As I am writing the introduction to this recipe (on the IPad), I am in the Philippines sitting in a bungalow eating a fresh banana and pineapple fruit salad. This place only has internet connection after five pm but I guess I have come to the Philippines to relax and recharge afterall. I was debating wether to share a little bit about my trip on the blog, but I guess I will, as I think it might be interesting for some of you. So you may know that locals eat a lot of meat in the Philippines, it is their main food source, together with fish and rice. To be honest, they don't look very healthy. As a traveller who eats a plant-based diet it can be hard to find food options, but it is not impossible. We are currently in an island called Palawan. The capital is Puerto Princesa and , although it is noisy and very polluted, they have great fruit markets. During our time in Puerto --like the locals call it-- we ate mostly fruit for all our meals (banana, mango, pitaya, lansotes, pineapple, yellow watermelon, papaya and mangosteen) and we felt great! On our second day we found a fantastic vegetarian restaurant with vegan options called Ima's. The owner is very sweet and she is a great cook --the guacamole was one of the best I've ever tried. They also sell some local super foods like moringa and turmeric, and an amazing all-natural mosquito repellant (you will not find anything else like it).
At the moment we are in a remote beach called Port Barton. It is the most relaxing place I have ever visited. The only problem is fruit is very hard to find. Bananas pineapples and coconuts are everywhere, but that's about it. We are eating a lot of rice, curries, soups and pasta --all absolutely delicious, but not what I had in mind. I miss fruits, they make me feel alive. If you are a fruit lover and you want to go to the Philippines, then maybe don't come to Port Barton, at least not in this season. You've been warned!
But let's stop talking about fruit in the Philippines and talk about making delicious plant-based food at home. As a child I ate pancakes on the weekends, it was by far my favorite meal of the week (aside from spaghetti carbonara) but I knew they weren't 'healthy', which made me want them even more. Discovering this recipe made me feel empowered -- I thought to myself: I can actually do this plant-based thing if I can eat these delicious pancakes.
To me food is about enjoyment. What's the point in eating healthy food if it tastes bland and boring? I know when I changed my diet my main worry was 'how will I give up all the delicious food I love? I'm going to miss it!'. But the truth is, you really won't. Your taste buds will change and you will start craving other foods (like kale, I know, crazy right?), and the foods you still feel nostalgic about are probably really easy to recreate with plant-based ingredients --like these gluten free pancakes.
Remember you can find everything you used to eat in plant-based form in stores. everything from cheese to mayo, egg replacement, raviolis, to chicken, fish, sea food, sausages, yogurt, ice cream. So there is no real reason to panic.
I believe in making exciting recipes for those days when you are feeling especially nostalgic. And this one is just perfect for that. Why did no-one tell me you could make perfectly normal pancakes without milk and eggs?! Anyway, now we both know you can (and they are actually really good) so try them out! I encourage you to experiment and have fun with different flavours and toppings (cacao powder makes them super chocolaty, and topping with coconut yogurt is out of this world). Make them for your friends and family -- they won't even know they are eating vegan pancakes!
If you are planning on making this recipe for a special occasion, you could also prepare chocolate shakes (recipe coming soon), smoothies or even banana ice cream (freeze bananas overnight and blend them, it is that easy)!
Makes 6-8 small pancakes (10cm diameter)
For the raw raspberry chia jam
- 200 grams fresh raspberries
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 2-3 tbsp maple syrup or agave
- 1 cup gluten free oats (130 grams)
- 1/2 cup buckwheat (115 grams)
- 1 tsp flax seeds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 banana (150 grams)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 + 1/2 cups almond milk
STEP BY STEP
- Before you start, prepare the chia raspberry jam as this takes about an hour to make. Mash the raspberries with a fork in a bowl, add the chia seeds and maple syrup and mix well. Cover the bowl with cling film and store in the fridge for an hour. This will give the chia seeds enough time to become gelatinous.
- Moving on to the pancake mixture, place the raw buckwheat, raw gluten free oats and flax seeds in a powerful blender and pulverize to a flour consistency.
- Add the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, coconut sugar, banana and almond milk to the flour. Blend until smooth.
- Place a non-stick pan on medium to high heat for 30 seconds.
- Pour the mixture in the hot pan making a 10 centimeter in diameter and 1 centimeter thick pancake and allow to cook until bubbles start to pop. Flip sides and cook for 1 minute.
- Serve with the raw raspberry chia jam --which should be ready by now-- and a drizzle of maple syrup.
- Make the mixture right before you plan to use it as the flax seeds can turn the mixture a bit too thick as time passes. If it happens don't worry, simply add more almond milk and mix.
- Adjust almond milk to taste. If you want your pancakes to be thicker or thinner,
- Feel free to substitute the maple syrup in the jam for another sweetener if you prefer.
- You can find gluten free oats in most health stores. If you can't find them try using only buckwheat.
- You might need to adjust the heat of the pan as you go so you don't burn the pancakes.