Here’s the thing about pancakes…I love the way they taste, but not so much how I feel afterward. All that doughy, sweet carbohydrate goodness seems such a decadent indulgence.
I’m always alert for a loophole–a healthier way to enjoy that sticky maple-buttery experience without feeling like I just consumed a loaf of bread in one sitting. When I came across this RECIPE (courtesy feastingonfruit.com) the immediate thought came to my mind: Quinoa=Protein. High-protein, low-carbohydrate, low-fat always feels good in my tummy. This recipe is also oil-free.
But, then, I thought…how will they taste without any gluten? Will they hold together yet not be dry and weird? Since I have quinoa flakes in my pantry anyway, I decided to see for myself.
The recipe suggests using a blender, so I thought, since I am cutting the recipe in half I’ll just use my Magic Bullet. BAD IDEA.
I would mix this recipe in a bowl, like any other pancake batter. Otherwise, you will leave behind a lot of it, due to its thick, paste-like consistency. I also substituted apple cider vinegar for the lemon juice because it was easier and cheaper.
I transferred the whole mess into a bowl and added more milk and a bit more maple syrup to achieve a smoother, spreadable batter. I also added a pinch of salt, because the recipe didn’t call for any. Salt adds a pleasing flavor contrast to the maple syrup.
The cooking was good. A nice, even browning without sticking to the griddle, which I sprayed with a light coating of oil between each cake.
The result? A very good, gluten-free, high-protein, low-fat pancake. After tasting, I decided I would have added more salt, though–beyond a pinch. Otherwise there is no flavor at all.
I added a little extra Earth Balance spread and this fixed the issue. The texture is good, too. Not dry or grainy or weird. Just light and absorbent. The half-recipe made three medium-sized cakes. I ate two of them and still felt good, not bloated.
My final assessment:
An excellent representation of a ‘healthier’ way to pancake, but quinoa is exorbitantly expensive. If money is of no importance, and you want to impress your friends and family at brunch, go for it.
But…there are lot of other gluten-free pancake options and much, much cheaper. I dare say, even tastier. Here’s one in particular I like, made in a blender with bananas and oats.
What’s your favorite way to pancake??