Thursday, January 20, 2011

buckwheat & banana pancakes

buckwheat banana pancakes
buckwheat banana pancakes
buckwheat banana pancakes
buckwheat banana pancakes
buckwheat banana pancakes

I can't think of a breakfast more fitting of 25 degree weather (and a tiny bit of snow on the ground), than pancakes. Nothing says warm and cozy quite like they do. And behind these 1920's ( & not insulated) walls, we could definitely use some 'warm and cozy' today. Oh, yes.

Now, let's talk about buckwheat for a minute. It may be foreign to most of you, and while you've probably heard of buckwheat pancakes, I assume many of you have never eaten them. Or eaten anything made with buckwheat, for that matter. So, before you are intimidated by the foreign factor, let me just tell you that you're going to love these. And you won't end up buying a bag of buckwheat flour, only to waste the rest of it. You'll want to make them for breakfast the next morning. Even Toby, who was admittedly repulsed by the thought of them, ended up loving them.

First, buckwheat is not a grain. Although it is eaten like one, it's actually a fruit seed - related to rhubarb. It's native to Northern Europe and Asia, and most widely produced in Russia and Poland.

So, why eat it? Well, not only does it contain all 8 essential amino acids (including lysine), a good source of manganese, magnesium and tryptophan, it's also rich in plant lignans and flavanoids (quercitin & rutin). Good stuff. Oh, and it's gluten-free. (So, if you're gluten sensitive, just use brown rice flour in place of the 1/2 cup of spelt)

Now, about these pancakes. Honestly, I've never been happy with a vegan pancake, until these. And I've made a ridiculous amount of them. Something was always a little off, not quite right. Not nearly light or moist enough. Then, along came these bad boys.

See, I've had this bag of buckwheat flour lying around for a while (I intended to make a cranberry buckwheat crumble around the holidays --never happened), and out of necessity, I substituted it for half of the spelt flour in my pancake recipe a few weeks ago. The result was so tasty, I ended up making them the next morning, just to fiddle with the recipe.

I tried adding blueberries...then, sliced bananas. In the past, I've always made banana pancakes with mashed banana, but I added slices instead. I'll never, ever mash them again. I loved biting into the tender, sweet pieces of banana amidst the pancake. Andreas did, too.

And don't limit them to solely to breakfast. If you're craving something sweet, they'll satisfy you. Only without refined flour, sugar, and with 3 tablespoons of oil. Pretty delicious deal, if you ask me!

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon buckwheat flour
1/2 cup spelt flour*
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 & 1/4 cups unsweetened soy milk
1 & 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar or lemon juice
1 & 1/2 tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
3 tablespoons grape seed oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 banana, sliced
more agave nectar, or maple syrup (for serving)

Begin by mixing the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt). Next, measure out the soy milk. Add the lemon juice or cider vinegar to the soy milk, and set aside for a couple minutes (it will curdle). After it curdles, stir in the agave, oil, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients, and whisk well, until the batter is smooth. Gently stir in the sliced banana (you can add a bit more, if you like). Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-low heat and let the batter sit for 5-10 minutes.

Add a little bit of oil into the skillet, and wipe with a tea towel or napkin. Pour about 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet, spreading it into a rough circle. Cook until bubbles form on the top, and the edges are cooked. Flip and cook for another minute or so. Repeat for the remaining batter.

Serve with warm agave or maple syrup, and more sliced bananas.

serves 3-4.

*you can substitute the spelt flour for brown rice flour (gluten-free option), or unbleached flour.

for babies 6 months and older: reserve a little banana, mash and serve.
10 months and older: try blending up banana with a little soy milk, vanilla and agave.
12 months and older: serve as is


Samantha said...

Can't wait to try these. They look amazing.

Beth said...

I can't believe you posted this today! I just made some vegan pancakes that were kinda eh - I can't wait to try these. Thanks!

jacqui said...

I love buckwheat pancakes! Perfect for chilly mornings too!

Stormy Norma said...

This might be a silly question... can the grapeseed oil be substituted for another type of oil? Is there a benefit to using it over something else?

Megan-Joy said...

That's a perfectly legitimate question, Norma! The grapeseed oil can be substituted with another oil, but the reason I suggest using it, is due to its high smoke point. Which means that it is conducive to high-heat cooking and won't release free radicals (long story) under a certain temperature (450, I believe). I'm now using it exclusively for baking and roasting --I love it. It can be a bit pricey, but I've been able to find a couple brands (Carapelli & Napa Naturals) that are more reasonable (about $6-7 per bottle) and I think it's totally worth it.

I hope that helps!

Gaby said...

These look wonderful! I'll have to pick up some buckwheat and give them a go. Do you ever use coconut oil instead of grapeseed? I've heard that it has an even higher smoke point.

sheena said...

your blog is beautiful!!

Thanks so much for stopping by to say hello:)

I use a 35mm f/'s not the BEST for food photos--it's a bit wide, but it's what I have...and it's a pretty fun lens:)

Hollie said...

I've been making a healthy version of pancakes lately too. I think we're eaten them 5 times in the last 2 weeks. So yummy. I love how adding a banana to them makes them so sweet.

Megan-Joy said...

Gaby - I occasionally use coconut oil, but don't recommend using it all the time, as it is still saturated fat. The smoke point is definitely a plus! Just use in moderation :)

Sheena - Thank you so, so much :)

Hollie - I know! I absolutely love the flavor of cooked banana - so sweet!

Guusje said...

I love the taste of buckwheat!

I will make these, Thank you


Kathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kathy said...

I made these and they didn't look quite like yours but they were delicious! Thanks for the recipe! Briefly blogged and linked here:

JordanP said...

Unfortunately, these didn't work AT ALL! Without gluten, vegan pancakes require some kind of binder to firm up the batter and hold it together. These might have worked better with some egg replacer powder or ground flax, but as it was, they were tasty but a complete mess.