Friday, August 5, 2011

Bisquick Shake ‘n Poor: pancakes in a bottle

I’ve wanted to cook and bake more but right now – in the heat of summer – every effort is going towards keeping the house cool. Using the oven would defeat the purpose and even dinner on the stove has become a bit of a luxury. I try to plan meals that are either larger so that you only have to cook every other night and just heat it up or add something small to vary it a little every other night. Otherwise I’ve been looking at cooler meals like salads and sandwiches. I can be pretty easy as long as I find a way to have my vegetables.

So coming back to the baking bit, I’ve been eye-ing the baking isle in the supermarket every time we go and thinking what would I like to make the first chance I get. It is in this isle that Garett spotted the Bisquick Shake ‘n Pour, buttermilk pancake mix in a bottle. Taste-wise it turned out to be quite a nice find!

The bottle contains all the ingredients in powder form (including the egg whites). All you’re left with to do is adding one and a half cups of cool water to the container, giving it a good 30 second shake, (check that all the mix has been loosened) and pouring the batter onto a hot greased skillet. The batter can make between 12 – 15 4 inch pancakes (10cm). I think I got slightly more because I made them slightly smaller.

The process was simple enough. Even a child can do it – literally no mess, no fuss, plus, the batter can be refrigerated for up to three days. Ours only made the two day mark though.

Overall I thought the batter was light enough and the pancakes were not dry. I preferred doing them with a slight bit of butter in the pan rather than oil. I found them to have a lovely golden color. To top it off Garett used the American version of maple syrup while I preferred honey instead. Maybe as a dessert one can add a little bit of cream or ice cream to round it off beautifully (as they would say on Masterchef Australia) :)
What a delightful treat with breakfast or a little sweet snack just after lunch! At only $1.74 I reckon it is not a bad buy.

On the flip side of the coin, however, just how healthy is convenient? I found a term on the label that I’ve not been aware of, nor have I heard of it before: partially hydrogenated. It is a process that concerns the oil in the mixture. I found the article rather interesting, but it doesn’t play much in favor of Bisquick. Instead it makes it sound like a good idea to get a hold of a recipe in which you can use fresh ingredients instead. It might take a little more time and effort but it might be kinder to your health (and that of your family) in the long run.

The reality is that we live in a world of processed foods. If we are what we eat it may be good (maybe even important) that we do our homework in regard to just what that is.

*Hydrogenation is the process of heating an oil and passing hydrogen bubbles through it. The fatty acids in the oil then acquire some of the hydrogen, which makes it more dense. If you fully hydrogenate, you create a solid (a fat) out of the oil. But if you stop part way, you create a semi-solid partially hydrogenated oil that has a consistency like butter, only it's a lot cheaper. Because of that consistency, and because it is cheap, it is a big favorite as a butter-substitute among "food" producers. It gives their products a richer flavor and texture, but doesn't cost near as much as it would to add butter. It might also show up as something called mono- and di-glycerides. (Source:


  1. I've never been a big fan of pancakes but I do love the smell of them. It's the consistency that puts me off, they don't feel right in my mouth. However, your photo has made my mouth water!

  2. I agree with you, Cindy! I find that in everything else I make. Now I must just learn more about the baking part of it :) (As soon as the weather cools the house down a little, of course :) I'll look for some recipes in the meantime :)

  3. Well hello there, Dave! In South Africa we call these ones flapjacks. For me (in a way) it resembles chewing bread. But my favorite, favorite though is what we call pancakes (or the French calls crepes) with sugar and cinnamon - the old fashioned way :) Now MY mouth is watering! :D