Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pancakes? I can eat pancakes?

Considering it's a beautiful Sunday morning, this post seemed very appropriate.

One of the things we'd started doing with our kids in the last two years or so was a treat we called "breakfast for dinner."  I'd throw a one-pound package of thick-sliced bacon in the oven until it was nice and crispy (and bacon, in my hierarchy of salty meats, was second only to sausage).  I'd pull out the big griddle and whip up a batch of pancakes from some "just add water" mix from Sam's Club (very little nutritional value, I assure you).  Slather those bad boys with some soft butter, pour out the Aunt Jemima, maybe just a dash of cinnamon and another gorge fest would ensue.  Tasted so good going down, but, man oh man, that was a meal that could make me feel "thick in the gut" afterwards, not to mention unquenchable thirsty from all that salty bacon.

A few weeks ago, our kids were eating breakfast at the counter before school, and one of them wanted waffle.  We have those awful Eggo or Food Lion brand waffles in the freezer - they're so easy for before-school breakfast that they're hard to say "no" to at the supermarket, especially when they're "buy one get one free."  Over the past few months, though, as I've been changing my eating habits, I've become more and more uncomfortable giving these to my kids considering how entirely worthless they are nutritionally for them.  Deterimental even.  So that morning, I said out loud "Their must be some recipes online for some sort of vegan waffles that are good for you.  Maybe we could make some of those and freeze them."  I searched the term "fat-free vegan waffles" and up popped this recipe.  Not having a waffle maker, I figured we could make pancakes with the recipe to at least see if they were any good.  It was worth a shot.  We set a family date for the following Sunday morning to try them out.

That Sunday arrived, I stationed myself in the kitchen and began work.  After getting the first batch off the griddle, but before calling everyone up for breakfast, I just had to try one to see if I had wasted my time.  Mind you, at this point I hadn't eaten anything doughy or breadlike in about eight weeks or so excluding some Whole Wheat Matzo around Easter.   And if you've had matzo, you'll know that neither "doughy" nor "breadlike" are words one would ever use to describe it.   I'd been pretty consciously avoiding bread products since coming off that juice fast, sticking to the fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds.  So, when I took my first bit of these doughy, breadlike pancakes the sensation was ecstasy. I yelled downstairs to my wife "Jennifer!!!" "Yes?" "These pancakes are totally amazing!!!" "Ummm, ok - can't wait to try them."

This time around, instead of the softened butter, bacon and Aunt Jemima, I prepared a few bowls of healthy toppings for these pancakes.  I cut up strawberries, apples and bananas (I had cantaloupe, but didn't think that would go so well) and had some chopped walnuts and pecans.  We had some real maple syrup on which I had stocked up a week or so earlier, having been on some crazy 60% off sale at Kroger. 

Well, without a doubt, this was the best "breakfasts for dinner" we've ever had our house.  The kids love them, my wife loves them, I loved them.  I didn't feel gross afterwards.  I didn't feel like all "thick in gut" or so thirsty from all that salty meat.  They were totally amazing.  They're now a staple weekend brekfast item, and so, here they are:

Sausage Boy's Fat-Free Vegan Pancakes (or Waffles)


  • 1 1/4 cup flour (I used White Whole Wheat flour)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp potato starch (or corn starch)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 almond milk (could use soy or any other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar (I used honey, which technically means mine are not vegan. but hey...)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • NOTE - I double this recipe when I use it, yielding about 26 pancakes)
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and combine the wet ingredients in a smallr bowl.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until the flour is moistened.
  2. I have found that the better is a bit wet, so I either add a few more tablespoons full of lour or some milled flax seed and wheat germ to thicken it a bit.
  3. If you're using an electric griddle, set the temp to about 375 (I love my Presto Big Griddle - I can fit TWELVE pancakes on it at a time!).
  4. If you're not philosophically oppossed to it, you can spray some oilve oil or canola oil cooking spray on the griddle before you cook them, this crisps them a little.
  5. Cook pancakes on both sides until golden brown.  I use my 1/4 cup measuring cup as a scoop, it makes a good sized pancake.   
My mother-in-law is visiting us this weeknd, and I made these for dinner last night, and she, too, is a believer - and she knows pancakes.  As a matter of fact, I may go upstairs right now and eat the leftovers for lunch!

We haven't bought a waffle iron yet, but we now usually have at least 5 or 6 panckakes left over from this recipe that the kids can still have them for breakfast at least one day a week.  I'll report back when we try it with waffles.

Happy Pancake Sunday to Everyone!

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