Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Buckwheat Spice Pancakes

A few facts before the food:

Buckwheat, despite its name, is not a cereal or grass. Technically a fruit seed, it's related to sorrels and rhubarb, and contains no wheat or gluten. Since the triangular seeds of buckwheat behave very much like a grain, it's called a pseudocereal.

Rich in amino acids, protein, minerals, and other good stuff - including cholesterol-fighting rutin - buckwheat is a boon to the gluten-intolerant (among whom are numbered several of my family members). The whole or cracked seeds make delicious hot cereal, and buckwheat flour is a classic for American-style pancakes, giving them a rich and slightly earthy taste.

Those of you who grew up reading the "Little House" books of Laura Ingalls Wilder may remember this tantalizing quote from The Long Winter:

"The pancakes were no ordinary buckwheat pancakes. Almanzo
followed his mother's pancake rule and the cakes were
light as foam, soaked in brown sugar...."

I always wondered what that "pancake rule" was, and I think I may have found out. While scoping out buckwheat pancake recipes a few years ago, I found one on the Wrightfood blog which uses whipped egg white to lighten the batter and give lift to the cakes. Bingo! Tall, fluffy (and, incidentally, gluten-free) pancakes that soak up syrup like a sponge. Pass the butter, please.

Buckwheat Spice Pancakes - makes about 8
(adapted from Wrightfood's Gluten Free Buckwheat Pancake Recipe)

Combine in bowl:

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1-2 tablespoons ground flax seed (optional, but great for the protein levels and the dietary conscience)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Several dashes nutmeg or other spices of your choice (ginger and allspice work well too)
Separate 1 egg. Put the white in a small bowl, and beat until it doesn't fall out when you turn the bowl upside down.
Combine the egg yolk with:
1 cup coconut milk (regular milk may be used but I recommend coconut milk for flavour, body, and because I'm lactose-intolerant)
2 tablespoons olive oil (or melted butter or applesauce)
Add milk mixture to dry mixture and beat well. Batter will be fairly thick and sticky. Gently fold in egg whites until mostly combined (a few white spots are okay).

Cook by dollops on a hot oiled or buttered griddle. I like to use a large spring-loaded scoop to transfer the batter to the pan - and because the batter is so thick, I usually spread it out a bit with the back of the scoop.

When holes form on top of the pancakes, flip and cook for a minute or so more.

Enjoy with the topping of your choice - Mr. M likes to put jam on his.

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  1. Yum! Thanks for sharing this Sue, I've bookmarked it and will be back to give these a try :D

  2. Yum, now they look right up my street, we will definitely be trying them, I love cinnamon especially when it's in meat dishes.....

  3. Yipes!! If I had buckwheat in my pantry I know what we would be having for dinner!!! :)

    Great information about buckwheat!! My niece recently discovered she's gluten-intolerant and I will be passing this recipe along to her!! Thank you so much!!!

  4. I've just learnt something: I thought buckwheat (Buchweizen) was beechnut (Buche) because of the name. :-)

    Your pancakes look delicious! Bon appetit!

  5. Oh my, I must add this healthy food to our healthy food repertoire. How have I missed it before? A nutritious treat for my "Little Rascals" right along with Alfalfa. :-)

    Much gratitude for the recipe.

  6. That would be a great idea for any pancake, they look delicious. I sometime think I'm putting on weight just reading blogs!

  7. Oh, my. The Goatfather is cheering (since he LOVES buckwheat pancakes) and the Goatmother is running for her WW food companion to figure out how many points for buckwheat! :)

  8. I love buckwheat pancakes. These look delicious!

  9. Yummy! I like unsweetened applesauce on mine. I like to throw in a couple of spoons of crushed almonds, pecans and walnuts and then a handful of oatmeal, too, but I have to make The Lizard's first, because he doesn't like froo-froo. :)

  10. We had haggis followed by pancakes last night (a much belated Burn's Night & Shrove Tuesday all rolled into one) There was much debate as to what sort of pancakes to go for- American style or French. I'm really impressed by the sheer fluffiness of your pancakes (& remember the Laura quote too- how I loved those books!) Next time I make pancakes I'll be whipping up those egg whites...

  11. These are delicious, thank you! The only thing I did different was add grass fed gelatin instead of the flax, since that's what I had. They were still fantastic, thanks!!


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