Warning!!! The recipe you are about to see is NOT gluten-free. It is however, made with sprouted whole wheat flour (which is more easily digested that conventional all-purpose flour, and much healthier) and buckwheat flour.
My kids love pancakes. Well, doesn't everyone, really? I mean, come on, who could say no to a warm, fluffy breakfast "cake" brushed with butter and drizzled with sweet maple syrup? Actually, my older daughter can...she prefers her pancakes sans syrup, eating them with just a bit of vegan butter and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
Trying to come up with a healthy version of this breakfast favorite was hard for me. I was so determined to make a delicious vegan and gluten-free pancake but every attempt, whether my recipe or someone else's, turned out thin and gummy, nothing like a "real" pancake.
So, I decided maybe gluten-free was just not in the cards. Enter sprouted grain flour. Sprouted grain flours, of which there are many varieties, are digested more like vegetables in the body. This does NOT mean they are vegetables, just that some of the issues like bloating that my family typically has with glutinous products is avoided. None of us are allergic to gluten or have Celiac's disease but I do find myself a bit sensitive to gluten and I don't have any issue when I use sprouted grains.
The next big ingredient issue was, of course, eggs. I knew I wasn't going to use them, but past experience has taught me that flax eggs alone would not give me the result I wanted. Flax eggs are fine as a binding ingredient but don't provide the fluffiness I was looking for in a pancake. And then I discovered whole psyllium husks. I think the angels sang, seriously. I came across the idea of using psyllium husks after a LOT of internet research on subsitutes for eggs in baking. I was skeptical but as they were super cost-effective (I found them HERE) I figured it was worth a shot. I am so happy I found this stuff!!
Finally, I wanted to really to boost the nutritional value of the pancakes, so I included buckwheat flour, frozen raspberries that I thawed (you could use any berry you like) and the piece de resistance, (drum roll, please), roasted red beet puree!*
As I am not a huge lover of beets, I was a bit afraid that I had just ruined a perfectly good pancake recipe, but I promise, you can't detect the taste of beets at all! And combined with the raspberries, you get a lovely pink pancake that is very appealing to my little girls! In one of my crazed, recipe-inventing moments, I added some cocoa powder and mini vegan chocolate chips for a sort of red velvet result. And they were delicious! My next step with these is a mock cream cheesy sort of whipped coconut cream...I have the recipe floating around in my head but haven't managed the execution just yet. Patience, friends, patience.
Berry Beet Sprouted Grain Pancakes
(Prep time: 45 minutes-includes time to roast and prep beet* Cook time: 4-5 minutes per batch Yield: 16-20 pancakes, depending on size)
1 1/2 cups non-dairy milk plus 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar (vegan buttermilk)--combine this first and let sit about 10 minutes, enough time to curdle
1 Tbs. Whole psyllium husks**
1 Tbs. Ground flax seed meal
3 Tbs. Warm water
3 Tbs. Natural cane sugar
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 Tbs. melted coconut oil
2 cups sprouted grain flour (I used sprouted whole wheat)
1/3 buckwheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder (aluminum free)
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder(optional)
1 medium red beet, roasted and pureed (just wrap in foil and roast at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until tender, cool, peel and puree with a bit of water in a high-speed blender or food processor)
2/3 cup frozen raspberries (or berries of choice), thawed and pureed with the beet
Mini vegan chocolate chips(optional--I love Enjoy Life brand!)
Additional oil or non-stick spray for griddle
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine psyllium husks**, flax seed meal, water, sugar and vegan butter milk. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes to thicken up a bit. Add the vanilla and melted coconut oil.
2. In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients together except the chocolate chips, mixing with a whisk until there are no huge lumps. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until just moistened. If you over-stir, the pancakes will be tough and chewy. Gently fold in the beet and berry puree until well-blended.
3. Allow the batter to sit and rest while the griddle heats up***. This will create more of a "rise" in the pancakes as they cook, and this in turn helps make sure the centers get cooked through.
4. Preheat your griddle to 350 degrees***. Once hot, brush with oil or spray with non-stick cooking spray and pour 1/4 cup of batter per pancake (more if you want larger cakes, less if you want mini cakes) onto the griddle and cook until the tops are bubbly and the edges look dry. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top if using, then flip the pancakes and cook other 2-3 minutes. You may need to brush the griddle with oil or coat with spray after each batch of pancakes.
5. Serve hot off the griddle with vegan butter, pure maple syrup or powdered sugar. Or make it your own and top with your choice of favorite add-ons!****
*I plan ahead when I make these, roasting the beet the night before to save time when I'm ready to prepare these pancakes.
**Be sure to use whole psyllium husks and not psyllium powder.
***You can alternately use a skillet heated over medium heat and brushed with oil or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
****Leftovers freeze really well. Just place individual pancakes between pieces of parchment paper and seal in a freezer bag. They should keep in the freezer for up to a month. Just defrost in the refrigerator before reheating or defrost in the microwave.
As always, please leave your comments below. I really value your thoughts and how my recipes work for you!