Berry Pancakes using #ClearAmerican Sparking Water

Saturday, November 12, 2011
I am always looking for new ways to change up tried and true recipes. You know, take the meals we love and put a new twist on them. But quite honestly, I am just not that creative in the kitchen. I wish I were. I can follow a killer recipe to a "T", but place several ingredients in front of me and ask me to whip up something stellar, and I am left struggling.

Lately, thanks to some campaigns that I've worked on for Collective Bias (#CBias), I've been getting more adventurous in the kitchen, and I'm finding that I am really enjoying the challenge.

My latest challenge was to create a recipe using #ClearAmerican sparkling water. Clear American is the number one brand of sparkling water in the U.S. and is sold exclusively at WalMart. It is available in a variety of flavors and retails for about $0.70 per bottle.

I knew one thing going in: I didn't want to make a drink using #ClearAmerican. I wanted to challenge myself to make something totally unexpected. I looked through some of my most frequently prepared meals, and I found it! I found the recipe I wanted to use for this campaign. Pancakes. Yes, pancakes. The carbonation in the sparkling water will create light and fluffy pancakes.

I made my list and headed to WalMart. I had most of the ingredients that I needed for the recipe. I needed to buy Clear American in several flavors since I not only needed some for the recipe, but we drink it also.  Once I got to WalMart and located the Clear American, I was surprised to find that it was the ONLY sparkling water in the aisle. There were no other brands sold.
Since I always buy the lemon and lime flavors, I stopped to take note of the other flavors. I can't believe I never noticed all the flavors. There are so many flavors. I decided to try a few new ones so I picked up a bottle of Peach and Mandarin Orange.

There were at least 8 varieties at my WalMart. They were organized by flavor, and there were plenty of bottles available in each variety. I finally decided on the "Raspberry Blackberry" flavor for my recipe. I had also considered purchasing the "Peach" flavor for the pancakes, but decided that my children would probably prefer the berry flavored water.

What I found to be peculiar was the placement of the Clear American sparkling water. At my WalMart, it was nestled between the "Pringles" (which made sense due to the snack factor) and the highly caffeinated energy drinks such as "Monster", "Red Bull" (which made no sense to me).

In fact, when I was looking for the Clear American water, I actually tried the aisle where the bottled water is located. When I didn't find it there, I had to try another aisle. I was surprised to find it among these items. It would have made more sense to me to place the sparkling water among the bottled water or the soda. I also think WalMart could do a better job of showcasing the number one selling sparkling water using signage.

It was time to check out! My cart was full of goodies, and I was ready to go!

The following morning, I decided to make the pancakes. I woke up extra early because I knew it would take a little trial and error before I perfected the recipe. I gathered my ingredients.

As I always say, I like to gather all my ingredients in one place before I start. As I use each ingredient, I put it away so clean up isn't overwhelming.

I used a basic pancake recipe from Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. My original recipe calls for 2 cups of buttermilk. After a lot of experimenting, I finally decided on the perfect amount of Clear American to use in the recipe. I tried various combinations of buttermilk and Clear American sparkling water. When I used 2 cups of sparkling water, the pancakes were too flat. After trying many combinations of varying amounts of buttermilk and sparkling water, I finally came up with a winning combination. You can use your favorite pancake recipe and adjust the liquids accordingly just as I did.

Berry Pancakes with #ClearAmerican Sparkling Water

2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup Clear American Raspberry Blackberry flavored sparkling water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-3/4 cups All Purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh or frozen fruit (thawed) for topping (optional but highly recommended)
Powdered sugar for sprinkling (optional but highly recommended)

1. Heat griddle or pan to medium-high heat.
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs.

3. Stir in buttermilk and Clear American sparkling water.

4. Add the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt) to the liquid mixture. Stir just until large lumps disappear. Do not overmix.
For thicker pancakes, add additional flour. To thin, add additional Clear American sparkling water.
The batter will be light and bubbly.

5. Lightly grease the heated griddle. To test the griddle, sprinkle a few drops of water onto the griddle. They should bounce when they hit the griddle. Pour batter, about 1/4 cup at a time, onto hot griddle.

6. Bake until bubbles form and edges start to dry. Turn and cook the other side.

To serve:
You can stick with butter and syrup, but I wanted to try something different.

Since I used the Raspberry Blackberry flavored Clear American sparkling water in the recipe, I wanted to compliment the flavoring of the pancakes with a similar topping. I originally had frozen berries at the ready. But when I realized that I had fresh blueberries and strawberries in the refrigerator, I used those instead.

I topped the stack of pancakes with the fresh fruit.

But then decided it needed an extra touch. I added some blueberries along the edge of the stack for a little flair.

And because my girls LOVE pancakes with powdered sugar, I just had to sprinkle some over the top to make these pancakes totally over the top!!

A perfect breakfast!

Be sure to check out Clear American on Facebook and on Twitter.

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias, which is a vendor for Cott Beverages Inc., the manufacturer of Clear American® brand beverages. All opinions expressed herein are solely mine and have not been influenced in any way by either Collective Bias or Clear American.

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