Pillsbury Heat-n-Go mini pancakes are described on the website as “tasty, portable frozen breakfast items for the morning rush. Microwave in bag!” Pancakes that I can microwave in a bag? Gee whiz, that sounds like every single frozen pancake product on the planet, but small! What sets Pillsbury’s pancakes from the rest? Well, they’re sold in individual bags of seven or eight pancakes for eighty nine cents, so you won’t realize that you’re actually paying more for a nonexistent convenience. Right off the bat, I have a problem with this product. First, it feeds into the idea that if you’re on the go, the answer is to find some crappy food that you can throw in the microwave and eat in the car or on the bus rather than setting your alarm ten or fifteen minutes earlier. Waking up slightly earlier and shoveling down a bowl of cereal is not that difficult, folks. If Takeru Kobayashi can eat 106 tacos in ten minutes, you can at least finish a bowl of cereal in the same time span.
Second, if you have a child who is at an age where they can’t make their own breakfast, and you give this to them and call it a meal, you are an unfit parent. It’s nothing personal, but if you’re going to tell me that a bag of mini pancakes constitutes a proper breakfast for a growing child, you are probably lying to yourself. Again, nothing personal, but you’re not much better than the woman in the Nutella commercial. You know, the one who complains that preparing breakfast is so hard but all she feeds the kids is a single piece of dry toast? One step above that. There’s a very simple fix for a kid who needs to eat breakfast and won’t get out of bed in a timely fashion, it’s called an alarm clock. Or you can threaten to beat them out of bed, like my parents did.
On to the product itself. For this review, I will be covering the maple burst’n and blueberry pancakes, otherwise known as the only two flavors available. If they really wanted to boost portability, they’d wrap the pancakes around sausage and put it on a stick like Jimmy Dean did. I managed to pick these up at Target for the non-sale price of eighty nine cents, only to come home and find a coupon available online. I’ll have to go back and complain. Now that I’m done jumping down the throat of parents everywhere, I can actually say that the pancakes are actually rather nice. It is probably because they are smaller, but the pancakes heat up in the microwave and are nice and fluffy and evenly warmed. No cold pockets, no hot pockets, no pockets.
I don’t know why Pillsbury thinks that they have enough flavor to eat without syrup, apart from marketing baloney over the grab and go. They are essentially just miniature versions of the same pancakes you get in the freezer section, which brings me back to the point of simply buying the full size pancakes. Hey, that’s marketing. If you don’t have time to microwave regular pancakes, you don’t have time to question the logistics of this deal. I also wouldn’t call the maple pancakes “maple burst’n.” The maple flavor is light, hard to detect, almost like someone accidentally put syrup on the pancakes, then realized what they had done and tried to remove it by running them through a dishwasher. Then again, “maple burst’n” sounds better than “maple maybe,” although maple burst’n is what the Canadian police call it when they break down the front door of your house and is probably a registered trademark of the Royal Canadian Government.
But seriously, I’m being an ass. As far as nutrition goes, these don’t really have anything too terrible in them. Whole wheat, enriched flour, real sugar, brown sugar, regular corn syrup, salt, eggs, corn, real dried blueberries, etc. Each bag clocks in at five grams of fat, .5 saturated, 1g polyunsaturated, and 3g monounsaturated. According to Wikipedia, monounsaturated fats lead to less anger and irritability. In fact, forget what I said earlier. Give your kid two bags in the morning and maybe he won’t bully his classmates at school or act like a general putz. The pancakes do wear 330mg of sodium on their sleeves, 14% of your daily value, as well as an anticipated 31g of carbs and 10g of sugar. Otherwise you have 2g of dietary fiber, 3 grams of protein, and 4% of your daily requirements of calcium and iron.
This is still not a proper breakfast. Snack? Probably not even that either. These pancakes exist in a special nether-realm of food where I ate both bags and actually came out hungrier than I was when I started, which is especially strange when you consider that pancakes are notorious for making people not hungry by filling in that extra stomach space with shame for having eaten so many pancakes. I may be embarking on the standard post-pancake review of my eating habits, but it’s just not the same.