I have always loved pancakes. I remember having them as a treat when I was a kid. In fact, if my mom was ever out or sick and my dad had to watch us, chocolate chip pancakes were his specialty. (I secretly think that’s all he used to know how to make back then. Or maybe he fell under the pressure of 4 little girls begging for breakfast for dinner. Our favorite.)
Now, I know that they are not that healthy for you, but for a once and awhile thing, I’m okay with that. Lately, though, thanks to Full of Beans, pancakes seem to be a weekly item on our breakfast menu.
My partner found this website and I must say that EVERY recipe we have tried from it has been delightful. Stay tuned in another blog post for the amazing lasagna that we bring to all our non-vegan holiday events. It is to die for! But, I digress. Pancakes. I have made pancakes throughout the past 7.5 years of being vegan. I have tried many recipes. And I have like a few of them, but we always seem to taste too much baking powder or too much baking soda (like the time I put the wrong one in–lol!)
Then I saw this recipe for pumpkin pancakes. Well…it’s not chocolate chip, but they still sounded good, so I tried it…a couple of times! It is a hit! And…not terrible for you. They are gluten-free and oil-free (except what I put on the pan so they wouldn’t stick)! And the sweetener is maple syrup, so a healthier alternative to some sugars. I was happy with all of that. And they are SUPER EASY to make! I only dirty a few dishes, which makes cleanup fast and easy too.
I try to always start out with my mise en place (translation: get all your stuff out before you start so you don’t get halfway through without being able to finish!)
First step, measure out 1 cup of soy milk (or milk of your choice–recipe calls for almond milk). We like the Trader Joe’s Organic Soy Milk in the aseptic container, because it’s inexpensive and it only has two ingredients: organic soybeans and water. No other stuff!
To the measuring cup, add 1 T apple cider vinegar (white vinegar would work, but apple cider tastes better). Set that aside to clabber (fancy word for curdling or clumping); it’s what gives lift to the pancakes.
This next part is so amazingly easy that I don’t know why I never tried it myself before now! You put the rolled oats (not instant) in your high speed blender and blend (start on low and gradually turn up to high) until they become a flour. Next add the baking powder, the baking soda, salt and spices and blend for 20-30 seconds to mix them in. Add the pumpkin, clabbered milk, maple syrup, vanilla to the blender and blend until mixed.
I have found that I get the best results if I preheat my pan. Isa Chandra Moskowitz says 10 minutes. That feels too long for my pan (pan directions said, “Do not heat empty”) so I usually heat it on medium heat while I am mixing the wet into the dry. Then I spritz with oil or use a paper towel with a little oil just enough so they won’t stick.
I only have a saute pan since we are downsizing—I gave away my frying pan and griddle. Big mistake! Who knew I would be going into the pancake making business! Lol! The saute pan works, though. I cooked them 2 minutes on each side, but you can judge this on your stove: edges become dry and you see the little bubbles in the middle (not as much as you do with a thinner batter.)
These pancakes come out puffy and chewy and yummy! We love them! (NOTE: about halfway through the cooking process, I usually have to add some water to the batter and blend (start on low and gradually turn up to high) again, because the oats are super absorbent. Add just enough water to make the batter pour easily without getting too runny.
Next I decided to try different variations. First I bought thick oats. (They’re healthier, right? You see where I was going with this, right? Next, steel cut!) They made the batter SO thick. The rolled oats definitely work better.
I decided I could do apple pancakes also. I tried subbing a 1/2 cup applesauce for the pumpkin (because we buy the individual applesauces to save from spoilage). I changed the spices to apple pie type spices and added walnuts. They came out good, but the apple flavor was too faint. Next time I will put 2 of the little containers (1 cup total) but if you buy your applesauce in a big jar, you could probably use the 3/4 cup from the original recipe. I’ll let you know when I try this again.
I have yet to try the banana variation, but it will be with 2 very ripe bananas and you know it…I’m going to add chocolate chips!