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I have a confession to make: I didn’t really care much for pancakes as a kid. I had my reasons, but as I got older, pancakes started to grow on me. I won’t say they’re my *favorite* breakfast food today, but I don’t mind having them sometimes, especially paired with a sausage patty.
You can get pancakes from a number of places. Some restaurants sell them, of course, although they tend to be pricey. On the other end of the spectrum, you can make them from scratch with just a handful of ingredients.
Somewhere in between, grocery stores offer options that balance price and convenience. If you want convenience, you can find frozen microwaveable pancakes that prove adequate, if not inspired. A cheaper — and, honestly, tastier — option is to use a premade mix. Mixes typically only require adding water for pancakes, and possibly oil if you’re looking to make waffles instead. Most grocery stores sell mixes. Dollar General is no grocery store, but it does carry a number of staples, and pancake mix is one of them.
Clover Valley Pancake Mix comes in a 32-ounce box. At the time of this post, the mix cost $1.75, or about 5.5 cents an ounce. That’s on the lower end of prices out there and is competitive with discount grocers like Aldi. Clover Valley is a Dollar General house brand, distributed by Old East Main Co.
The mix comes in a bag inside the box. I found the bag to be a pain to open and use, so I ended up pouring the mix into a plastic container that I could more easily scoop out of. Like all pancake mixes, it’s a bit of a dusty mess to work with sometimes, which is why I wear an apron when working with it.
The box comes with both pancake and waffle instructions. The pancake instructions call for proportions of mix and water depending on how many pancakes you want: either 1 cup mix to 2/3 cup water, 2 cups mix to 1 1/3 cup water, or 3 cups mix to 2 cups water. You then preheat the surface of your griddle to 375 degrees, and pour a little less than 1/4 cup of batter per pancake onto the skillet. You turn the pancakes when they bubble and cook until they’re golden brown.
There are also waffle mix instructions. Those involve combining 2 cups mix, 1 1/3 cup water, and 1/3 cup oil. You then stir the mixture until large lumps disappear, and let the batter sit for 4-5 minutes before baking. Next, pour the desired amount of mix into the waffle maker and bake until the steaming stops.
We made the pancake mix using 2 cups of mix and 1 1/3 cups of water.
We preheated our Aldi griddle with a little olive oil. We poured roughly 1/4 of a cup of batter at a time onto the skillet and cooked the pancakes until they bubbled, then flipped them over. I’ve learned to be careful not to burn them.
The preparation amounts we used said they would make 12-18 pancakes. We ended up with 16, which is on the upper end of that range.
Our family liked them. They tasted like … well, pancakes. They had the taste and texture we’d expect. Everyone ate theirs and said they were comparable to other brands we’ve tried. I think everyone would eat them again.
Nutritionally, the mix is high in carbs and sodium. The box indicates the mix also contains wheat, milk, and eggs.
Clover Valley Buttermilk Complete Pancake Mix is a competent, affordable way to get pancakes. They’re easy to make and taste like they should. We’d get them again.