Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day…and pancakes are one of my favorite breakfast foods. I make them just about every Sunday! While they take a long time to make, I empty the dishwasher, take care of laundry and do other straightening up in three-minute bursts while each batch cooks. I also like to put on an audiobook (I just finished Orange Is the New Black and am now listening to David Sedaris’s newest book, When You Are Engulfed in Flames) or a podcast (Fresh Air and Selected Shorts are my favorites). With such yummy smells engulfing the house, a good story to entertain me and, finally, the first crispy pancakes off the griddle, it’s kind of a “whistle-while-you-work” time for me.
Now, even before I went gluten-free, I always used a variety of flours in my pancakes. In fact, I still use many of them, and only had to abandon spelt and rye (I never even bothered with regular wheat flours, neither whole-wheat nor white). I’ve experimented with various flour combos, and what I have here is my favorite. I don’t like using store-bought gluten-free flour blends because they generally are mostly rice flour and potato starch. We eat plenty of rice (brown rice, rice pasta) and potatoes (with the peels!), so I prefer to use other flours that add variety to our diet. Besides, I really don’t enjoy the texture of rice flour (kind of sandy) or potato starch (which sits like lead in my stomach).
I adapted this recipe from the pancake recipe in The Joy of Cooking, subbing in my flours and nondairy milk, adding some other ingredients and taking out the added sugar. These pancakes don’t even need maple syrup!
Note: When I have a banana that is too ripe to eat but perfect for baking, I literally just throw it into the freezer – right in the peel – to save for when I’m ready to bake. When I plan ahead, I’ll put it into a bowl in the refrigerator overnight, and it is defrosted and ready to use in the morning. Otherwise, I’ll defrost in the microwave – it takes less than a minute. Just be warned that a defrosted banana gets pretty gloppy. And do be sure to remove the banana “strings” as you peel. I mash it in the same bowl that I used for defrosting.
- ½ cup corn flour (note: flour, not meal)
- ½ cup oat flour
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups milk (I use unsweetened, nondairy milk – such as coconut, almond or hazelnut)
- 1 well-ripened banana, mashed
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 large eggs or equivalent amount of egg replacer (Note: I use egg replacer. I have done this with ground chia seeds—which I keep in the freezer, and grind fresh as I need them—1 Tablespoon seeds and 3 Tablespoons water per egg—as well as with Ener-G egg replacer, which is mostly made of potato starch and tapioca starch (1½ teaspoons egg replacer and 2 Tablespoons water per egg). The chia seeds add more nutrition—as do flax seeds, which are another option—but I prefer the texture with the powder.)
- 2 handfuls dark chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate bar (Note: Because I don’t use cane sugar, I use chips sweetened with coconut sugar that I buy direct from Davis Chocolate or I chop up a Lily’s Extra Dark bar, which is sweetened with Stevia.)
- 2 handfuls chopped walnuts
- Coconut oil for cooking
In a mixing bowl, combine all three flours, baking powder and salt.
In a 2-cup measuring cup, measure out milk. Then add eggs or egg replacer, oil and vanilla. Beat gently to combine.
Pour liquids and mashed banana into the center of the flour mixture, and whisk until just blended. Once combined, mix in chocolate chips and walnuts to distribute. If you are using chia (or flax) seeds, let batter sit 10 minutes so the seeds can gel.
Warm up your griddle to medium or medium-low heat, depending on how your griddle cooks. I use a cast-iron griddle, and use coconut oil to grease the surface, scraping it onto the back of a spoon and quickly swirling on the griddle in the four spots where I’ll be putting the batter. Just keep the jar of coconut oil away from the griddle so that it doesn’t soften, which makes it harder to grease the griddle in this manner.
Pour batter with a soup spoon onto the griddle. (I prefer smaller-sized pancakes because I like them a bit crispy rather than cakey. I also think egg-free pancakes hold together better when they’re smaller.) Cook about 3 minutes, until the top is all bubbly, flip and cook another three minutes.
To store, let cool completely. Then put into a plastic bag or a container, separating each layer of pancake with wax paper so that they don’t stick together. Reheat in the toaster oven. They make a super-easy and delicious breakfast-to-go!