I think that the questions I am most frequently asked at the cafe are related to sprouting and baking with sprouted grains. This is an easy foray into baking with sprouted grains. No special equipment is needed other than a blender and a skillet, and the ingredients are pretty standard. The recipe is very basic, a blank canvas, but you can spice it up as you would any pancake recipe. I blended in fresh ginger, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg, then topped them with cooked apples and blueberries with coconut butter melted in; see below for a few other ideas.
This does take some planning ahead. And, of course, you have to have the right ingredients in your pantry. What better time than the present to start building the habits of healthy cooking into your routine? By the time January 1st rolls around, maybe you will already have made good on a resolution to honor yourself and your loved ones by putting truly healthy food, made with love, near the top of your priority list, if it’s not up there already. If this is a change, it may take a little extra time and brain space, and I know that for some, both can be a over-taxed at this time of year. But, maybe this is a gift in itself. Maybe taking the time, even once a week, to cozy up in the kitchen and learn something new will bring more connection to what the universe really offers us at this time of year, quiet, reflection, peace, quality time spent with those we love.
In case you are interested, please sign up to receive email updates, or check back, as I plan to offer recipes and small cooking lessons regularly on this blog. To start, they will be basic recipes and lessons to get you started…hopefully clear enough for a beginner, but useful for everyone. Feel free to ask if you have questions and let me know if there are other lessons you’d like to learn in the vegan, organic, gluten free realm. If you’d like more recipes in the meantime, I have another blog where I posted recipes almost weekly for several years; click here to get there…
Sprouted Buckwheat Pancakes
- 1 cup hulled buckwheat(1), soaked overnight and/or sprouted(2)
- 1 cup water or nut/seed milk
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 Tablespoons ground flax seed
- 1/4 cup dates, pitted
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar, optional
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Flavors and spices of your choice (see below for options)
- Rinse the buckwheat and place in the blender with water or nut/seed milk, coconut oil, flax seed, dates, coconut sugar, and sea salt.
- Blend on high until you have a smooth, pourable batter.
- Preheat a cast iron (preferable) or other skillet to medium heat (3).
- Add the baking powder and stir well or blend on low to combine.
- Add the vinegar and stir to combine.
- Pour batter, about 2 Tablespoons at a time, onto preheated skillet.
- It’s best to turn the heat down just a bit and cook these pancakes a little longer on the first side, so cook them until you can see that they are mostly cooked through, then flip and cook until lightly browned on the second side. If they get too browned on the first side, turn the heat down a bit more.
- Serve with cooked fruit, blended berries thickened with chia seeds, nut cream, coconut cream, chopped nuts, toasted coconut, or whatever your heart desires!
Ideas for flavoring:
- vanilla, for sure
- a dash of molasses, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves for gingerbread pancakes
- grated orange rind, ginger, and poppy seeds
- cardamom and fresh ginger, plus a little black pepper and a dash of cloves for chai-spiced pancakes
- too many delicious toppings to list!
(1) Buckwheat groats are whole, hulled, raw buckwheat kernals. As opposed to kasha, which is roasted buckwheat and therefore very dark and strong in flavor, buckwheat groats are light green and somewhat mild in flavor. Since they are raw, they will sprout.
(2) Fully saturating a seed, which is what any grain, bean, nut, or what we call a seed actually is, begins the sprouting process. So, once you have soaked your buckwheat groats overnight, they will have started to sprout. If you want them to grow tails, put them in a strainer and rinse them well, then let them sit in the strainer until a little tail starts poking out the pointy part of the buckwheat. This will take another 12 hours more or less, depending on the heat in your kitchen. You can rinse them once in a while throughout the day, then give them a shake to let the excess water out. Just be sure to put them over a bowl or tray to catch any drips. For more information on sprouting, see this post on my original recipe site.
(3) I have a cast iron griddle that fits over 2 burners which I love and highly recommend investing in, if you are able to do so. However, any cast iron or stainless skillet or griddle will work. The important thing is to heat until a drop of water will get a good sizzle. If it’s not heated enough, the pancakes will cook onto it. If it’s heated too much (the water will sputter and jump and go crazy), the pancakes will brown too much before they cook through. If your pan is unseasoned, you’ll need to oil it.
(4) The reason for the order of operations in this recipe is that, when baking, you have to be mindful of your timing once your leavener, baking powder in this case, is stirred in. The reaction of the baking powder with the other ingredients, especially the acidic ones like apple cider vinegar is what causes those little bubbles that create the texture of your final product. Once the bubbles form, you want to be gentle with your batter and get it baking asap so you don’t lose them. Don’t make yourself crazy about it, as you don’t want any crazy energy in your food, just be mindful.
(5) You’ll notice that I don’t list maple syrup as a topping option. I want to make sure that anyone I feed is going to feel good after a meal, even one that’s a treat like this one. As healthy as these are, they are still pretty high-carb, so it’s best to top them with a delicious, decedent topping that offers some balance and nutritional value. Most people are going to top pancakes with something sweet, and fruit is a great whole food option for that piece. In addition, try to include something with fat and protein in the topping choices as well – a yummy nut or coconut cream, chopped nuts, hemp seeds, etc.