Today I wanted to share an experience I’ve had with a very simple recipe I just started making about a year ago. This is when I first started experimenting more with a gluten free lifestyle (confession: Stephanie has been an old pro at the whole gluten-free thing for much longer than I have). I originally found this while surfing for a suitable, nutrient rich, gluten-free pancake recipe that didn’t rely on a basic, gluten free package mix. Suddenly, I was on a Food and Wine site and staring at what seemed like the simplest, most basic recipe I could imagine. But wait . . . chickpea flour as a pancake base? I was not mistaken – there were only 5 ingredients and chick pea flour was the only flour in the recipe. I of course had been eating chick peas for decades in soups, stews, and hummus. It’s always been one of my favorite legumes. So when presented with a recipe to use chick pea flour to create a pancake, I was intrigued.
A bit o’ history:
Doing some research jogged my memory. Of course! It’s chickpea flour that is actually used all over the world to make thin flatbread crepes, pancakes, or crackers. They are called Pappadum (India), Farinata (Italy) or Socca (France). It has a slightly bitter flavor if you taste it plain (or just mixed with water), but this is easily masked once you doctor it up with spices, fruits, veggies, etc. Like chickpeas, the flour is packed with nutrition: just a ¼ cup serving has 6 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and delivers on B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, iron, and copper.
SO back to the story:
Once I got the basic recipe down, I was off and running. This could be made sweet (with added cinnamon, vanilla, shredded apples, and diced walnuts, for instance) or savory (cumin, curry, garlic, shredded veggies). The possibilities were endless. The great thing about this recipe is it’s hard to mess up, offers so many variations, and can serve as any meal or snack, be it breakfast (my favorite), lunch, dinner, or even a snack. Every time I make it, I try something a little different. One of my go-to tweaks is to add cinnamon, ground flax seeds and vanilla to the batter, cook it in ghee, and then top with a big smear of almond butter and a little bit of pure raspberry jam (my version of peanut butter and jelly). Other times, I may substitute some of the water with a little almond or coconut milk which lends a slightly different flavor and result. Always delicious. Always satisfying (holds me all morning).
Here is what the batter will look like . . . this one has some walnuts thrown in:
Finished veggie pancake below:
Cinnamon, vanilla on the inside with almond butter and more cinnamon on the top:
Basic Pancake Recipe (makes 1)
- 1/3 cup chickpea flour (we love Bob’s Red Mill which can be found in most supermarkets)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (to add to batter; I only use oil here if making savory dish)
pinch of salt
- 1 tsp ghee or coconut oil for “frying”
- *adding a tsp of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to batter can make pancake a little fluffier, but I often leave this out with fine results.
Added ingredients: depending on which type of pancake you want to make, add ¼ to 1/3 cup of any of the following to the batter BEFORE cooking in the pan.
- Shredded apples, cinnamon, vanilla, 1 Tbs finely diced walnuts
- ½ mashed small banana or other soft mashed fruit
- Finely shredded zucchini, carrot and onion, curry powder or cumin
- Diced nitrate-free lox and onion
- Shredded spinach and mushrooms, onion and garlic powder
Mix all ingredients together except the tsp of oil for cooking the pancake in the pan. Melt cooking oil in pan and pour in batter. Cook pancake for 3-4 minutes each side, or until done.
Unlike regular “weigh-you-down” carb-heavy pancakes doused in maple syrup, these are filling but light at the same time. They have just the right amount of protein and healthy fat to keep you feeling satisfied all morning, yet not sleepy at lunch. A winning recipe in our book!