. The Ancient Greeks and Romans made pancakes with wheat flour, olive oil, honey, and curdled milk. The English later added flavorings like spices, sherry, and fruit.
As a term, ‘pancake’ first made an appearance in the English language in the 15h century but didn’t gain popularity until the 19th century in the United States. Other names include johnnycakes, hoecakes, griddle cakes, and flapjacks. There are as many names for pancakes as there are varieties: crepes, latkes, ‘boxty,’ poori, and ‘pannenkoeken’ are just some of the regional variations of the basic pancake. In one form or another, these starchy flatbreads, sweet or savory, play a part in dozens of cuisines around the world.
There’s another Pancake Day, better known as ‘Shrove Day.’ On the feast day before Lent, pancakes became an easy (and tasty) way for Catholic observants to quickly consume the dairy products and eggs that would be off limits for the next month.
In the modern U.S., fruits have become a popular ingredient in breakfast pancakes. Blueberries, a popular antioxidant-rich fruit, make an excellent addition to pancakes and round out a nutritious, hearty breakfast. Making it one of nature’s only truly blue foods, the blueberry’s anthocyanin pigment spreads its color and some of its most important nutrients. Combine these healthful and delicious fruits with a hearty pancake batter and it’s no wonder blueberry pancakes are one of the country’s favorite variations on this popular breakfast staple.
National Blueberry Pancake Day timeline
The Romans make a pancake-like dish called ‘Alita Dolcia’ using milk, flour, eggs, and spices.
In the United Kingdom, people celebrate Shrove Tuesday with annual Pancake Races, in which participants frantically flip pancakes in a wacky relay race.
Technological innovations that make maple syrup easier to harvest, process, and transport lead to a growth in its popularity.
General Mills introduces the premixed biscuit and pancake batter, using hydrogenated oil to increase shelf life and eliminate the need for refrigeration.
National Blueberry Pancake Day FAQs
Why are pancakes so popular?
Pancakes and their regional variations have always been a quick and easy dish that can be prepared by almost anyone with minimal ingredients and tools.
What is the trick to fluffy pancakes?
The key to fluffy pancakes is to separate the egg yolks from the whites. In a bowl, add the egg yolks with the other wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed, before adding to the other ingredients.
What goes well with blueberry pancakes?
Bacon or ham, fruits like strawberries, or any syrup or toppings of your choice.
National Blueberry Pancake Day Activities
Make some blueberry pancakes
To prevent your pancakes from taking on a bluish hue, drop the blueberries into the batter just after you’ve put it in the pan.
Attend a charity pancake breakfast
Pancake breakfasts are a popular fundraiser for non-profit organizations, schools, and civic groups. Find one near you to contribute to a good cause and get a delicious meal at the same time.
Create your own recipe
Sure, it’s Blueberry Pancake Day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative! In addition to blueberries, try including some other non-traditional ingredients like orange zest, nuts, or even dried rose petals.
5 Fun Facts About Blueberries
It’s one of the only blue foods
The blueberry is one of the few foods that is naturally blue in color — the pigment called anthocyanin, is also responsible for many of the berry's health benefits and it’s also used for natural dyes.
Blueberries are Canada's most exported fruit
British Columbia is the world’s largest producer of highbush blueberries and the blueberry is Canada’s top fruit export.
Blueberries are ancient
As far back as 13,000 years ago, Native Americans ate wild blueberries in a traditional, tasty, jerky-like snack called pemmican, which combined blueberries with dried meat and fat.
Wild blueberries are tastier
There are two common varieties of blueberry, both available in supermarkets — the wild blueberry (which can actually be grown on farms, too) is smaller and sweeter than its cultivated cousin.
A handful of blueberries contains a tenth of your daily Vitamin C, lots of healthy antioxidants, and two grams of dietary fiber essential to a healthy digestive system.
Why We Love National Blueberry Pancake Day
Do you really need a reason to celebrate blueberry pancakes? Grab a friend and treat yourself at your favorite local breakfast spot today!
It lets us get creative
There are as many pancake recipes as there are pancake cooks. On Blueberry Pancake Day, you can let your creativity run wild — instead of just tossing fresh berries in your batter, try spicing up your recipe with more interesting variations like candied blueberries or homemade blueberry syrup.
Blueberries are a superfruit
Blueberries are a sweet treat, but they’re also full of antioxidants and other important nutrients. Add a handful to your pancakes, yogurt, or cereal for a healthful and tasty bonus.
National Blueberry Pancake Day dates