Today I wanted to share one of my favorite gluten-free, vegetarian-friendly pancakes – Simply Oat Pancakes & Blueberry Compote. Let me start off by confessing my love for pancakes. I. L ove. Pancakes. I love all varieties, flavors, sizes, and shapes of pancakes. They’re incredibly versatile as you can mix up the flavors, the flours, the binding agents (eggs, egg whites, protein powders, flax seeds, psyllium, etc.), and don’t forget about the toppings! This Blueberry Compote is super simply to make and it’s such a wonderful addition to these pancakes.
I remember when I was a little me waking up most weekends to the smell of pancakes, hot cinnamon apples with raisins, bacon, and eggs. The pancakes won me over more than anything else. My dad used to save a small amount of the batter at the very end of the pancake batch so I could make mini-pancakes; I used to love (and still do) stacking as many golf-ball sized pancakes on top of each other until they fall over, it made the experience that much more fun. Honestly, as I’m writing this I have a huge smile on my face thinking about the smells, the taste, and the overall experience around those mornings.
Now with that being said, pancakes we typically encounter aren’t made from scratch; they’re from a pre-made, highly processed, highly refined, hydrogenated oil containing, nutrition starved flour mix in a box. Let’s take a look inside a typical pancake mix, shall we?
Enriched Flour Bleached (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean AND/OR Cottonseed Oil, Leavening (baking soda, baking powder aluminum phosphate, mono calcium phosphate, Dextrose, Salt
Notice the AND/OR when the oil is described? The food companies don’t even know exactly what’s going into their products. Why should we be putting questionable ingredients into our beautiful bodies? Quick answer- we shouldn’t!
Ever wonder why vitamins and minerals (niacin, iron, thiamine) are in the ingredient list? The refining process strips the grains natural state of nutrition. Basically there are a couple “parts” of a seed; the germ, which is embryo of the seed (it houses B vitamins and trace minerals); the bran, which is the outer shell of the seed (it houses protein, insoluble fiber, and trace minerals); and the endosperm, which is essentially the nutrient powerhouse of the seed containing protein, soluble fiber, iron, carbohydrates, trace minerals, and B vitamins. Therefore, food companies need to manually/chemically add back in vitamins to replenish what was lost during the processing. Since this enriching process destroys the grains natural nutrition, the FDA regulates that per pound of enriched flour the following nutrients be added: niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, folic acid, iron, and possibly calcium.
Interestingly the germ also has a higher fat content of about 10%. Since fat and oils are quicker to go rancid and oxidize, it makes for a reduced shelf life, which is another reason why food companies would like to separate the germ from the grain (i.e. longer shelf life of their products–>cheaper production costs–>more money profited, and unfortunately, less real nutrition for us consumers).
Not only do enriched flours contain a lack of nutrients in their natural form, they’re also a higher GI food (on the glycemic index). The higher the GI of a food, the quicker that food can raise your blood sugar; foods with lower GI will not raise your blood sugar as quickly (think of fiber, which slows it down). Foods high in GI are typically those highly refined, processed, and foods loaded with simple sugar (i.e. white sugar, white bread, white potatoes, and most store bought pancake mixes…ha). This should be an entirely separate post so I’ll leave it at that.
TIP // let’s take a lesson from our great grandparents and keep it real (the ingredients of course!). Pancakes are naturally quite simple to make; they require a flour, a leavening agent, a binding agent, and some sweetness or additional flavors from spices. These pancakes are so incredibly easy to make, you’ll never look back at purchasing another pre-made processed pancake mix again. Also, most of these ingredients are staple ingredients in my pantry and probably yours too!
- 4 egg whites
- 1/2 cup of dry rolled gluten-free oatmeal, ground into a flour
- 2 tablespoon coconut flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 cup of almond milk
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- dash of nutmeg (optional)
- In a small grinder or food processer, grind the dry oatmeal into a fine flour.
- Add all wet ingredients (almond milk, eggs, and vanilla) in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with your dry ingredients.
- Whisk until well combined.
- Additional almond milk may be needed, depending on how thick or thin you like your pancakes.
- Grease a large skillet with coconut oil.
- Pour about 1/4-1/2 cup of the pancake batter onto the skillet (on medium heat)- you can adjust this amount depending on how large/small you like your pancakes.
- Cook until the right side up has small bubbles escaping.
- Flip and finish cooking untill both sides are golden brown and fluffy.
- Plate and serve with your favorite toppings; organic maple syrup, a drizzle of local honey, fresh berries, dash of cinnamon, almond butter, etc.
- 1 cup of organic fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or use stevia to taste for sugar free)
- a pinch of cinnamon
- Simply heat blueberries in a small saucepan.
- Let simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the blueberries start to reduce (thicken).
- If using for a hot dish (pancakes, waffles, etc.), directly use sauce off the the stove top.
- If using for a cold dish (ice cream topping), set aside and let cool prior to using.
Now that my love affair with pancakes is out in the open, be ready for varieties of pancakes in the future! What are your favorite types of toppings for pancakes? Share below!
Sending you pancake love,