Lately I’ve been including a lot more grain-free recipes into my repertoire and these easy, vegan grain-free pancakes are just the pst easy way to do so! I’m a grain-lover from way back but, since committing to consuming grains that have been prepared properly, I am eating far less of them these days.
Of course, I still want easy recipes that i can whip up in no time, and ones that both myself and my girls will LOVE- and that is where buckwheat has played a starring role in my life. Buckwheat is not related to wheat in anyway- in fact, buckwheat is a seed more closely related to rhubarb than any grain (and traditionally consumed in northern Asia- from Russia through to China), and provides an easy, affordable and accessible way to do grain-free recipes. Now, buckwheat is my flour of choice and although its not appropriate for all recipes (for example, you cannot simply exchange baking four for buckwheat flour in a cake recipe- it would be a disaster) it works so wonderfully in this recipe, delivering a fluffy, moist and delicious pancake.
If you have a really good quality blender you can easily create your own buckwheat flour (the result will not be as fine as store bought, but it will work) at home, which is always a preferable option to store-bought flours (as they become rancid sitting on the shelf)- just store any freshly ground flours in the fridge or freezer.
Beyond grinding your own raw buckwheat flour, you can really take the nutritional value of buckwheat up a notch by first activating it- and then making flour. To do this, you soak the grout (buckwheat in its raw, whole form is referred to as a grout) in filtered water for 2-4 hours. After this time, the buckwheat will have released a thick mucilage (a jelly-like substance) that you will need to rinse off, really well. This step activated certain minerals in the seed, literally making your food more nutritious. From here, you dry the buckwheat in a dehydrator (46 degrees, for 8-10 hours) or in the oven (lowest setting, until completely dry), and create a flour in a high-speed blender, food-processor or flour mill.
Yes, the above step sounds like a tedious and timely technique, and true- it can be. I tend to buy all my nuts, seeds, and grains in bulk, and activate them all together (note- you will need to know how long to soak each one for- the above info is only relevant for buckwheat). It takes about 36 hours to complete, but it gives me a months worth of food that is now nutritiously superior, better tasting, denser in minerals, lower in ‘anti-nutrients’. By activating your nuts/seeds/grains, you are transforming an essentially dormant food not made for consumption into one that is living, and much more health-promoting.
And after a while, like me, you’ll grow to love this process. Seriously, you will!
Next up, I plan to sprout my own buckwheat at home, and blend the sprouted seed into a pancake batter to really super-charge this recipe- and completely omit the phytic acid content! I look forward to sharing the results with you.
For now, I hope you enjoy these fail-proof grain-free pancakes as much as we do!
1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
2 tsp aluminium-free baking powder (gluten free, if needed)
1 1/4 cups almond milk
1 1/2 ripe bananas, peeled
1 tsp vanilla extract
Coconut oil, for cooking
To serve- peanut butter, fresh banana, dark chocolate (optional)
- Add banana, milk and vanilla to a mini bender and blitz until smooth (alternatively use a cup and stick blender).
- Sift buckwheat flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Mix together, then add the milk mixture and whisk until smooth, then leave the batter to sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 50 degrees C, and heat an cast iron/non-stick skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, then add 1/2 tsp oil and heat. Cook batter in 1/4 cup measurements (you should fit 3 in the pan), waiting until lots of bubbles form before flipping. Cook a further 1-2 minutes on the second side, then place cooked pancakes on a tray in the oven. Repeat until all the batter is cooked, then serve with sliced banana, peanut butter and shaved chocolate.
Buckwheat flour could be substituted for your preferred gluten-free flour, plain flour or spelt. You may need to adjust the liquid component, however.
Almond milk can be substituted for your preferred plant milk- coconut, oat or soy would be preferable.
Coconut oil can be substituted for your preferred oil/fat, however I enjoy the taste of coconut oil for this particular recipe.