I'm a sucker for brunch of any kind. The Full English (the veggie version, of course), Huevos Rancheros, French toast, I'll even do Vegemite on toast but with jam, to take the edge off. And of course PANCAKES!!! are no exception. Living in Amsterdam, pancakes are pretty much a Dutch obsession. The best ones they do are the poffertjes - tiny, mini pancakes the size of a baby's palm. This morning, I was meant to do brunch with a girlfriend I haven't seen in ages for a long overdue catch-up. Unfortunately, her Saturday night shenanigans left her with a hangover this morning and so she bailed on me.
DAAAAAAMN! I was so looking forward to pancakes at brunch.
So I figured "Screw it, I'll make my own".
I had no regular wholewheat flour at home - I don't tend to use this a lot as I try to cut down on wheat and gluten when cooking at home. I'm in no way intolerant nor sensitive to gluten, but in the past I've had a number of autoimmune conditions (not coeliac-related) and more and more research is pointing to a link to gluten messing with one's autoimmunity in general. With today's wheat and grains grown with a much higher gluten content to make them hardier against pests, and more research still to be done on its far-reaching effects, I'd rather just play it safe. And since my gut feels better for it, I can only go by how I experience it.
If you're interested in reading more info on gluten then and now, and who shouldn't be eating gluten, click: here and here. Also, if you click on this blog's Facebook link at the bottom of this page, I've posted more news articles on there and will continue to do so if you wanna keep updated.
So this morning I attempted GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, EGG-FREE, VEGAN pancakes, and they actually turned out pretty good. I know, right? How could that still be tasty?!
I've tried making gluten-free pancakes in the past with different kinds of flours, but have always ended up with either a soggy mess or pancakes with a gritty texture. Kinda gross. And while looking into home-made power bars (that's another post for another time!), I came across oat flour. WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THIS BEFORE?! Oats are naturally gluten-free, but they're usually processed on the same belts that also process other gluten-carrying grains. So if you're fully coeliac and need to totally avoid gluten, make sure you buy rolled oats labeled "gluten free" so you know for sure that they're processed in their own mill.
The dairy-free milk I used was coconut milk - but you can also use any other kind of rice or nut milk.
Instead of eggs, I used chia seeds as a "chia egg". I'll explain later how you substitute a real egg for a chia-egg.
Before I get to the recipe, here's a quick lowdown on how to make your own oat flour and chia-egg.
HOW TO MAKE OAT FLOUR:
It's so easy. You don't even need to buy the flour. If you've got rolled oats in your pantry, all you need to do is mill it yourself in either your blender or food processor. TADAH!! Home-made oat flour. I only have a blender and used it on the "soup" function to get this. :)
There might still be a few rogue oat groats at the bottom of your food processor, so sift your freshly-ground flour through a sieve if you don't want the odd chunk in your pancakes.
HOW TO MAKE "CHIA EGG":
Usually, in any baking recipe that calls for eggs, I substitute 1x regular egg for 1x chia-egg which is made up of:
- 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
- 3 Tbsp Water
It's 1 part chia seeds to 3 parts water, and the amount above roughly equates to 1 regular egg. Whisk it all together and you'll see the mixture start to take on a gelatinous texture. You can set this aside for 10-15 minutes while you prep all the other ingredients. The gloopy, gelatinous texture should look like this:
And with that, you're all set! Here comes the recipe...
GLUTEN-FREE OAT FLOUR, BLUEBERRY, CHIA, COCONUT PANCAKES
- 1 Cup Oat Flour (milled from rolled oats as described above)
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Vanilla Bean Powder
- Sprinkle of Shredded Coconut
- 1x Chia-Egg (1 Tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3 Tbsp water, whisked and set aside 10-15min)
- 2 tsp Maple Syrup
- 1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- Coconut Oil, to coat your non-stick pan
- Mix all dry ingredients except shredded coconut together (from the oat flour down to the vanilla bean powder in the above list).
- Mix all wet ingredients except coconut oil (from the chia-egg down to the coconut milk in the above list) in with the dry, adding more or less milk as required.
- Whisk it all together. The "batter" that forms is quite a thick paste. It's not a runny/liquid batter.
- Heat your non-stick frying pan on low-medium heat. When the pan heats up, coat it with some coconut oil, then plop some of the batter on it. Spread it out quite thin.
- When the pancake starts to solidify, bubbles start to form on top and the edges and bottom start to brown, flip it over and brown it on the other side.
- Keep the cooked pancakes warm by covering with aluminium foil while the other pancakes are cooking.
- Top with shredded coconut, more frozen blueberries and maple syrup. (It's Sunday. I slathered on the maple syrup). ;p
The serving size above gives you about 3 medium-sized pancakes.
In terms of texture - this is slightly more dense than a regular pancake (coz let's face it - it's the gluten that also helps make things turn out light and fluffy...) But it's the closest in texture I've ever got to a regular pancake. Kinda sorta.
These monsters look kinda hideous while cooking and after cooking... But who cares?! They're tasty. ;)