Saturday, 11 April 2015

Strawberry Buckwheat Hotcakes

I've mentioned that the babe is quite impatient for breakfast since she started sleeping through, so on the weekends, I like to sneak downstairs and get started on something nice while she plays with her Dad, gets changed, etc. It's a quiet moment for me, and when they do amble downstairs, there's a lovely hot breakfast for all of us. This is a weekend breakfast.

Of all the whole-grain flours I like to use, I guess I've had the most trouble with buckwheat. It's naturally gluten-free, wonderfully tender, sometimes unforgiving, and gives a strange viscosity to the batter. I've had trouble in the past with rise, and I've had trouble with texture. Non-vegan baked goods with buckwheat seem to rely on a lot of egg for binding and structure, but here mashed banana does the job beautifully. This was modified, veganized, and Americanized from Leon Family & Friends. I like my scales, but there is something nice and easy about using cup measurements first thing in the morning. I've retained the term 'hotcake' because they are still a bit smaller and thicker than normal pancakes. Also, it's cute. They are totally sugar-free, so great for weaning babies, and can very easily be made gluten-free if that's your thing. Onward and upward? You'll need:
1 cup non-dairy milk (I used soy today, but almond, hemp and oat are my other favourites)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp ground flax meal
1 medium-sized, ripe banana, mashed (a fork does the job just fine.)
3/4 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder (if you use a gluten-free baking powder, these guys are gluten-free. I don't though.)
1 cup chopped strawberries
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt
More oil for frying
Get your pan pre-heating (always first on my list with this sort of thing); I like to use a medium burner on low or medium-low, and my cast-iron skillet. In a mixing bowl, combine your milk, vinegar and flax meal. Let them work their magic together while you mash your banana, chop your strawberries, make a cup of coffee, etc.
Add the banana, flour (I don't find it needs sifting), baking powder, vegetable oil and salt. Again, a plain old fork does a fine job of mixing them together. Lastly mix in the strawberry. I like medium-ish chunks, as you can see below.

Let the batter rest a minute. It will thicken slightly. When your pan is well pre-heated, coat with oil and get frying! I can do two at a time, and I strongly recommend keeping these small. They take about a minute a side, maybe slightly longer. Look for the ordinary pancake signs of readiness - bubbles, dry sides, golden brown colour, and lifting (fairly) easily from the pan.

I don't actually take any precautions to keep them warm, because I like to have a few cooler ones for those eager baby fingers.

Serve with more strawberries, and some maple syrup if you like, although I think they are actually plenty sweet on their own. Certainly for babies. Slightly obvious tip: pick out the ugly strawberries to chop into the batter, and keep the pretty ones for serving. I also think some veggies sausages would be great on the side.

- I suppose you could use ordinary flour, but I'd really recommend giving buckwheat a try! These could get tough with whole-wheat or spelt.
 - The original recipe calls for blueberries instead of strawberries - really any berry would be right at home. In fact, any seasonal fruit should work pretty well, just keep the banana in any event because it's not just there for flavour. I think pear and a bit of cinnamon would be a particularly righteous sub on an autumn morning.
 - Banana is an excellent egg replacer in it's own right, so I dare say that you can get away without the flax here. I still like to add it for nutritional value, but if you don't keep flax meal onhand, it *might* be ok without it.
As you can see, massive hit:

That's all from me, have a good weekend! If you like what we do here, don't forget to vote for us by clicking the link below. Thanks in advance!

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