“Sisu” and CEimB Whole-Wheat Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce

by Joanne on September 16, 2010

When I was on the plane to Chicago and reading my “Competitive Runner’s Handbook”, I came across the word “Sisu”.  It’s a Finnish word used by the Flying Finns to define mental toughness.  Sisu is working really hard for something you want to do and not giving up, as quoted by Lasse Viren.   Wikipedia says “The ability to sustain action against the odds”. 

Marathon training requires sisu.  Training for ANY race requires sisu. 

I’ve got Sisu!   How about you?  When do you have sisu?

CEimB healthy recipe of the week

I wasn’t going to make this weeks CEimB recipe since I made this recipe using pumpkin back in July.  But pumpkin is not strawberry and so this week, we made Whole Wheat Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce by Ellie Krieger.  Recipe chosen by Melissa of It’s Melissa’s Kitchen.


Once again and so out of nature, the recipe was followed to the tee with one exception:  I mixed the batter up the day before.  It separated over night but with a quick stir, it was ready to go.

My batter wasn’t lumpy as Ellie indicates it might be in her book.   In fact, the batter was quite thin.


That could be due to the fact that I don’t measure when following recipes so either the flour was under measured or the liquids were over measured. The result was still berry very good.


The strawberry sauce was a bit tangy for me.  Ted said I didn’t add enough syrup to my portion.  The sauce is make by simply adding fresh strawberries to a food processor and giving them a whirl until chunky-saucy.  Add the chunky sauce to a saucepan to warm.  Add lemon juice and maple syrup.  I added the maple syrup per serving. 


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large Eggland’s Best eggs
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk (I use buttermilk powder since a whole carton would go to waste. Follow directions on container regarding how much water to add to the powder).
  • 1/2 cup non-fat Lactaid milk (Ted is the only milk drinker in the house and it has to be Lactose free)
  • 1 tablespoon honey (Agave is a good substitute if you don’t eat honey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • Confectioners’ sugar, optional


Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Preheat a large nonstick griddle or skillet over a medium-low flame.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour through salt). In another medium bowl, beat together the eggs, buttermilk, non-fat milk, honey and vanilla.

Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing only enough to combine them. The batter will be somewhat lumpy.

Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to ladle the batter onto the griddle or skillet. Flip the pancake when the top is bubbling and it is golden brown on the bottom. Then cook until the other side is golden brown. Hold on an oven proof plate in the oven until the entire batch is ready. When all the pancakes are ready, cut them into heart shapes with a heart shaped cookie cutter. Ladle about 1/3 cup of the strawberry sauce onto each plate, place pancakes on top and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar, if using.

Strawberry sauce:

16 ounces strawberries, fresh or frozen (unsweetened, thawed)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons maple syrup

Puree strawberries to a chunky puree. Heat them in a small saucepan over a low flame, until they are just warm. Stir in lemon juice and maple syrup.


A good pancake recipe that will be used again and again in our house or at least different variations of it.


It was another good Ellie recipe and good picking, Melissa.




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  • At 2010.09.16 07:09, Heather said:

    I think I have sisu! I’m always training or working towards some sort of goal, so I’d like to believe that sisu is a part of me. 🙂

    Pancakes are the jam. LOVE!

    • At 2010.09.16 14:23, Joanne said:

      I think you have TONS of sisu!

      • At 2010.09.16 08:20, Bri said:

        Love that word: sisu! I’ll have to start using it.

        Looks great! I’ve made these pancakes before, and they’re great every time. This time I transformed them into waffles!

        • At 2010.09.16 14:24, Joanne said:

          Yeah. Cool word 😎

          • At 2010.09.16 10:24, peggy said:

            Looks great as always. Mine should be posted shortly. I’m running a bit behind this week, but I’m hungry for them after seeing yours!! Hope you are having a great week.

            • At 2010.09.16 14:24, Joanne said:

              Thanks Peggy. I saw yours and they look so good! I want more.

              • At 2010.09.16 14:51, Monet said:

                Strawberries and pancakes should always go hand in hand. And maybe chocolate too…but that’s just me! This looks yummy, and it is making me want to have breakfast for dinner!

                • At 2010.09.17 05:08, Anne@ Food Loving Polar Bear said:

                  You definitely have sisu! 😀 this post made me smile, thank you for making my day better. I’m currenty on sick leave because of my neck and was in desperate need of cheering up 🙂

                  • At 2010.09.18 11:51, Pamela said:

                    I am seriously out of the CEiMB loop, but I have wanted to make this recipe since I first got the book. Your pics are divine!

                    • At 2010.09.26 23:10, Angela said:

                      I puffy heart love strawberries and pancakes together. 😀

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