Thursday, May 2, 2013

The BEST Pancakes Ever... And They're Vegan!

Every weekday morning is like Saturday morning when you're self-employed and work from home like me. That's the pro! The con? Leisurely weekend mornings are replaced by the 4:50am alarm and a bustling day at the market. Well, maybe that's a big pro, too, minus the early wake-up call ;) I LOVE my weekends at the market selling my art, socializing with friends, and meeting new people! But to make sure I don't miss out on those lovely weekend pluses (like an indulgent breakfast), occasionally I treat myself to the best pancakes ever. I found this recipe in the Fresh cookbook by the restaurant's co-owners in Toronto. Amazingly, there are no eggs or dairy in this recipe and I guarantee you won't know the difference, plus they're healthy for you! In fact, you'll probably impress the entire family. The original recipe is even gluten-free, but I've amended it a bit to suit my tastes...

“Some people like to paint pictures, or do gardening, or build a boat in the basement. Other people get a tremendous pleasure out of the kitchen, because cooking is just as creative and imaginative an activity as drawing, or wood carving, or music.” ~ Julia Child

I've substituted the gluten-free flour for whole wheat flour, the vanilla-flavoured rice milk for coconut milk (the unsweetened beverage, not the can- it's too thick), added pure vanilla extract, and used coconut oil instead of canola. The agave nectar and the ground flax replace the egg so they are super important and can't be substituted. I usually just use maple syrup and don't make the pineapple syrup but it really is yummy if you take the extra time. Here are all the ingredients I use...

Patience is the key to perfect pancakes. Make sure you have the heat on medium and the oil is hot before pouring the batter. Then wait for the edges to brown and the batter to rise and holes to form before flipping them. This way you have a perfectly cooked pancake on the inside and a crispy texture on the outside.

Time to flip them over...

Pineapple Flax Pancakes

4 cups flour (gluten-free: Bob's Red Mill GF All Purpose Flour, or Organic Whole Wheat Flour)
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
2-1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups non-dairy milk (I always use unsweetened Coconut Dream milk, but you could also use original soy, rice, or almond milk)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup agave nectar (can be found everywhere, even at Winners!)
1 cup fresh fruit (original recipe calls for finely sliced pineapple, but I also love to use fresh blueberries, strawberries, or peaches)

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together. I like to divvy up a 1/3 cup to use right away, and set aside the rest in a sealed container for when I want pancakes but don't have much time to make them from scratch.

2. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Stir until blended, and add more milk if necessary until it is still thick but can be poured in an even, unbroken column.

3. Heat the oil in a pan, pour in the batter. When the edges are brown and the batter rises and tiny holes start to appear, flip them and let them cook for another minute or so.

4. Serve right away while still hot with fresh fruit and maple syrup. Enjoy!

Now that our bellies are full, it's time to start creating!

xo ~ DS

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