After deciding to go completely whole-foods plant-based vegan a little over two years ago we were a bit worried that it would be difficult to come up with proper substitutes and alterations of “classic” meals and recipes. Thanks to a few wonderful cookbooks and bloggers that I have to give a shoutout to below (see the end of the post) we made it through and at this point have even developed our own recipes based off of what they taught us.
Breakfast was one of the trickier situations. After removing all of the typical meat products in the “Standard American Diet” which are so common at breakfast time, removing eggs, butter and yogurt we were pretty much left with toast. Even in the case of toast we had to do a little searching to find bread that did not contain milk or eggs. Fortunately we were already vegetarian at the point we made this change so we had already managed to work around the breakfast meat problem. No dead animals for breakfast seemed like a win from the earliest notion, after all.
Pancakes have always frustrated me. They tend to do well with a brand new non-stick pan but eventually begin sticking, burning or tearing and generally just make a mess after the pan has been used a few times, even with very careful use in my experience. One day I had had enough and decided just to bake them instead. The first few tries were kind of tricky, deciding the correct length of time and exactly how thick to make the batter, but over time I’ve learned how to get it exactly to our liking
The Forks Over Knives Cookbook provided us with the primary building blocks for what became Grant’s favorite “pancake” recipe. Two years of practice of making this at least 2-3 times a month we have worked it over to suit our style and the process has really opened my eyes to toying with baked goods in general as the process of adjusting and substituting in the original recipe has assisted me in creating versions of quite a few deserts, muffins and breads. I’ve really found it an enjoyable challenge to work with the limitations and try to find work-arounds and replacements as I experiment with different recipes. Lucky for me I have one of the most articulate and honest critiques one could hope for – my little boy!
Enough of the back story, let’s get to the recipe.
The ingredients are lined up and ready to get to business.
Grant’s favorite Plant-powered “muffin-top style pancake” recipe:
1 Cup Whole Grain Flour – we use Spelt or Buckwheat usually if available, but they cook up fine with Whole Wheat too. We like Bob’s Red Mill Spelt Flour and Arrowhead Mills Buckwheat Flour, but we aren’t afraid to try a new brand if there is a great sale at our Trader Joe’s or Sprouts stores.
1/3 Cup Oat Flour – This is just blended rolled oats if you like saving money. If you’d rather not bother just replace with an extra 1/3 Cup flour of your choice. This isn’t exactly rocket science, so they generally turn out just fine either way. I usually make this call according to what is in the pantry at the time.
1 Tbsp Baking Soda
3 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
3 Tbsp Flaxseed Meal
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Maca Powder
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup OR 4 drops Liquid Stevia Sweetener
2/3 Cup Applesauce or “Simpley Sweet Potatoes” – Hybrid style, mashed
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2/3 Cup Plant-based milk alternative (Soy, Almond, Coconut, etc.)
2/3 Cup Water
2/3 Cup Chocolate Chips – Trader Joe’s brand is the most affordable dairy-free chips we have found. These are okay to omit or reduce if you don’t have a huge sweet tooth. Grant contends that they just don’t quite have their magic without the chocolate chips on top, though. Reduce or remove at your own risk!
Preparation: Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees Fareheit (200 C); Line a baking pan with Parchment Paper or a Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat.
Step 1: Mix the water, milk, vinegar and syrup together into a measuring cup or small bowl and set aside for at least 3-5 minutes. The vinegar will curdle the milk slightly, creating a “vegan buttermilk”.
Step 2: Combine all dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
Step 3: Add the Applesauce into the middle of the dry ingredients then add the “buttermilk” mixture. Mix until smooth and creamy.
Step 4: Stir in 1/2 of the chocolate chips (1/3 Cup).
Step 5: Scoop divide the batter onto the baking sheet into 12 “pancakes”.
Step 6: Bake for 16-18 minutes.
Step 7: Remove from oven and let them rest for 3-5 minutes.
Serve with Maple Syrup, berries, fruit, or nut butters… mix and match, experiment. The possibilities seem endless! Be creative and try whatever sounds tasty.
Grant plated and arranged his breakfast himself for the photo op. Congrats and thanks to my little sous chef!
Inspiration and Thanks
As mentioned above, the Plant Powered Gamers are strongly influenced by and owe much of the initial basis for this recipe to the following:
Forks Over Knives Chocolate Pancakes Recipe (check the App Store if this is too pricey for you or just have no space for cookbooks. They have a great deal at only $5 last I checked and regularly add new recipes for free)