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Vegetarian Journal July/Aug 1999

Fabulous Wheat-Free Vegan Pancakes

by Debra Daniels-Zeller


Check out the recipes!

One of the original fast foods, pancakes have probably been around since someone first discovered that a bit of grain paste blended with water and laid on a hot stone by a fire developed a nice crust and was worth eating. In ancient China, peasants made delicate pancakes with millet or wheat. During the Middle Ages, those who didn't want to cook could buy pancakes and other foods at markets. And in 1849 when gold was discovered in California, pioneers crossing the Oregon-California trail in wagon trains often cooked pancakes over campfires.

Though flat breads around the world evolved from other grains--rice dosas in India, injera from teff in Ethiopia, oatcakes in Scotland, and corn tortillas in Mexico--our breads and pancakes have traditionally been wheat-based. An easy grain to work with, the gluten in wheat helps form the structure and texture of our baked goods. The backbone of yeast and quick breads, we often have wheat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner without thinking about it. Cultural conditioning goes so deep that when faced with baking without wheat, we re not sure we can do it.

Working with other grain flours gives you an opportunity to see how each unique grain contributes to taste and texture, and interacts with other ingredients. Gluten-containing grains such as spelt and barley are fairly easy to substitute, since they contain gluten and are similar to wheat. The use of gluten-free flours poses a challenge in pancakes and baked goods unless you use a binding ingredient like tapioca flour or arrowroot (use 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of either per one per cup of gluten-free flour).

Since eggs are usually added and also contribute to binding the batter, using an egg replacer is also helpful. A ripe, mashed banana works well, adding a lightness, sweetness, and a binding quality. Tahini (ground sesame paste), peanut butter, or other nut butters also work well, adding to both texture and flavor. You only need to add 1 tablespoon for 1 cup liquid and 1 cup of flour. Ener-G Egg Replacer (see page 15 for ordering information) is a commercial product that also substitutes for eggs.

Tips for Perfect Pancakes


Recipes

 

Buckwheat-Banana Pancakes

 (Makes about ten 3-inch pancakes)


The wonderful, assertive flavor of buckwheat is balanced by the sweetness in the banana, which also helps to bind the gluten-free flour.
 

1 heaping cup buckwheat flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon date sugar or Sucanat (an organic sugar found in natural foods stores)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup carob soy or rice milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 medium banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
2 Tablespoons finely chopped walnuts (optional)
 

Combine or sift together dry ingredients, mixing well. In a blender or with a hand blender mix soy or rice milk, vanilla, and banana. Mix wet and dry ingredients together. Spoon onto a preheated griddle. Sprinkle with walnuts, if desired. When bubbles appear and break, turn pancakes and cook until lightly browned.

Total calories per pancake: 73
Fat: 1 gram
Carbohydrates: 16 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: 163 milligrams
Fiber: 2 grams



 


Ginger-Apricot Pancakes

 (Makes about ten 3-inch pancakes)


 



The oat flour in this recipe helps balance the gluten in the spelt flour. Be careful not to overmix this batter because overmixing a gluten-containing batter will cause the pancakes to be tough. You can substitute apple juice or peach nectar for the apricot nectar.

1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 cup oat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup apricot nectar
1/3 cup plain or vanilla soy or rice milk
1 Tablespoon tahini
1 Tablespoon fruit sweetener
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
 

Sift or mix together dry ingredients, making sure there are no small lumps. In a blender or with a hand blender combine apricot nectar, soy or rice milk, tahini, fruit sweetener, and ginger. Blend until creamy. Combine wet and dry ingredients, mixing only until a batter forms. Spoon onto a preheated griddle. When bubbles form and break, cook reverse side for a few minutes.
 
 

Total calories per pancake: 64
Fat: 1 gram
Carbohydrates: 12 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: 196 milligrams
Fiber: 1 gram



 


Light Lemony Oatcakes

 (Makes about ten 3-inch pancakes)


 


These crepe-like light pancakes are a refreshing change of pace on those lazy Sunday mornings. They're perfect for rolling up fruit fillings or just dusting with powdered sugar.
 

1 cup vanilla soy or rice milk
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 heaping cup old-fashioned oats (or 1 cup oat flour)
1/2 Tablespoon tapioca flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon lemon zest (the outer peel of an organic lemon, or lemon flavoring)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon nut butter or tahini
1 Tablespoon maple syrup

Combine soy or rice milk and lemon juice. Set aside. Blend oats in a spice grinder or blender until finely ground. Mix oat flour with tapioca flour, baking powder, soda, lemon zest, and salt, making sure there are no small lumps. In a blender or with a hand blender combine milk mixture, nut butter or tahini, and maple syrup. Blend well. Mix wet and dry ingredients. Spoon onto a preheated griddle. Mixture will be quite thin. When bubbles form and break, turn carefully and cook until lightly browned.

Total calories per pancake: 67
Fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 11 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: 200 milligrams
Fiber: 1 gram



 


Blueberry Hotcakes

 (Makes about ten 3-inch pancakes)

Blueberries, tropical fruit juice, and bananas are combined in these easy hot cakes. If you add fruit sweetener you won't need any extra fruit topping!

1/2 cup each rice and millet flour (or use 1 cup of either one)
1 1/2 Tablespoons tapioca flour or arrowroot
1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
1 cup pineapple-coconut juice (or use apple juice)
1 Tablespoon fruit sweetener (optional)
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Sift or stir together dry ingredients, mixing well. In a blender or with a hand blender combine mashed banana, pineapple-coconut juice, and fruit sweetener, if desired. Mix wet and dry ingredients. Gently stir in blueberries. Spoon onto preheated griddle. When bubbles appear and break, turn pancakes and cook reverse side for a few minutes.

Total calories per pancake: 98
Fat: <1 gram
Carbohydrates: 23 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Sodium: 195 milligrams
Fiber: 1 gram



 


Carob-Barley Pancakes

 (Makes about ten 3-inch pancakes)


 


Barley flour makes excellent, sweet, light pancakes. If you want to make chocolate pancakes, substitute 1 tablespoon cocoa for the carob, increase the date sugar to 2 tablespoons and use vanilla soy or rice milk instead of carob.

For a dessert pancake you can sprinkle on nondairy chocolate chips before cooking the second side and omit the cooked barley or rice.

1 1/4 cups barley flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons date sugar or Sucanat
1 Tablespoon carob powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer
2 Tablespoons water
1 cup carob soy or rice milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup cooked barley or rice

Combine dry ingredients. Blend well. Whip together Ener-G Egg Replacer and water until foamy. Beat in carob soy or rice milk and vanilla. Mix wet and dry ingredients. If mixture is too thick, add a bit more milk. Stir in barley or rice. Spoon onto a preheated griddle. Cook on medium heat. When bubbles appear and break, turn and cook reverse side for a few minutes. Serve hot.

Total calories per pancake: 90
Fat: 1 gram
Carbohydrates: 18 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: 170 milligrams
Fiber: 3 grams
 



 
 

Zuccini Griddlecakes

 (Makes about 14 3-inch griddlecakes)


 


A blend of three flours, pineapple juice and zucchini gives these pancakes a light sweet flavor. You can substitute 1/2 cup grated carrot for zucchini (you can use more carrots because they contain less water) and 1 tablespoon fruit sweetener for rice syrup.

2/3 cup kamut flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup oat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/2 Tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer
2 Tablespoons water
2/3 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup soy or rice milk
2 Tablespoons rice syrup (available at natural foods stores)
 

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. Stir in zucchini, coating all grated zucchini with flour. In another bowl beat Ener-G Egg Replacer with water until foamy. Beat in pineapple juice, soy or rice milk, and rice syrup until well blended.

Mix wet and dry ingredients until a batter forms. Do not overmix. Spoon onto preheated griddle. Cook for a few minutes, until bubbles form and pop, then cook reverse side for a few minutes. If mixture thickens as it sits, add more liquid to maintain consistency.

Total calories per pancake: 57
Fat: 1 gram
Carbohydrates: 12 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: 140 milligrams
Fiber: 1 gram



 


Apricot-Almond Topping

 (Makes about four 1/4-cup servings)


 


Apricots are soaked and blended with almond butter for a creamy consistency.

10 dried unsulfured apricots
 Apricot nectar poured over apricots to make 1cup
 1 Tablespoon almond butter

Soak apricots overnight in apricot nectar (or apple juice). Blend with almond butter in a blender until creamy.

Total calories per serving: 67
Fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 12 grams
Protein: 1 gram
 Sodium: 3 milligrams
Fiber: 1 gram



 


Summer Berry Topping

 (Makes about three 1/4-cup servings)


 




You can also try blending peaches, apricots, or nectarines with a bit of lemon juice to retain the color.

1 1/2 cups fresh summer berries (use strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries,or boysenberries)
 

Whip in a blender until smooth.

Total calories per serving: 22
Fat: <1 gram
Carbohydrates: 5 grams
Protein: <1 gram
Sodium: 1 milligram
Fiber: 1 gram



 
 

Creamy Peach or Nectarine Topping

 (Makes about four 1/4-cup servings)


 


The tofu makes a wonderful creamy base.

1 1/2 cups peeled, sliced peaches or nectarines
1/4 cup silken tofu
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 to 2 Tablespoons fruit sweetener

Whip in a blender until smooth.
 
 

Total calories per serving: 48
Fat: 1 gram
Carbohydrates: 11 grams
Protein: 1 gram
Sodium: 1 milligram
Fiber: 1 gram
 
 

Debra Daniels-Zeller is a freelance writer from Washington State.


Excerpts from the July/Aug Issue


The Vegetarian Journal published here is not the complete issue, but these are excerpts from the published magazine. Anyone wanting to see everything should subscribe to the magazine.

This article was converted to HTML by Jeanie Freeman



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