[High-protein, vegan and gluten-free pancakes made with buckwheat groats and almond butter]
Now that we’re approaching the end of our semester at the college where I teach, seems everyone has studying and exams on the brain. So I figured this would be an ideal time to present you with a little DDD pop quiz:
Q. If we eliminate chocolate, what is Ricki’s favorite food to eat?
[I know: that's like saying, "If we eliminate air, what is your favorite thing to breathe?" But indulge me here.]
Think you know? I’ll give you a hint:
(Darn! Guess I’d never make it as a contestant on Secret Word.)
I adore pancakes. They are the perfect breakfast food, whether sweet or savory. (Of course, if you choose sweet, be sure to top them with some melty, oozy, drippy chocolate or butterscotch nut butter, perhaps some homemade fruit preserves, or, if you’re really fancy, coconut whipped cream and fresh fruit.). Pancakes are quick, easy, and–as their name suggests–cake-like! What could possibly be better?
But most people think of pancakes as “weekend food.” Like most of us, when I wake up on weekday mornings, I’m not exactly in the mood to cook something. I’m running around trying to get showered, dressed, packed for school, or out to the gym. My articulation skills aren’t yet at their full running speed, either.
(Typical morning conversation in the DDD household:
HH [Standing at the front door]: “Okay, I’m going to wake the pearls for a talk!”
Ricki [Barely out of bed. Yells down the stairs.]: Whaaaaat? Sorry, I couldn’t hear you!
HH [Yelling up from the front door]: “I’m going to TAKE the GIRLS for a WALK!”
Ricki: Okay! Grab a gun and I’ll see you when you get smacked!”
HH [Yelling]: Whaaaaaaaat?
Ricki [Yelling]: I said, ‘Okay! Have FUN and I’ll see you when you get BACK’!)
Then, while the HH proceeds to take The Girls for their AM perambulation, I stumble about the bedroom, bathroom, and down to the kitchen, thankful that I don’t have to speak aloud again for the next 20-25 minutes. By that time, I’ve either exercised, had some matcha tea, or showered, all three of which stimulate my synapses sufficiently that I can speak (relatively) articulately once more.
[Variation with quinoa and tahini]
No matter what my schedule (or garbled speech), I ensure that I eat breakast every day. (Not a hardship, considering that my appetite makes itself known pretty much whenever I’m awake–which includes those times when I get up in the middle of the night for a bathroom break). Given the frenetic morning schedule, however, weekeday breakfasts are, perforce, quick and easy. Sometimes I’ve got leftover porridge or quizza at the ready, so I just heat and eat. Other days, with nothing prepared in advance, I throw together a quick smoothie.
And then, there are the magical days when I concoct something like these pancakes: so quick and so simple that they barely merit the term, “cooking.”
On six mornings over the past two weeks, I’ve eaten a variation of these griddle cakes for breakfast. There’s something irresistibly appealing about them–even if I can’t quite articulate exactly what it is. Is it the fact that an entire, freshly cooked, hot breakfast can be ready in less than 15 minutes? That this produces exactly one major serving (so major, in fact, that you won’t be hungry again until late afternoon)? That the protein content here is a whopping 21.5 grams and the fiber is 10.2 grams (41% of your daily requirement)?? Or that the texture and taste are so unusual, so idiosyncratic, so. . . singular, that eating these makes you feel like a rebellious teenager again, boldly asserting your individuality?
Light in texture while still remaining moist inside, these hotcakes are not like your typical dry pancakes, either. I wouldn’t quite call them “cakelike,” but they’re not exactly as dense as savory patties, either. Their texture is closest to a well-browned griddle cake with a dense, moist, muffin-like interior; substantial without being too heavy. And I just adore them.
As for flavor, depending on which grain or nut butter you use, you’ll find yourself savoring a neutral or slightly nutty pancake with just a whisper of cinnamon. If you’d like to jazz up the spices, feel free to add cardamon and cloves for a chai-like vibe. I loved the combination with some melted Walco-Nut butter, but walnut-cacao nib butter was also splendid; I bet coconut, chopped nuts, or other add-ins would work well, too.
The other morning, after the HH returned from his walk with The Girls, I was already sitting at the table enjoying one of these treats when he walked in.
“Hey, I bet I still have time to eat one of those,” he said as he glanced toward my plate.
“What?” I yelled back. “Sorry, I couldn’t hear you.”
(Shhh–don’t tell the HH. That time, I had actually heard him just fine. It’s just that I didn’t want to share).
“Don’t worry, Mum, we won’t tell Dad. And we won’t tell him that you gave us each a little piece of pancake once he went upstairs to shower, either.”
And if you’re looking for another quick and easy, grain-free breakfast, here’s another favorite.
Quick and Easy, High-Protein Single Serve Breakfast Pancakes
Suitable for Anti-Candida Diet (ACD), all stages
What makes these pancakes great is how easily you can switch up the main grain or nut/seed butter. I’ve made them with buckwheat (my favorite), quino and amaranth; and used smooth almond butter, sunflower seed butter, and tahini (my favorite) in the wet ingredients. Just keep in mind that your protein content will change depending on which you use (quinoa is the highest protein “grain”).
1 Tbsp (15 ml) unflavored rice protein powder (I use Nutri-Biotic)
1 Tbsp (15 m) whole chia seeds
1 Tbsp (15 ml) ground flax seeds
1 tsp (5 ml) cinnamon
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) ground ginger (optional)
1/8 tsp (.5 ml) fine sea salt
1/4 tsp (1 ml) baking powder
1 Tbsp (15 ml) tahini (sesame seed butter), smooth natural almond butter or unsweetened sunflower butter
6 Tbsp (90 ml) unsweetened plain or vanilla coconut beverage, almond milk, soy milk or flax milk
1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
5-10 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste
Place the buckwheat groats, protein powder, chia seeds, flax seeds, cinnamon, ginger, salt and baking powder in a coffee grinder and grind until powdered.
In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, milk, vanilla and stevia. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and stir until combined (it will be thick and sticky).
Heat a nonstick frypan over medium heat and spray with nonstick spray. Divide the dough in two parts and spread out on the pan to create two pancakes that are about 1/4 inch (.5 cm) thick. You will have to press down with the spatula, as the mixture won’t spread on its own.
Cook about 5 minutes on one side, until the bottom is browned. Flip gently and continue to cook until the other side is also browned, another 4-5 minutes. Remove to a plate and EAT! With buckwheat groats and tahini, makes one serving of 287 calories, with 21.5 g protein and 10.2 grams fiber. May be frozen.
And be sure to check out Tess Masters’ KitchenAid giveaway series today–she’s sharing my recipe for healthy Chocolate “Buttercream” Frosting! (vegan, gluten free, sugar free, nut free, dairy free. . . and yes, delish!). If you haven’t entered yet, hop on over and enter now!
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Other pancakes and breakfast foods on DDD:
- Carrot Cake Smoothie (gluten free; ACD Stage 2 and beyond)
- Coconut Pancakes (gluten free; ACD Stage 2 and beyond)
- Banana-Berry Breakfast Cakes (not gluten free; ACD maintenance only)
- Sweet Breakfast Scramble (gluten free; ACD maintenance only)
© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs