Would you like to lose some weight -- in your baking, that is? This one secret ingredient (that you likely already have in your kitchen) is not only inexpensive and healthy, it'll also add a bit of "cloud" to your biscuits and pancakes!

And that ingredient is ... Oatmeal!

Yep, I know what you're thinking ... just give me a moment and trust me on this.

For instance, to make super light pancakes, I'll use normal, non-instant, oatmeal. I'll prepare a 1 to 1 1/2 serving size portion, usually in the microwave.

Next, add your normal pancake ingredients to the oatmeal. I normally add the milk first to cool down the oatmeal (don't want the eggs to cook!). You may notice that the batter is a little frothy -- especially if you let it sit a bit. That's oatmeals extra viscosity coming into play.

Cook the pancakes just like you normally do. They'll look the same and taste the same (no oatmeal taste). However, they'll rise up nice, light, and fluffy!

To make super light biscuits, you'll alter your normal biscuit recipt just a tiny bit. Prepare the oatmeal as usual -- but, since the prepared oatmeal is fairly liquid, it'll make your biscuit dough into a batter ... IF you add the normal amount of milk!

So ... cut down on your milk portion. Add a little milk to the oatmeal, then add your dry ingredients, then slowly mix, adding more milk a little bit at a time as necessary.

One other change -- since you'll be using less milk, the baking powder in your mix won't have as much acid to react to. This means your biscuits won't rise like they normally do unless you give them a little bit of help. I like to toss a squeeze of lemon juice into the mix. You won't taste the lemon, but it'll supercharge your baking powder.

Again, your dough will be a little frothy. You'll use less milk and the dough will not be as dense as usual. If you're rolling the dough and using a biscuit cutter, roll your dough a little thicker than normal before cutting.

That's all -- bake as normal and your result will be biscuits light enough to float off the pan!

About The Author

Joey Robichaux rides the weekly consultant road warrior circuit. He speaks at management conferences and maintains dozens of web sites, including Your Cooking Tips at http://www.your-cooking-tips.com .