A breakfast made from just-add-water pancake mix is probably always going to be fine. The pancakes can be kind of good (in a sugar rush-sort of way) if you pour on enough maple syrup, but that isn’t really saying much. Just as I prefer making DIY Bisquick, I think the secret to getting quality just-add-water pancakes is by mixing together your own batter. 

Instead of relying on corn syrup solids and casein, making your own just-add-water pancake mix allows room for whole-foods-based thickeners and emulsifiers. When ingredients like chia seeds, ground flaxseed, and dry buttermilk are mixed with water, they’ll hydrate and puff up just like your favorite boxed mix, but without all the processed junk. Of course, making your own just-add-water pancake mix takes a bit more effort than just shaking out the contents of a box, but having a big batch in the fridge at all times falls into the same time-saving, half-cooking category that still leaves you space to get all your other stuff done. And even if half-cooking is all you can muster, you deserve a pat on the pack.

Grind 2 cups cup rolled oats in a food processor, blender, or coffee grinder. Dump them out and do the same to 4 tablespoons flaxseeds. Alternatively, buy oat flour and ground flaxseed from a grocery store.

Place the ground oats and flaxseed in a bowl and whisk together with 4 cups all purpose flour, ¾ cup dry buttermilk, a scant ¼ cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons baking powder, 3 tablespoons chia seeds, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon if you’d like.

Pour the mixture into a jar or container that has an airtight seal and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.

To make a batch of pancakes, whisk together 2 cups dry mix with 1 cup water, and fry pancakes as you would with any recipe. Though this technically defeats the purpose of “just add water” mix, using milk or seltzer (or a mixture of both) will make for richer, more fluffy pancakes.